Thursday, February 5, 2009

I see a pattern forming

You may have noticed my photos on every post. If not then you should get a new guide dog. I didn't consciously decide to include one with every post, it just sort have happened like that.
You see, I love my phone. I listen to ABC Radio National on it for up to 10 hours a day, when they have boring poetry crap on or I'm out of range I have about 30 albums on it (from System of a Down to Bluegrass) I use the dictaphone function so I remember shit, I sometimes call or text people on it but most of all I love always having a camera in my pocket. I did photography for a while at High School & Uni - I wanted to be the next Annie Liebowitz. Then I discovered what a crap job it is and importantly how expensive it is. Every frame cost big $. Especially so in the large format pro cameras.
Now with my Nokia in my pocket I can take as many shots as I like and it is %100 free. That is so cool. So having a free camera I feel obliged to take photos with it, no actually, I just like taking photos. So then I think - besides filling up the hard drive what else do I do with them? Share them with my adoring public of course. I hope you like them and I don't care much if you don't.

So to today's topic.

Sorry, it's another work one. I'm back in harness, so what else am I going to talk about?

Today we did Trawler boardings.

In case you don't know trawlers drag (usually) 2 dirty great big nets across the bottom of the ocean catching tasty prawns, squid & bugs for us all. That's shrimp to our American friends. Y'all saw it on Forest Gump. Dunno what you call bugs? Slipper Lobster?

As I discussed in an earlier post these blokes have to make a living while complying with about a meter and a half of legislation [on a book shelf.] It's part of my gig to ensure that they are dotting Is & crossing Ts.

Some of these guys are real cowboys out to rape & pillage (not in a good way) others of them are nice enough blokes who are making a pay in a tough industry. Some are slack arses that need a good jabbing with the jabby stick, others are honestly trying - but just not up to the admin & documentation side of it. It's not exactly a career that attracts a lot of Rhodes Scholars.

I steam up behind them in my little boatyboatboat jump on board and generally make a pain in the freckle of myself.

Here's what I'm on about today.

I board a trawler, it's well kept, the skipper is courteous and has his paperwork in order, do I say thank you & jump off to find another? or do I look more closely, do I start unpacking his hold, do I start unbolting the back of his snap freezer, do I get him to drop / pull up his gear so I can check it?

Unfortunately that is what I have to do. 90%+ of the time it is a gross imposition, I'm just making it hard for the good guys and I feel like I am basically accusing them of doing the wrong thing.

10% of the time I find something wrong.

10% of those occasions I find something seriously wrong.

Like 60kg of Shark Fin.

Like the Turtle excluders laced shut.

Like 50kg of bugs that have been dipped in chlorine solution so they drop their eggs.

I wish they would get together and agree that poaching asssmunchers would fly the Jolly Roger so I could search them properly find the badness & bust them, while leaving the good guys to get on with it. Not gunna happen, but it pisses me off.

So today we did 3 trawlers stem to stern, unpacking holds, under floor boards in the engine room & searching crew cabins. I don't know if they were poaching but I found nothing wrong. I felt like a prick - but that's the gig I guess.

If I wanted everyone to like me I'd be an ice cream van man.


  1. Mate, if it was a free for all there would be no delectable crustations and tasty sea kittens left for me to have for my lunch and or dinner.

    Besides while you are chasing the Prawn Pilferers, Bug Bandits and Squid Stealers I am free to use my Dynamite Fish Bait without having to keep an eye out for the Nowhere Bob pirate vessel sneaking up on me from behind Scott's Point.

  2. Yep. I spent a couple of days on a trawler once on the Hawkesbury River. Those prawns were tasty and we also used to keep some of the fish. Most of the fishy sde catch was returned alive to its watery residence. But man, those prawns were the shiznit.

  3. My dad was a commercial fisherman on the Mississippi River back in the day, and once in a while the DNR would check his catch (no bass, crappies, or other game fish allowed in net fishing). He never had a good word for authority.

