Mickey

Fishing techniques

Having spent several years in the sea, I have come to a conclusion that success in fishing is measured by the size and number of fish you get at the moment. For you to triumph in this vocation, you need to be on time and at the right place and of course luck involved! I have experienced fishers getting to the water early to no avail, and someone comes later and boom they get a catch of their life.

Whether you are in fishing as a recreational activity or professional, you need to know the different techniques and tools that are required for you to have a fair amount of success. First and foremost, fishing was done from ages ago and with this in mind, you know they are several methods used in catching fish both traditional and the developed ones. In either way, you will require some tools to go about with your expedition.

Fishing tools can either be used passively or actively. Active fishing refers to the scrupulous fish hunting using tools such as seine net, trawl net or a ‘fishing gun.’ Passive fishing, on the other hand, refers to waiting and watching for a fish to be trapped by your tool ‘magically.’ Tools used in passive fishing include trap net, line net, etc. fishing tools have evolved gradually but the technique used is more of the same. Some of the fishing techniques are discussed underneath.

Octopus fishing, this type of a cephalopod is known to shelter in hollows in the sea especially a seabed. Its catch is purely based on this fact. Plastic barrels or clay pots, the lid exclusive, are fixed in a rope with reasonable intervals and left in water for a few hours to days. The fish are trapped, and later the fisher comes to collect them. Different regions and different times use this technique but with different tools example in the Arctic locale, the fish is caught using a rod attached to a line and a lure, in Switzerland, they use la gamble with a line and a sequence of hooks while in the North they use a Walrus tusk.

Trawling is also a fishing technique that involves the use of nets and requires pulling a trawl net (funnel-shaped) behind a trawler (boat) consequently catching fish. Bottom trawl catches fish species that shelter around the seabed like whiting, haddock or cod while pelagic trawl targets mid-water fish species like the tuna, anchovies, and mackerel.

Sardine fishing is another fishing technique that has been on the use since the ancient times. This fishing technique makes use of two sorts of fishing nets; the seines, and gillnets. Seines surrounds the shoal thus ensnaring the fish; gillnets catch the fish by trapping their gills

The above methods are only used in the shallow sea fishing; however, deep sea fishing is discouraged in most areas around the world to evade overfishing. Another fishing technique that is discouraged globally is electro-fishing. Electro-fishing and deep-sea fishing cause diminution of numerous fish species and stock. While these laws do not entirely solve the aquatic ecosystem imbalance, at least they conserve little marine life.

But is She Sea Worthy?

I am an inveterate sailor through and through. While I do love a grand sailboat, or even a yacht now and then, I can make do with anything that floats. Just for sport, the other day I acquired an old metal boat that needed a bit of repair. Sure, I want to get on the water fast, but I am not loathe to wield a torch and undertake a metal project. I hope I have the goods to get it seaworthy. It’s time to get out the old metal shop primer from my dad and try my luck. I could watch a few explainer videos for extra security in executing the task.  It will be fun to see if this well-worn item has any life left in it.

Do it yourself projects are few and far between for me. I am not a stay-at-home guy. I prefer to do something outdoors and active that entails a blue sky and white clouds. If I am on a body of rippling water, I am relaxed and in the zone. Practical matters like repairing a boat interfere with my passion. However, there is a time and a place for working in the garage with a trusty MIG welder. I have had one for years, another gift from my handyman dad. Little did he know what I would eventually do with it. I thought it was for looks!

The metal areas of the boat were rusty for sure and the repairs were fairly minor. I didn’t need any real skill to get the job done. I used the garden hose to test the seams, and by golly, they held. No water escaped, and the vessel was ready for a test run. I was proud of my handiwork and stowed the welder away for future necessity. I don’t expect to use it anytime soon. After all, how often do you buy an old boat? Now this one is small, like a rowboat, suitable for kids. I might lend it to my neighbor for his teenagers, who like to go out on the lake. They can even put the thing on the top of their SUV. Their mom could pack a nice lunch and fills a thermos, and they would be set for the day. I should follow suit,  but this was more of a hobby or craft and not a serious job.

The four-year-old next door likes to sit in it and hold the oars. At least it has some immediate use, like a play pen. The oars are too big, of course, and the tot struggles to reach them. I love the cute kiddy simulation of what this restored boat can do. This calls for my own YouTube video. Things with kids almost always go viral. I’ll give it a go.

