Trawler, by Redmond O’Hanlon


I had enjoyed Redmond’s Into the Heart of Borneo back when I was accompanying an exploratory tour to Borneo, led by Tim Laman, a Harvard rainforest biologist and a National Geographic photograper. So, when I heard about Trawler I wanted to add it to my to-read list.

If you have “enjoyed” powering along in fishing trawlers with waves coming up over the fly bridge, and had mal de mer almost every trip and yet still go out, you will enjoy this book. If you liked the movie A Perfect Storm, or The Most Dangerous Catch, you will also enjoy this book.

Redmond is an aging, out of shape writer who has the goal to go out on a fishing trawler in a level 12 gale. He sets it up with a fishing industries researcher who gets him onto a trawler in the North Sea with a talented young captain. That last greasy breakfast enroute turned out to be a big mistake. Almost all the trawlers in Thurso are in the harbor but this trawler is going out in January. The 30 something captain has millions of dollars in loans for his rig. The crew are a bunch of characters. We learn about the many superstitions connected with British trawling. For example, you are not supposed to wear green or mention cows!

I am still reading. He is just learning to gut his first catch of Greenland halibut. I will keep you posted. His descriptions are wonderfully visual (and visceral) and he is able to keep a sense of humor (perhaps somewhat in retrospect).

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About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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