    Like anything else, I'd guess you can get a good idea of who the OK boats are and who are up to no good.

  4. I think the icecream man plays his crappy song too loud and drives down my street too often. I hate him.

    (just so you know you could never win)

  5. But without you doing what you do a lot more people would take today what they need for tomorrow.

  6. YDog - It is really hard to tell. I was an anti authority little bomb thrower until some fool gave me a badge & a blue shirt. Still not sure how that happened? I suspect that my anarchist ways are still in there, just muted under a blanket of a need to pay the mortage.

    U - Thanks for that. I had my suspiscions that was the case. Reminds me of Dr Karl's 3 laws of thermodynamics; 1 You cant win. 2 You'll never win. 3 You'll always lose.

    Al, we do have more than 1 boat...

    Aye Bangarr, that is the theory.

  7. mate, its YOUR JOB, pure and simple. just keep doing it. BBA, WTF is wrong with expqnding bait

  8. "Al, we do have more than 1 boat..."
    Thanks for the inside info NB.

    Mr Havock, for some reason NB frowns upon using expanding bait.

  9. Mate if it were me I'd be upgrading the boat and mounting a .50 cal. i hate poachers as they tend to be the worst fishermen out there.


  10. Chaz, if I can't have my explosives for fishing NB can't have a .50 cal on his pirate vessel.

  11. BBA but you forget NB is THE MAN so he can do what he want!!

  12. Fuck all that, I just want twin 150's on the back, suppressed and a BOARDING PARTY. Talk about bloody heaven..OH YES. Where do we sign up bob

    PS..I want the 12 G as well.

  13. H as long as i get to play with the 50's

  14. that will be me, standing on the Bow, rope in hand, 12g in the other, cap all rakish looking not only handsome by FUCKING TUFFFFFF AS WELL!

  15. Chaz & Abe you got it - I prefer Bugs over any prawn or crab.

    I gets me my fair share of undersize, over bag limit, unlawful nets, season & Green Zone busts but I'm yet to come across anyone boom fishing. Would be interested to see how it goes. Purely out of professional interest of course.

    H man, you seem to have missed my diminutive "boatyboatboat."
    Our Big RIB is a pretty impressive beast, but the little one is just so lame people laugh. I call it the SS Mardi-Gras Float as we would normally sit pillion style all snuggled up to each other. I usually stand up at the stern just for that reason. Nothin tough at all, except in a moustachioed Blue Oyster Bar biker sense of tough.

    After an unfortunate incident with a farmer's kids pet pig we are no longer permitted to carry even our own personal weoponry.
    Not a problem for me, but them long nose long tailed short legged handbags they get up north worry the p!ss outa me.

  16. pet pig AKA 'fluffy' a 250kg lump of porcine fury and hunger!!!

  17. BOB, when those Handbags surface and are as long as the tinnie, I DID SHIT MYSELF.

    Q. I know I have done it, But have you ever steered by sitting your arse on the top of the motor.

    I had forgotten all about nights spent in a donga, fishing at the bottom of a barrage and tarpon..oh yesh..SAVAGE!.

  18. Yep H. Boat 3 is another inflatable, this time all but identical to the Surf Lifesavers IRB. We use it to disentangle whales entangled in fishing gear, shark nets etc. When putputting in for a cut, I sit on the OB and steer more or less with butt clenching. Right hand holding folded vertical tiller throttle, left hand down on gear shift.

  19. I say issue you a Letter of Marque and take the Queens justice to 'em.

    Given the sort of bag guys you deal with and the penalties that can be imposed I would think being armed and never alone is a sensible precaution.

  20. Barnes , and dispensing HIGH SEAS Justice...OH YES

  21. Hey Nowhere, wanna be on a local lit fest panel about blogging?



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I was the proud recipient of the worlds first monkeys ass to human face transplant. Friends of the donor monkey says it took well, I'm not so sure.