Marine Water Tank Maintenance Tips

Boat owners have all kinds of specific responsibilities. They have to take care of the vessel and clean and maintain it after every sailing. A good sailor knows about spit and polish. I learned all about that in the Navy. It pays to have a few friends to help out. You can pay them back with a cool picnic on the water. The masts have to be check for possible repairs and the sails for rips and tears. Boat insurance must be in good order to cover the time at sea or in the slip. Not surprisingly, boats can be stolen or vandalized. They can be crashed into by wayward operators who aren’t minding the store. Perhaps too much beer on board.  It is a pricy hobby given all the requirements. But they lead to a good time, so I do them with pleasure.

One of the customary chores is to maintain the marine water tank. I make sure that it is in good working order and has a proper whole house water filter to maximize health. Impurities are a no no at sea because you are often far from the shore and a sudden sickness from bacteria, for example, will have no immediate remedy. It is not a good position to be in, especially if you are the only one on board.

I have my regular routine. It accompanies my boat log and radio maintenance that are done before I go out as opposed to after the fact. Thus, there is preparation and then there is cleanup. The first one is the most fun. By the way, of course I carry bottled water all the time, but more is needed, such as when I swab the decks. I have run out of water before on very hot days and had to resort to the reservoir to make it back to shore in one piece. No one wants to show up at the dock dried and shriveled from a day in the sun with no hydration.

Boating is a sport for the ambitious. You have to want the extraordinary experience on the water and a keen sense of adventure. It is not for the faint at heart. There is a lot of skill and work involved. Sure, changing a water filter is a no brainer, but there all kinds of chores that must be learned to be performed up to par.

I have been doing it so long that I forget what it takes and friends on board need a lot of instruction to be of help. Nonetheless, I love the special kind of entertaining involved and relish the pleasure it brings to everyone who joins me at the helm.

Part of a Team Again

You must be a fan of sailing and/or a boat operator since you have found my blog. I am more than fan; some say I am borderline obsessive. So join the fun of a pastime close to my heart. I got hooked as a Navy boatswain and went on to run a fishing charter boat. For me, fishing is a profession and a recreational activity that everyone should try. I hope to convey some of the thrill of my experiences, then and now. If you want a new hobby that is challenging and exciting, get out on the water.

Sailing can be a solitary endeavor much of the time. You enjoy the forward movement of your boat as it progresses through the water on its way to a silent destination. When you get there, you can’t wait to sail back home. It is all about the travel. You can always take a break for a rest or a quick meal and then resume your work as a lone sailor in search of adventure. Water is the ultimate soother and also the paradigm of relaxation, that is until the wind perks up and you start barreling along. I wish I could share it with others more often. I need to talk it up to attract interest.

I miss the camaraderie of the Navy and being part of a team effort. To tackle the loneliness, I joined an adult basketball team, so I can share free time with my buddies. Maybe I will lure them into a bit of sailing with me for a different kind of group experience. I had to go out and buy a whole lot of equipment to get started, and there were a lot of choices that I needed to make, like the differences between an indoor and outdoor basketball. Meanwhile, basketball is dynamic and challenging and great for the spirit, not to mention the ego when you make those difficult shots amid all the fighting and scrambling for access to the ball. I have enjoyed basketball for years as a spectator sport, and I even have a portable TV on board my boat during playoffs. That is what you call a diehard.

So sailing and basketball are dual aspects of my athletic life. There is a time for one or the other depending upon the weather conditions and time of year. Most spring and summer days, you will find me on the water contemplating the next basketball game. How’s that for merging your favorite hobbies. Sailing lends itself to daydreaming until it is time to man the sails and take charge of Mother Nature. She always delivers and never fails to disappoint. You never know what she has in store for the adventurous sailor looking for excitement and pure joy.

Basic shipboard safety

Remember your first time on a ship or a boat? The experience of a first timer on the ship is unique for everyone but mainly revolves around safety. When boarding a ship, or in this case any vessel that navigates in the sea, one needs to take some precautions for their safety. These precautions include having appropriate safety equipment, safely boarding a water vessel and observing all safety rules and regulation in the vessel.

