On the ferry from Lerwick to Aberdeen I had an “outside” cabin with a window. From there, I had a view of LK62, named “Research”.
Despite the name, this is not a research vessel, but a trawler. It was launched in November 2018, according to a very informative article in Fishing News.
Aboard a quite different vessel, the Northlink Ferry, I arrived in Aberdeen the next morning. Aberdeen was in lockdown, and I planned to spend as little time there as possible, just two hours, before my train left for the South. My idea was to sit in the sun outside the ferry terminal, eating my packed breakfast, before a gentle stroll to the railway station. Ha! I arrived in Aberdeen in the middle of a rainstorm. Roads had become rivers. On the periphery of my vision, a drain cover had lifted, and the water rose from it in a translucent pillar. I struggled towards the station through floods and wind.
Aberdeen station was a huge glass tent, with the rain battering, and lightning visible, dimly, through the roof covering. It also resembled all the tents I have ever known in that the floor was covered in a thin layer of water. I sat down damply on a damp metal bench. All the trains were cancelled. Fortunately, I had some banana cake. I drew a picture. Then I found a helpful official and a bus.
The bus was going to Edinburgh. I drew a picture on the bus. After having been in Shetland for three weeks, I noticed that there were huge trees, everywhere. The sun came out.
3 thoughts on “Sketching on the journey South”
That Fishing News article is absurdly long and ridiculously detailed. Yet, also strangely compelling. Perhaps I am turning into Captain Haddock.
Love your stories and your art.
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Yes it is isn’t it? I was amazed by some of the statistics. The fish pumps on that vessel can pump 1200 tonnes of fish an hour, according to the article. That made me ask “Is 1200 tonnes an hour a big number?”.
That sent me into a search to find how much fish UK vessels catch, and a discovery that the UK fish quota for 2017 is some 600 000 tonnes. ([https://marinedevelopments.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/27/mmo-fisheries-statistics-2017-eez/] if you are interested!!)
So that vessel with its amazing fish pumps could in principle pump the ***entire UK fish quota*** in 500 hours, which is a couple of months of 8 hour days. So yes, 1200 tonnes of fish per hour is a big number.
I have yet to understand how this industry operates. This UK fish quota of 600 000 tonnes is only 10kg a year for each person in the UK (Population 60million). So where is all our fish coming from? I think I’ve eaten 10kg of fish already this year.
But then, I eat a lot of fish.
Maybe I am turning into a Haddock!!! Or at least a statistics nerd. It’s fun though. I’m a loyal listener to “More or Less”, the statistics programme on Radio 4.
Thank you for the comment. I hope you are well. The City here is empty. Still empty. Barbie Green is open though. I don’t think they serve fish.
Our offices are open again, though at much reduced capacity. I have yet to brave the journey, but I so miss Barbie Green….
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