As I walked the harbour a couple of days ago I came across a number of Herring Seiners tied up. It is not common to have them along the well-used boardwalk, although they come to port yearly.
It is a rare time when one sees working boats tied up to the pleasure craft oriented docks. Usually there are sailboats and motor vessels and - at certain times - the Tall Ships. There used to be a nice array of tug boats, but they moved across the harbour. The mainstay, as far as 'working' boats goes, are the Pilot Boats and the Ferries.
I have a long-standing Romantic attitude about working boats, well established before such TV fare as Deadly Catch. I don't know why this is. Various ships from various centuries are utilised in my novels. I have whole chapters set upon them, with the heaving and froing of turbulent seas.
Much of my youth was spent near a large lake, and I did enjoy seeing the few working boats chugging through. I doubt I would stand even a day if I had to work on a commercial craft. And, the sickest I have ever felt, is when I was seasick while crossing The English Channel. My affection is certainly not realistic.
But, just as I get immense pleasure walking around small working ports and watching the boats, I was happy to find these large seiners. I approached the LADY MELISSA (photo below) with much enthusiasm. There were a couple of men in the wheelhouse, but no one on deck. The boat was the length of the dock, tied fast with massive ropes. It had the creak and squeal of a boat being rubbed in the movement of the waves.
As I was about to leave, a movement on deck caught my eye. It turned out to be quintessentially Maritime. On the aft deck there were high piles of netting. Something was bobbing among the nets. I had an immediate and totally irrational thought that there were still some fish caught in the nets, wriggling to escape. And, maybe my imaginings were not so wild. It was a pair of seagulls, hopping between the folds of the piled nets. What were they doing? Looking for fish?
Place: Halifax (Latitude / Longitude: 53.72438 / -1.861577 - Show on Map)
Ship Type: Fishing
Length x Breadth: 28 m X 12 m
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 10.7 / 10.1 knots
Flag: Canada [CA]
Call Sign: VY2506
IMO: 0, MMSI: 316001453