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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Newlyn birds go to sea!

Click on the image to see the slideshow.

"On the 20th August 2013 Gemma and I (Paris) had great opportunity to go out to sea on one of the Newlyn crab boats, the Emma-Louise. This is one of the newest crabbing fleet owned by Mark Rowse of Rowse fishing. I went to take photos of the crew working, whereas Gemma went along to do something that she has always wanted to do as it is in her blood. So i manned my camera and Gemma with her Handycam and phone, between us, we captured all the work, dedication and effort involved in catching quality local crab.

Our day had started at 4:00am. This is the time we left Newlyn. We arrived down on the quay approximately 3:50am and straight away us girls had to climb across 2 boats before being faced with climbing the St Pirans (the IFCA fisheries boat). So, not falling in, we found the easiest way to board the St Pirans trying not to look like idiots. From the St Pirans there was no easy way to climb onto the Emma-Louise, which was typically moored onto the end of a 3-boat tier. So, with no easy way to climb onto the Emma Louise from the St Pirans without looking stupid, we somehow managed to climb on board without the help of the crew, and without any help at all.

As we got aboard, skipper Mario took us through the emergency procedures, where we would meet if there was an emergency. By now the Emma-Louise crew was aboard and ready to sail, Newlyn Birds are off to sea!.

Still night time, pitch black dark was all we could see was the moon what shone lovely on the sea, the view was amazing!

I got my sea legs what didnt take five minuets to get as fishing runs in my blood as for Gemma it took a while to get her balance, she couldn't find her legs at all. Luckily Gemma and I wasn't sea sick! I would of been mad at myself if I was!

As dawn broke Mario the skipper went down for 40 minutes for the watch below (sleep). The boat was in two hands of the crew Livs Skrundenieks and another lad who i didn't manage to catch his name. They were both interested why we was aboard and we told them why. They told us stories about how other professional photographers and filmmakers who had not been so successful due to being sea sick and not finding their balance in the past. With that Gemma came flying from one side of the wheel house into me breaking her fall haha!

After the 2 hour steam we had finally arrived to the string of pots where Mario left from the last trip. With Mario back at the wheel, and in control of the winch, The crew was on deck and ready to work!. Nothing in view apart from sea and the Lighthouse called the "The Wolfe Rock" Somewhere off Land Ends.

By now, Gemma and I thought it was time to get this day in footage of the lads hauling the crab pots. It was pretty crazy how fast they do this! it's like they have been doing it for years! It's privilege to watch these guys do there job, It's a very dangerous job. As they were hauling we had got a message off Mario that the RNAS Culdrose helicopter would be coming to do practice exercises. That they would be sending one of the helicopters crew down onto the Emma-Louise.

It was within minuets of the helicopter appearing. The crew stopped work and headed to the bow of the boat with us to watch the exercise take place. As the helicopter approached the Emma-Louise's stern the helicopter got lower and lower and much closer, it was hovering no more than 10ft above us! The down-draft from the rotors caused us to get sprayed by sea, you could feel the pressure of the helicopter as they lowered down the RNAS crew member and like nothing they were aboard. Well, SHE was aboard! Once she was aboard safely, she came over and said hi and wished me luck in my photography and Gemma with her videos that we wanted/needed.

Meanwhile, the helicopter had flown off to get in position for the pick up. Yet again there was a huge amount of down-draft and spray from the rotors and sea, as they got ready to pick up their crew mate who had managed to get her hands on some freshly caught crab! They had flown off now, radioed through to Mario and said thanks for the crab and letting them come aboard. All of this was before lunch!.

Whilst not taking photos and vids, we tried to spot some of the marine wildlife. We saw a lot of seagulls believe me they were around on every haul! Thanks to Mario I saw alot of Sunfish. They are pretty amazing to see basking for the sun, no dolphins, sharks or whales, although Gemma thought she saw a whale when I thought'd it was a dolphin so we named it Dolphwhale!. Gemma saw a lot of jellyfish. We had an octopus aboard what climbed in to one of the pots. The crew started laughing and sticking it to each other. Which I have a pretty cool photo of it stuck on Livs oilies and a lot of crab :)

It must of been around 04:30 05:00pm when Mario wrapped the day up. As we headed home for Newlyn, the crew made sure all the crab was sorted, washed down the deck so it was all clean for the next day, I believe Ben Rowse cooked tea for the crew and Gemma. We spent the steam home looking through our photos and videos. As we got back to Newlyn and it was safe to get on to the quay we said our thank yous to Mario and the crew for letting us come aboard for the day.

I am pretty impressed with myself for having my dad's sea legs (I think it was for the wellies I was wearing thanks Tom for them bad boys!) and not being sick at all. And my photos at the most I couldn't be anymore happier with them. I'd Like to thank Emma and Mark Rowse for letting me go on the Emma-Louise as it's bad luck for girls to go aboard a boat. And most of all to Mario and the crew for putting up with me aha im sure i wasnt that bad was I?... I'd love to go again sometime *hint hint*

And most of all the best part of the was telling my Dad and brother about my day as they are both fishermen aboard the Filadelfia Pz542. My dad was so pleased with me not being sick or falling over and having my sea legs. He said to me that if his dad was alive today he would of been so proud of me. As for Scott, he was just so pleased for me and I believe he owes me some money now :)"

Blogger's note:

A big thank you to Paris for writing up this story to go with her excellent photographs and the infornative video that Gemma shot of their day aboard the port's biggest crabber.  Great to see such enthusiasm and interest from the youngsters - especially as they both come from well known Newlyn fishing families!

Gemma Thomas gave her own personalaccount of the trip on the blog the girls have set up for Rowse fishing - a must read!