Tuesday 24 April 2007

I'm going fishing. We'll come too!

Last week I spent on the coast of the English Channel and did some fishing. Declan and Marie brought baby Benedict and Fr Stephen joined us for part of the week. Declan has a commercial fishing boat and is an amateur drift-netter. This photo shows the first excursion made by Declan and myself in an infatable to reconnoitre the fishing grounds near Bognor.

We went out each day to drift-net and troll. We caught two fish but the sea was absolutely tremendous even with Spring Tides each day. I don't have any photos of the fishing as we didn't want to lose the camera while we were out at sea. One night we went out at dusk - this was a first for me - and put out the nets about half a mile from the shore. I thought of St Peter and his companions in the twenty first chapter of St John's Gospel - we caught nothing that night! Declan is learning the art of drift netting and is very competent with the nets. Marie too has great seamanship and the two of them enjoyed some high speed thrabber.

Fishing with nets was an extraordinary and poignant experience for a priest - especially just after Easter! And it is a great blessing for a priest to know a fisherman (with a boat).

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