With time to kill in the sunshine yesterday and more interested in making jam than riding bikes I took a short walk down by the harbour where I spotted a new-to-me scallop dredger being prepared to catch the tide.
I had my phone handy and was busily snapping a few pics when a familiar voice invited me on board. Turned out to be young Jamie Clarke who had been part of the crew of the King Challenger when I occasionally sailed aboard her.
Jamie has passed his exams and at the age of 24 years is proud to be skipper of his first charge – the ex Brixham registered beam scalloper Sarah Louise.
She may be 23 years old herself but the Sarah Louise belies her years and certainly looks the business.
Apparently part of the King scalloping fleet for the past three months I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t noticed her in the harbour before today.
I’m sure she has a fine turn of speed – something lacking in the Challenger – here she is in a previous life taking part in the 2012 Brixham Trawler Race held every year in the English Channel.
Couldn’t believe my luck when I was invited to go below to check out the deisels but first I had to pass through the wheelhouse with it’s proper Captain’s chair —
with all round views – controls and myriad screens to assist with safe working in every corner of the boat – true navigation whatever the weather and finding fish – or in this case scallops and queenies.
She looks to be recently fitted out but I didn’t have much time to find out as the crew were racing in preparation to make the tide – no Saturday night out for them.
The clatter from the three marine deisels down there was deafening!
A motor for every occasion — be it to drive hydraulic pumps for the boom hoist winches —
or electric generators and main prop unit – she has them all – supplied in this case by Mitsibishi.
If only I could live my life again!
But no point wishing – at least being shorebound the ground wasn’t moving under my feet when I was at work.
I’m sure Jamie won’t be flying the George Cross as on this old photo of the Sarah Louise. The Saltire will be firmly nailed aloft by now and I wish him and his young crew success. The future of the industry would appear to be in good hands.