After the storm we had on Christmas Eve and Christmas day a high pressure system moved in, shoving away the clouds and quieting the wind. It did little for the temperatures, though, and they remained at around -10 for the whole day. This time of the year the sun does not get very high in the sky and it does little to warm the land or the water.
It has to be said, though, that the bit of sunshine did warm the heart a bit.
After shoveling out a few tonnes (not kidding) of snow a walk was in order.
The first stop was by Parsons’ stage. A stack of anchors lies under the snow. With less reliance on fixed fishing gear–cod traps in this case–these grappling hooks (colloquially we refer to them as “grapenels,” pronounced with the long “a”) are not needed much anymore. They’ve been there for a while and will likely be there the next time I look.
In times past, the fishing stages—combination of wharf and “store” to hold tools and split/head the fish were base camp for all inshore fishermen. Over the past few decades, though, there’s been a general trend toward larger vessels that go further and spend more time at sea so these days the stages are as much a hobby as a workplace. Fortunately there are still those around, like my friend Joe Emberley who owns the yellow one, with the foresight and vision to protect a vital and beautiful part of our heritage.
Doesn’t that gull freak you out with how they it just float there on the cold salt water. The air is around -10 and the water is likely -2 or -3. You’d never say it though to look at those “rats with wings.”
Down at the new marina things are quiet today. Nobody is there at the moment but, as the day goes on you can be sure that, one by one, the vessels’ owners will be by to check on their babies, make sure the bilges are dry and the decks are free of snow and ice.
Not all of the boats are in the water. These ones, unlike most of the ones you’ve seen so far are not working boats. We call them “pleasure boats” for obvious reasons.
Most times a walk along the beach is a relaxing way to spend your time. That’s probably not the case today; best to stick to the roads.
Next stop: the bottom of the harbour…