Wednesday, May 8, 2013


High & Dry
 Olhao is a fishing community, so of course there are boats coming and going all the time, piloted by seamen who know their way around watercraft and can drive boats better than they drive their cars, motorcycle and trucks. Their vessels are how they earn their living so they are finely tuned crafts kept in perfect seaworthiness. Well, most of them . . . . . . . .

I saw just such an example last evening down on the waterfront. We went down just to enjoy the waterfront as the sun went down and the town turned dark. We found a bench right on the Malecon, and sat down to sit and watch for a while.

Proper Rope Work
It was low tide, and there was a fellow down below the seawall demonstrating his finely tuned boating skills. A closer look however revealed that perhaps this was not Olhao's finest at work. His boat was old, and in need of paint. It was painted an odd green below the waterline – no wait that 's not paint that barnacles and sea grass.

He was standing on shore with a rope about 12 feet long. There was a rock tied onto one end, and he was throwing it towards his boat which appeared to be attached to a rope at the aft end, but the bow was drifting. At first I thought he was trying to get the rope onto the boat to pull it in, but the rope was not long enough and kept falling short. Then I noticed a rope in the water attached to the front; he was throwing the rope hoping to catch the bow rope which he had somehow lost control of. Time after time he threw the rope without luck. Then a breeze blew the bow out further from shore. He simply waited for it to drift back in, and when it did he continued to throw the rope with little luck.
Olhao Fishing Boats

There was a woman also down there with a little dog, and I thought she was yelling at the dog, but once someone else called the dog up from the seashore I realized she was actually berating this seaman for his inability to corral her transportation.

Finally after about 15 minutes another little similar boat appeared coming in from the channel out to the islands. Seeing the embarrassing situation his compatriot was suffering he nosed his own boat with skill and dexterity towards the misbehaving craft, bumping into it and pushing it towards the shore until it could be corralled and pulled closer.

Well equipped vessel?
The woman on the shore worked her way skillfully over the rocks in her flip-flops and was helped into the boat. Once she was seated, the seaman jumped on board, started the motor and they made their way out around the dock, along the sand bar, and into the passage out towards the islands.

Oh Bill, as you expected, the ropes were simply thrown on board willy-nilly; no proper coiled ropes here.

1 comment:

  1. Jude and I have just finished reading your "dog" blog. (Was that one of his brothers we saw under a table, tethered to a chair?)The blogs, as usual, have been very interesting and informative. Sounds like you're having a great time.