The fisherman, the sea, and us
The fishermen on the Costa Brava have chosen a difficult profession: they have to take their boats out to the sea almost every day and regardless of the weather. In the late afternoon the fish they caught is auctioned in the harbour. On some days you don’t catch much of anything – other days the nets are full to the point of bursting. A little luck is of the essence. If you join the fishermen for a few hours, you can learn a lot about their hard life. You have to get up early, though.
Roses, six o’clock in the morning. It’s still pitch dark. The sea is calm. Otherwise they would not have taken us. A trip with the fishing boat can only be arranged spontaneously. You are told only the night before if the weather is going to be good enough and, thus, if you are going to be taken out to the sea. But we are spontaneous and ready anytime for an adventure. In August, we finally got the call and were able to ride out with a fisherman.
The captain, teacher and storyteller on our trip: Joan Piris
The fisherman from Sant Pere Pescador awaits us already with his small fishing boat in the port of Roses. Joan took up the profession of his ancestors only a few years ago and bought a small fishing boat. One can only become an independent fisherman if one inherits or buys a fishing license. Places are limited and hard to get. The life of a fisherman is a constant struggle for survival, combined with a particular sensation of liberty. The myth of adventure, freedom and strength, however, can be deceptive. The bank wants the monthly rate for the boat and the family must be able to live on the income throughout the year. Diesel is expensive and the sea is ill-tempered, it is hard work and out on the sea the fisherman is all on his own confronting the universe – alone with storms, the sun and the waves.
We entrust ourselves to Joan Piris, his boat and the universe for a few hours. Slowly, the sun rises out of the water and breaks through morning fog and clouds. This spectacle alone was worth getting up early.
Wind in our hair, freedom in our hearts and a romantic panorama in front of our eyes – feelings of happiness and puré adrenaline!
The hard work of a fisherman
While the sun is rising, we have a little time to chat. However, when we reach the first buoy where Joan laid his lines the night before, concentration is required and the hard work begins: to get the fish and seafood out of the water needs a lot of strength. Joan Piris uses the traditional method of longline fishing (“palangre” in Catalan). The «peix de palangre» is considered especially delicious and is highly sought after in the restaurants of the region. Joan has specialized in gilthead. Today, a particularly large one swims on the hook. Unfortunately, the monster seems to have deterred his fellows. In total, the catch is a bit disappointing. This is not a rare thing; therefore, many fishermen now take tourists on their boats from time to time, to make some extra money.
Joan Piris also has decided to sometimes go fishing with company. If the weather cooperates, he can take some tourists with him on his adventurous work trips to the sea.
Escorted by screaming gulls: Krah! Kraaah! – like in Alfred Hitchcock’s «The Birds» – we end up again in the port of Roses at noon. We would love to take the fresh fish home with us. Unfortunately this is not possible because, according to regulations, the total catch must be auctioned. The adventure has made us hungry and it’s time for a hearty breakfast on the beach – without fish!
Experience a day of fishing in first person!
1. The life and art of the fishermen of Roses:
Embark throughout the day in a trawling boat, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. you will get to see the fishermen’s daily routine, sharing the typical fisherman’s communal lunch.
2. Embark one morning in a small-scale fishing boat, from 6 am to 1pm. You will share the fisherman’s daily routine in a very up-close and personal way following the coastline.
3. Get close to a traditional fishing boat to observe how fishermen work, from 7 am to 11 am.
Information and reservations:
650 27 24 27 /firstname.lastname@example.org
Per person from 140 euros. Excursion to 30 September possible.
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