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Monday, 17 February 2014

February at sea as seen by a Breton fisherman: "At night, it became Dantesque"

This is the story of the Breton trawler, Phoenix 1 that fished off the Scillies from February the 1st to February the 13th. The text is translated directly from the skipper's account.

To put this voyage in perspective, apart from a few days, the entire fleet of boats - large and small - that fish from Nelwyn were kept in port by the weather.

'Dante' refers to Dante's Inferno - enough said.

"The storm as seen by a Breton fisherman: 

"At night, it became Dantesque" - Rémy Baranger, a fisherman skipper from Loctudy in Finistère, sent a video he has taken in recent days aboard his trawler, the Phoenix 1. Images of the raging sea, where fishing can be risky.

It is south of Ireland that the trawler Loctudy Phoenix 1 encountered Dantesque sea conditions for 14 days of raging sea. But his last fishing season will remain forever etched in his mind and in the memory of his crew. 

Leaving Loctudy on February 1, Phoenix 1 returned last Thursday, February 13. 14 days in the heart of storms that swept the North Atlantic in recent weeks. 14 days the crew were tossed by waves in the strong winds. "We took advantage of a weather window from February 1, while all other boats were returning". We arrived in the fishing area, halfway between southern Ireland and the Scilly Islands (west of Cornwall), Phoenix 1 encountered sea conditions very difficult. This is also in an area nearby and fishing that night (from 1 to 2 February) that the Le Sillon, a trawler Guilvinec be the victim of a rogue wave . The six fishermen aboard Le Sillon abandoned their boat and were then rescued by a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose.

Fishing day two: Very rough seas, the crew of the Phoenix 1 has already braved many occasions. But, what was especially felt by these fisheries professionals, it was the power of the winds encountered in recent days. "Gusts of wind that they were not used to seeing." Gusts that make this area where there is no "high waves and where the sea is less formed," waves becomes terrible, winds 50 to 60 knots with peaks in excess of 85 knots , as shown by the anemometer aboard the trawler in the video made ​​by the skipper. A raging sea that makes these seasoned sailors sometimes afraid. "It has taken two packets so serious that could break." "Some of my crew told me they had never seen it like this." "These are conditions that we see only once in a lifetime" says skipper Rémy Baranger. In these very bad sea conditions, fishing is done every other day on average so as not to not take too many risks "when the sea becomes Dante" . The crew may well be seasoned and boat designed to withstand extreme conditions, "we are not so far hotheads" wishes to clarify Breton, and even "if we know that given the little fish available sale, that we bring cost twice as much. "

In these images Rémy Baranger returned last week, you recoil at seeing the trough where the trawler sinks. These videos were taken from inside the bridge and aft. These were not the worst conditions that the Phoenix 1 has had to endure. In situations of extreme sea fisherman boss could not help but be at the helm to maneuver his boat."