breeze as Pauls licked her ice cream that was now beginning to rapidly melt in the heat of the sun.
“Did God answer your prayers last night then asked Dougie?’
“I think so.’
“I take that as a yes then said Dougie as he looked at Paula. Her hair was short and fair coloured it reminded him of twiggy the model. But Paula was smaller in height but what she lacked in height she more than made up for in good looks. Her eyes were as blue as the sea and she had a petite nose and full lips. She wore little make up; she didn’t need it to enhance her natural beauty and when she smiled she would turn heads. When they had finished eating their ice cream Dougie got up and again it was Paula who took his hand as the walked leisurely along the coast.
“I’m off fishing early tomorrow he confessed.’
“How long will you be gone for?’
“It depends on our skipper; Sainty we call him makes all the decisions.’
“We were out five days the last trip and the fishing was good; I made over eight hundred pounds.
“Wow that’s nearly two month’s wages to me.’
Where do you work then?’
“I work in the offices on Bedford street; I told you. It’s pretty boring really.’
“Tell me about your fishing adventures.’
“Well it can get pretty dangerous out there when the weather turns and there are swells of up to sometimes fourteen feet. You are hard pushed to keep your feet as the boat goes up and down.’ I suffer from motion sickness so I have to really concentrate on something else so I don’t come down with it.’
“That must be really hard for you.’
“It can be when were expected to be on deck to get the nets in.’
With over five ton of cod on deck keeping your balance is paramount and also your breakfast down another because once you start being sick it can get steadily worse. “You cannot eat for days after and you have to keep working or you don’t get paid.’
“No wonders they pay you a lot then.’
“It’s not all bad though, we have some laughs. Des Baldwin is the Joker on our boat and he is always up to something. You have to watch him like a hawk. He once put itching powder down in my wellies and my bed I was scratching all night I thought I had fleas. None of the others were scratching themselves then I knew something was up. Des and the rest had a good laugh. I got him back when I tipped Tabasco sauce in his tomato soup and he took a big gulp and swallowed it. His mouth was burning for hours after.
They reached the light house and Dougie suggested that they walk further on to the Red Lion at Earsdon and go for lunch.
“How many of you are there on board the boat?’
“Six of us; with the skipper and we have to gut all the fish clean it and then box and ice it ready for the market. Competition from other boats is fierce as each one tries outdoing the other and getting back to North Shields to market to get the best prices. “How many boats are out there at one time? “Ten or twelve from North Shields then there are the Scots lads who fish the Icelandic waters.
“Is the fish sustainable?’
Yes, I mean we aren’t greedy like the Russians who plunder the sea with factory ships. They can stay out at sea for months at a time.