Tag Archives: fisherman

River Tamar fisherman and great character Allen Jewitt passes away

Alan Jewitt obituary Tamar fisherman

Weir Quay Boatyard has published a tribute to River Tamar fisherman Allen Jewitt that can only be called beautiful.

The Tamar has clearly lost one of its characters, and many of his neighbours will miss a treasured friend.

Allen Jewitt, who died suddenly a few days ago at the age of 70, lived on the water for many decades and was the last full-time net fisherman on the river until that business had to be ended in order to sustain stocks. From that time he  caught eels until just last year.

In reading the Weir Quay folks’ obituary, I feel I can almost hear the snap of another link with history being lost forever.

YouTube has a nice documentary in which he talks about his life and demonstrates how he made his living catching eels in the lovely River Tamar, and it’s immediately clear why he was held in such affection by his neighbours on the river.

I particularly like one line that makes me smile in particular: ‘They call these things danbuoys – they must have been named after a man called Dan Boy.’

Boxing Day at Rye Harbour

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

dscf6189

Old beach boat at Rye Harbour. Click on the thumbnails for much
larger photographs

It’s almost a tradition in our house to take a trip down to Rye Harbour on Boxing Day, if the weather’s bright and clear – see this post from the same day last year. This time Julie’s cold and my injured right Achille’s heel prevented us walking very far, but I did manage to grab a few shots.

A nice bonus was that the pub has this photo including  singer, fisherman and ferryman Johnny Doughty on its wall. Johnny died in the mid-1980s,  but although the publican couldn’t say who was in the picture, I was pleased to find there were still people in the bar who remembered the old fella living in the hamlet and singing in the pub.

There are more photos of the old boy and the ferry, and a host of great images of local beach boats being used and built at the  Rye Harbour website – just enter the terms ‘Doughty’ and ‘boat’ in the search gizmo to find them.

Some time ago I put up a post some time ago explaining the story behind one of the songs most closely associated with Johnny, The Wreck of the Northfleet.

dscf6185 dscf6202

Above left: the channel to the sea.  I suppose there’s not much call for pilotage
services when the tide’s low. Above right: the River Brede

dscf6199 dscf6201

Motor launch at a boatyard near Rye. It’s interesting to compare this motor launch
with the one shown in this post

dscf6205 dscf6208

Can anyone tell us something about this mysterious and interesting boat? Whoever designed it knew where a little extra standing room would cause the least harm to the boat’s sailing qualities

Swale photos… I’ve got to get them off my chest so here they are!

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

Smacks in Faversham Creek

Rather like the way a bundle of unexpected money can burn a hole in one’s pocket, for several days these photos have been nagging me to put them up. They’re scenes from a day’s sailing around the Swale, as locals will immediately know, and I hope they provide some interest and entertainment before we get back to the usual intheboatshed.net menu!

Thames barge Repertor

Homes at Shellness, Isle of Sheppey

North shore of the Isle of Sheppey

‘Receptive’ buoy at the southern end of Horse Sand

A fisherman in the Swale

Jetskis playing in the wake of an enormous
powerboat.
Forgive them, Oh Lord, for they
know not what they do… I guess they were
having fun, but their noise and disturbance
shook my teacup and rattled the teeth I was
trying to use to eat cake!

Biche – France’s last sailing tuna fisherman

Sailing French tunny fisherman Biche

Biche, the last sailing French tuna fishing boat is scheduled
to be relaunched in two years.

Googling around for Parisian boat-related material led me to the website of Les Amis du Biche – a society devoted to restoring and relaunching the historic sailing tuna fisherman. The grand old boat is due to be back in the water by 2010, and from the photos there has been a lot of work to do.

I’d also draw readers’ attention to the quaintly entertaining name on the side of the crane. This kind of light-hearted humour seems to happen around these machines: the crane that’s about to put our little boat in the water proclaims itself to be an Iron Fairy. It’s obviously been around long time, but I gather they are still available if you want to buy one – though the more convenient Matchbox toy version is apparently a rarity .

I was entertained by this ingeniously made video appealing for new supporters for the Biche project.

Don’t miss out – please subscribe to our new improved alerts! Click the window or profile link below.

‘O hear us when we cry to thee, For those in peril on the sea’

The Storm by William Miller

The Storm engraving by William Miller after Van de Velde, published in 1858.
From the Wikimedia

We’re in the midst of yet another storm here in the UK. I might have enjoyed them as a child, but now they set my mind racing, first to worrying about safety on the roads and to property such as houses and boats, and then I start thinking of those at sea, and finally the lifeboat crews who have to go to sea in a storm that’s already raging when they leave the land. It’s enough to stop me sleeping, but in the scheme of things that’s a minor irritation.

Last night I found myself thinking about grandeur and truth of the hymn For Those in Peril on the Sea.

Here are the lyrics complete with written-out music.

Here they are again with a playable midi sample.

Here The Daily Telegraph newspaper tells the hymn’s story.

For a little history, read a historical discussion of how Scottish fishermen coped with storms before the days of weather forecasts and also about how storms affected the fishing community at Polperro, Cornwall.

Again, here’s a 19th century story of heroism in the North-East of England.

I’ve also been thinking about the terror of going out onto a big sea in a small open without the benefit of a weather forecast. No doubt that spawned a host of superstitions and the slightly neurotic activity described in the song The Candlelight Fisherman. There’s a joke that some allegedly lazy fishermen wouldn’t go if the flame didn’t blow out, on the grounds that there would be no wind to carry them home, and like most jokes I’m sure it had some grain of truth.

Also, see Out on a Shout, the RNLI’s rescue activities as they happen. In case you’re wondering, there have been a lot of launches in the bad weather of this winter.

I started off by saying that we’re thinking about storms here in the UK, but I’d argue the weather is making many of us think of more than just the weather. Stay safe and stay alive, everyone.

PS – If you get a moment, print out the Miller engravings – on some nice paper, they could be just what you need to hang on your wall!

The Shipwreck, engraving by William Miller after J M W Turner

The Shipwreck engraving by William Miller after JMW Turner, published
as part of a series of 120engravings from Turner’s paintings.
From the Wikimedia

Share this with friends using the Share this link below.

Windward-sailing Barbary pirates

Xebec

Xebec pirate ship

!!This post now with added singing – see the bottom of this post!!Â

My canoe sailing and building pal Jim van den Bos sent me this link from The Times newspaper yesterday:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article1449736.ece

Here’s the TS Pelican’s website, which tells the story of her interesting rig; see also this article by Philip Goode, the designer involved in the TS Pelican project: http://www.weatherlysquareriggers.com

The whole thing led me to speculate how Continue reading