AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC - LONGLINE FISHING BOAT
The work goes on up to 18 hours a day, shooting out, hauling-in, eating on the run, and, of course, barely sleeping. There’s a constant soundtrack of bawdy banter, but beyond the rough-house stuff, there’s a genuine affection, a camaraderie that keeps the peace as rogue waves smack the working deck while tempers fray and work goes on. In such close quarters you need a big heart and a sense of humour.
Idle moments are rare and to be treasured. It’s hard to imagine a coal miner pausing momentarily to appreciate the beauty of the seam ahead, but out on the sea mounts that’s exactly what the long liner crew do.
They marvel at their work place. They watch in awe as a sea bird swoops majestically from on high and claims a fish carcass, or a pod of dolphins fans out in formation to ride the bow wave. They check the pink hues of the gathering dusk through the localised squalls and know they’ll be sitting down to dinner in calmer water. You wouldn’t be out here unless you loved it, and they do.
The last fish bins are in the cold room, the decks are washed clean and the Diana is steaming home through the black night. It’s been a fair trip – not vintage but good enough to pay a few bills.
And in less than 24 hours the men will be on terra firma for all of two days before the cycle starts again. Enough time for a few beers and a steak dinner or two, then they’ll be ready. They always are.( Words Australian Geographic)