10th of June 2015.
I awoke this morning with a throbbing headache, my sinuses are already blocked and all I wanted to do was stay in my Motel bed and sleep, but I know how much we need this money. It would be selfish to turn the job down, I have mouths to feed and I doubt there’ll be anymore fishing jobs until the Southern waters warm again in the spring. God, I wish I were back in a warm bed. I haven’t had to work a winter job since I was a teenager, my muscles and joints don’t handle the cold like they used to, we only shipped out today, I haven’t even spent a night at sea yet and my body is already sore.
I arrived at the Port MacDonnell dock’s early this morning; five am just as was agreed prior to my employment. I met the rest of the crew, two young lads, neither of which looked eighteen to me, but they both insisted they were. One is short and has a face covered in pimples and the other tall with a patchy beard, the short one is named Andrew and the tall one Sid. They both seem fit enough, but I expect them to get a wake up call when the real work begins. The first mate was also there, already loading supplies onto our ship, his name is Parker, a big muscly bald bastard with two full sleeves of what look like prison tattoos, he seems a hard worker but not very friendly. Parker is the only one of the crew to have worked with our Captain, Jonathan before. Jonathan wasn’t at the docks when I arrived, he was still at his Motel, sleeping off the previous nights drinks. Parker insisted that this was unlike him and he will be much more professional once we get out to sea, but I have my doubts.
The Captain didn’t arrive until nearly nine o’clock, much to my frustration. He seemed oblivious to his tardiness, he lit up a smoke and slapped us all on the back and shouting words of encouragement as he made his way onto the ship. We’d loaded all our supplies earlier in the morning so we departed soon after the Captain’s arrival.
Not much to say of the first day, the seas are calm and we seem to be making up for our late departure. Parker continues to be aloof, he only talks to the Captain, he goes up to the bridge every hour to discuss something with the Captain, their talks have gotten more and more heated as the day has worn on. I get the impression that Parker is the one that runs Jonathan’s ships not Jonathan.
The sun has begun to set and we’re getting ready to sit down to dinner, the Captain has already helped himself to three glasses of wine and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. I should have asked for my pay in advance. I have a bad feeling about this voyage, the Captain is seeming more and more like a drunk and half the crew has little to no experience. None of this is ideal for where we are heading, the Captain insists the fishing is better down south, just under Tasmania he reckons, but I have little reason to believe him. I only hope he hasn’t already drank away my pay check and that I still receive my pay in full when this expedition inevitably fails.
11th of June 2015.
I woke up with a surprising burst of energy this morning, while I do wish I could wake up beside my wife Katie I do find that I sleep better out at sea, the rocking of the waves puts me out just like a baby. The young lads didn’t seem to sleep as well, it’s barely eight am and they must’ve drank a pot of coffee a piece already.
Tasmania came into view at about six thirty this morning, tired as they were the two young lads got quite the kick out of seeing the island appear out of the mist, it temporarily woke them up. Parker suggested we try our luck in Northern Tasmania, a popular choice among the crew, it is already freezing, and we have no strong desire to go further South, but the Captain was insistent that we go further and so we continue sailing.
12th of June 2015.
Yesterday was a slow day, at the Captain’s insistence we spent the day navigating our way down the coast of Tasmania, it took most of the day, but I think we can finally begin fishing. I certainly hope we can, all of us are freezing and in need of some work to help keep us warm. We all want to get our haul and get back to the mainland, especially Parker. Parker seems nervous and uncomfortable, he mutters constantly that we shouldn’t be this far South, I can never tell if he’s talking to us or to himself. Every time I try to respond to him or engage him in conversation he ignores me. Fortunately, I have the two young boys to keep me company, they sit in awe listening to my sailing stories and they’re poor poker players, maybe I can actually salvage some money from this job before we make it back to port…..
Dear God, what a horrific day this has been. Not long after noon the power on the ship cut out, the waves tossed us around and no land could be seen in any direction. In the Captain’s drunken stupor, he lost our position on the chart and without power we had no way of finding land. We spent the afternoon cold and damp, drifting aimlessly around the Tasman sea until nightfall when our luck finally changed. Just South of us, of in the distance Parker spotted the distinct beam of a lighthouse. The Captain has shifted our course and we should be back on land soon enough. This job was a disaster just as I predicted and given the way the Captain talks to the crew I doubt I’ll see a paycheck for this but at least I’ll not be stranded at sea.