Many types of equipment fall under the safety equipment in the water vessels. This equipment includes;

  • Antistatic and nonslip footwear. This is footwear that has a firm grip on the ground to prevent any accidents, especially on the slippery ground. This grip protects one from slipping and falling.
  • High visibility dress code. When preparing to board a ship, one is advised to wear bright colored clothing like orange, yellow, etc. With these colors, one can be spotted from far and in case of any accidents being recognized takes a shorter time.
  • Life jackets. A life jacket is a type of spongy clothing that one wears above his or her clothes to support floating in case of an accident. Despite your weight and size, wearing a life jacket can save your life a big deal.
  • A working source of light or Intrinsically Safe torch. A source of light is an essential tool in a ship especially if you are there for quite some time.
  • Gloves, overall and a safety helmet

For confined spaces in vessels, you will require some additional safety equipment which includes:

  • The automatic and manual resuscitation system
  • Lifeline, location line, and safety harness
  • Confined space salvage equipment or a breathing apparatus.
  • The intrinsically safe communication line
  • A multi-gas alarm that detects toxic gases in the human body
  • An individual system alarm that consists of motion sensors and an indication system that alerts you when a person on board is unconscious.

When it comes to boarding a water vessel, one needs to follow the advice of the ship crew for his/her safety. Getting on and off a water vessel is often done through a gangway or an accommodation ladder which should be secured safely. Movement from one vessel to another especially if one of the vessels is moving is perilous and much discouraged. If it is necessary to do so, ensure you know how to use a rope ladder since it is the only way to access a vessel from another. When working on board, you should be aware they are several hazards in the vessel that you need to protect yourself from. This protection comes with wearing gloves especially if you have to work on some corners and hideous places in the vessel like under seats, in the washrooms, etc.

With basically following the vessel crew and master safety rules and measures you will naturally be safe in the vessel. Good luck!

Marine conservation

The waters occupy 95% and 70% of biosphere and earth surface respectively. These waters help human beings a great deal and should be conserved to the maximum; on the contrary, the ocean life is under survival strain. Human being continuously abuses the sea and the living organisms in it through processes like overfishing, pollution through disposing of dirt especially industrial remains in the oceans and plastics from coastal regions residents. A considerable number of aquatic organisms like birds, turtles, fish, and mammals are in jeopardy. The threat of extensive damage to marine life is significantly increasing and this, in the long run, will lead to loss of marine life species and genetic diversity. New manageable approaches should be considered to end the marine life damage with ensuring that the unique features of aquatic ecosystems are restored.

They are several human life and natural factors that affect marine life and stir its extinction. These factors include:

  • Species overfishing

Fishing has a drastic effect on our oceans. Increasing demand for fish products and fish meat has led to enhancement of fishing in large scales. Due to this, the big fish population is significantly decreasing with an approximate 90% value from original population every year. This reduction upsets the marine food chain causing the prey population to excessively grow due to lack of predators. The constant reductions of the targeted fish cause fishers to look for other fish species altering the marine ecosystem.

  • Organist waste

Organic waste includes sewage runoff and fertilizers from farms. This waste is dumped into the oceans through rivers that have their sources in the oceans and seas. When these wastes are dumped, they cause a huge effect on marine ecosystems. This organic waste disposed of in oceans causes algae to flourish in the oceans. The algae, in turn, consume oxygen meant for the aquatic life species or produce toxins killing of the marine species.

  • Greenhouse effect

Oceans absorb most of the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide that is in the air. These gases combine with seawater reducing its PH. PH affects the acidity of water hence its reduction leads to an increase in acidity. Acidic water, in turn, affects marine plant and animals and also weakens shellfish and coral.

  • Dumping and pollution

Human pollution is a significant factor in ocean life. The highest trash found in oceans is that of plastic. The Pacific trash vortex contains an approximate 2.0 million waste in every square mile. Besides the plastic and paper trash, oil spillage from industries causes a significant loss of marine species.

Marine protection starts with you and me. Marine conservation should not only be left as a task for the marine agencies only. Marine conservation should be practised by all regardless of where we live or what we do to earn a living. It is as simple as minding where we dispose our trash. If we all get a marine conservation mindset, then we can be assured that we will have a balanced ecosystem in the oceans.

