We did it! We’ve finally got to the stage of catching fish and selling it! June started with some great weather (finally) so we got a newly spruced up Kensa back into the water at Percuil and got out fishing. When we started our project we’d just returned home from two years away on our boat ‘Planet’ so the last thing we thought we’d need to learn was sailing, but fishing under sail turns out to be a whole new ball game. Of course, when you’re sailing normally the general aim is to go in a straight line as fast as possible. Conversely, when you’re fishing under sail, you want to be able to stop and start quickly or manoeuvre up and down over a mark at a controlled slow drifting speed.
So we were really pleased when we managed a decent catch of pollock doing just this; tacking upwind to one side of the mark, then drifting downwind with the mainsail brailed up and using the mizzen and the tide. We were even more pleased when we got home and sold it! Our first customer was Ross from the Atlantic Fryer; we couldn’t think of a better place for our pollock to end up. The Atlantic Fryer’s fish and chips are legendary; homemade, fried in beef dripping and utterly delicious. So we were very proud to see our fish on the menu the next evening and are looking forward to it becoming a regular fixture this summer.
We’d heard a rumour there was some mackerel around so with our minds set on a sunny barbecue we headed out to look for it later that week. After an early start we found ourselves a nice shoal out in Falmouth Bay and by lunchtime we were heading in with a healthy box of fish. The wind died, the sun came out and it was all pretty perfect apart from the requirement to row ‘Kensa’ in those conditions! Fortunately with her big sail plan she’ll move along nicely under sail even in the lightest of winds, but occasionally when there isn’t even a breath on the water we have to resort to man power to get her home. Still, it gave us plenty of time to sort our catch and set about selling it so that by the time we got in we had orders placed and mackerel gutted and boxed. And we looked like a proper fishing boat; somehow even if there’s not a bird in sight, the minute you throw guts over the side a swarm of seagulls appears and circles the boat!
Having reached the milestone of selling our fish and turning our project into a business, it seems appropriate that this update from us is our last. When I started writing posts for Roseland Online a year and a half ago, we had an almost completed design for ‘Kensa’ and a lot of ideas. Building her, launching her and getting to the stage we’re at now has been quite slow and not always easy. Had we lived somewhere without such a close-knit community I would imagine we might be still building her now! The support and help we’ve had from Portscatho and the Roseland has been incredible, so thank you all very much.
We’ve now moved ‘Kensa’ round to Portscatho and are out fishing most days so look out for us sailing and rowing round Gerrans Bay or selling our fish from our Portscatho Fish branded Land Rover! We’re very proud of our fish; it’s very fresh, it’s very local and it’s all caught without using an engine. Well,
apart from the Land Rover delivery. We’re not quite mad enough to push our catch around in a wheelbarrow, although by the time we get in we’d often be happy for someone to push us around in one!
On days we’re out fishing we let everyone know when we’re on our way back in with fish via our Twitter and Facebook pages. Once we are ashore, we deliver any orders as well as calling to the houses of customers who have joined our ’round’. If this takes your fancy and you would like to join this list, please give us a shout. There is never any obligation to buy if we call round with fish but we’d love to hear from you! You can find all our details on our shiny new website at www.portscathofish.co.uk. Hope to see you soon!