“Twenty four year Dezzy.’
“Best not think aboot it matey cos if one thing doesn’t get yer summick else will.’
“Aye yor reet there Sainty sounded the horn to signal that the net was going to be winched on board. Dougie and Vince stood either side as the winch began to pull the net on board. It had been going ten minutes when the lads put the first of the loops around the net to make the net easier to bring on board the two heavy duck boards were secured at each side then another loop was attached. The winch strained as the weight of the net increased then eased off as the next twenty feet of netting was brought on board then tied off. It was wrapped around a giant wheel as the cod end got ever nearer and the lads down in the gutting room in the hold got ready by honing their knives.
It took twenty minutes to bring the net it and it looked promising with at least five ton of big cod up to twenty pound in weight each.
The lads closed the metal gates so no fish could escape then released the cod end as the winch lifted the bag right off the deck. The fish spewed all over the deck and the lads whooped and cheered as they sent the fish down the chute into the hold where the filleting began in earnest. Ron Lee began to sing one of his new songs and by the time they had finished gutting all the cod they were joining in.
Dougie and Vince joined them as they began to box and ice the fish and store it away in the hold. One hundred and eight six boxes on the first run we got.
“Another two like that lad and I’m gana be playing two gigs this week.’
The net went out again and the lads carried on gutting. There was some monk fish, plaice, a few lobsters caught up in the net, and a good sized halibut weighing forty five pounds which would fetch a good price at market.
Sainty got on the blower to Billy Bones and John Ellis and told them to get themselves over where the sweet spot was.’
Billy and John thanked him and said they would be with him within the next two hours.
Sainty called for the second haul to be brought on board an hour later. It was better than the first –
Dougie and Vince worked non stop to get the fish down in the hold. Des Baldwin, Ron lee and john Moholam all got stuck into gutting and boxing and icing. It was going well and only the weather could spoil a good days fishing. The clouds began to darken and the gannets flew around picking up all the offal from the fish as it was discarded. They had just got through half the catch when the next haul was ready to come in. Ron listened as the lads whooped again and they knew that the catch was good. It would be the early hours of the morning before they would all get finished.
All four men worked frantically through the night and at four thirty Ron Lee excused himself so he could make them all breakfast.
The lads never complained as they knew it would be nearly twenty four hours since they had eaten anything substantial. Dougie had put four mars bars on ice and they ate one each after the second haul working on through until seven thirty when everything was done cleaned and hosed down even their oilskins and boots.
The Skipper came into the galley after going to count how many boxes they had.
Four hundred and sixty two boxes of prime cod that’s five thousand five hundred plus twenty of mixed say another three hundred. Take off a grand for fuel and maintenance; that leaves us around £840 quid each. Not bad for a five day trip lads don’t you think.’
“Bloody marvellous shouted Dougie.’