Winterizing your vessel

During winter you cannot afford to take your vessel on the water. When the winter season is approaching this means that the boating season is coming to an end and this means you have to start taking into account ways to protect your asset. The effort you put in during this period will have an outcome come spring. The process of winterizing your boat will affect how your boat will perform in the next boating season. With this in mind you cannot risk losing your boat just because of negligence, and guess what? The insurance company too can’t help you in you’re your vessel is ruined out of neglect and lack of maintenance!

For your vessel to continuously serve you for a long time the best place it should be during winter is away from water and covered in a boat storage area which is climate controlled. This can be somewhat expensive so you can consider other options like shrink wrapping or provide a super protective cover for your boat. If these options are unachievable, you can also try covering your boat with a sturdy or tarp cover. Either way, it should be protected.

When winterizing your vessel, the first step you need to take is making a checklist of the operations you need to accomplish. You can also refer to your vessel manual for recommendations on the winterization process or get a professional to help you in the undertaking, especially if you are an amateur on the job.

When making your winterization checklist make sure to feature in the inboard and outboard engines, stern drives, fueling system, bilges, head, in and out of water storage, interior and the freshwater system.

The purpose of the inboard engine maintenance procedure involves; drain all the water in it, fill in a winterizing antifreeze or leave it dry. In case the inboard engine is a closed system, fill it with a mixture of water and the antifreeze agent. The outboard engine maintenance procedure often comes with the vessels manual. For the bilge and live well pumps, use compressed air or a non-toxic antifreeze agent to run through the discharge line. The process of winterizing the interior parts of your vessel include removing valuables, fire extinguishers, electronics, fenders, flares, etc., clean the vessel lockers and drawers, clean and leave open the freezer or refrigerator, check bumper pads, trailer lights, frames, and tires for corrosion. Before storage, it is advisable to dry your vessel and put in a dehumidifier or a moisture absorber merchandise such as ‘Dump Away’ ‘Sportsman’s Mate’ or ‘No Damp.’ After the maintenance process is due, you should now store your vessel in an enclosed or climate-controlled area.

With proper maintenance, your vessel will endure the winter period and when springs arrive your vessel will be free from any problems and will work as required.

Life as a sailor

Spending several years as a sailor and being on board, I can conclude that life in the sea is splendid. Maybe I am a little obsessive with the sea, but hey! That’s who I am. I have never felt tired of the sea life; apart from of course being away from my family as the only immense con. Does my whole life revolve around the ocean, sea vessels and everything that deals with it? Probably yes. We have what we like doing so why not try being around the sea?

I know they are several other people out there who share my sentiments. Taking an example of E.B White, he was a dedicated sailor and often writes several articles and journals about the need to be on the sea. He once stated that, if one has to be fixated about something, it should be a water vessel. Let’s find out what it takes to be a sailor.

To begin with, it feels blissful to be around the ocean or sea. Every day of a sailor is a day to witness the stunning seascapes of tranquil and serene oceans. It feels good to wake up every morning and find yourself floating on an enormous vessel in some place you can’t tell. It is always a moment to enjoy being out of the world civilizations, noise, and air pollution.

You may ask, don’t these sailors get bored living around an enclosed space with little choices to make? The answer is absolutely no. You cannot afford to be bored in the sea, and of course, you have a lot to focus. As a ship attendant particularly a boatswain, you have a lot of responsibilities in the vessel you cannot afford to assume. When I am not working, it is an excellent time to spend time reading books and blogs, working out, playing indoor games, video games, socializing with other sailors and also enjoying wonderful meals.

Despite all the enjoyable stuff, sailing offers it also comes with a few negative comebacks. Some of them are the rough weather conditions, storms and dealing with pirates. Despite having accurate and modernized weather forecasting systems, at times they are hostile sea conditions that comprise high pitching and rolling that makes it intricate to work or even sleep. Piracy is one of the worst experiences on the sea and is highly watched, controlled by observing stern anti-piracy procedures and measures to ensure safety.

Missing family and friends who are not on board is another disadvantage that tackling it proves hard at times but thanks to the technology we can be connected. Leaving behind loved ones in every endeavor causes terrible feelings, and we can all do nothing about it. Being on board, we use Skype, video chat as much as we can to keep the connection. Most shipping companies also offer family carriage. As sailors, carrying a wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend and even kids on board is one of the undeniable bliss. The family gets the advantage of boarding and roaming around the ports, and also you have them at all times.