Thursday, April 13

Jobs I've had in Pos-01

My friend Laras' family offer wonderful boat trips along the Amalfi Coast and around Capri. ( In 1994 they had a 20m professional fishing boat and offered night fishing excursions, taking up to 50 people out while they fished. The procedure involved a small rowing boat with a large lamp hanging off it to attract the fish. Once enough fish were drawn to the light, the large boat would slowly circle around letting out nets hundreds of metres long and weighted at the bottom.The bottom of the net would be drawn in and slowly tightened until the fish were trapped. The nets full of fish were then winched in by a crane, cooked and eaten straight away.

Lara and I would start the evening loading the plates, cutlery,drinks,bread, onions and lemons into the galley.The bread,lemons and onions all had to be sliced. Chopping 30 onions in a small
enclosed space is not fun! We would end up with eyes streaming and mascara trails down our cheeks. Later on we had the bright idea to chop the onions outside.
We welcomed the guests on board and gave them drinks.Once the fishing ritual started there wasn,t much to do until the catch was on board. Then came the pleasant job of gutting and deheading up to 300 kilos of small fish.With our hands. (Snap neck sideways, break head off, chuck it overboard, dig thumb into top of belly and scoop out the slimey bits.)(sorry!) Every now and then we,d find a little baby octopus and squeal as it suckered up our arms. We put them back in the sea afterwards,to the annoyance of the fishermen.

The fish were rolled in flour and salt and fried by Salvatore, the best fisherman in town. Lara and I handed out plates of the fresh, fried fish with bread, lemon and onions (I never got the onion thing,no one ate them). We would escape for a while to the roof of the boat, with plates of fish and a bottle of wine. As the boat neared the beach we would start clearing up and collecting rubbish. We would finish work at about 1am and go home to shower off the fish scales. There was a water shortage that year so the water was turned off all night long. In the mornings we would fill about 10 empty bottles, so that in the evening we had to stand in the shower pouring cold water over ourselves, frantically scrubbing at the same time! More often than not we would then get dressed and go down to the local nightclub for a couple of hours.

The fishing boat was eventually sold and replaced with a smaller boat for the day excursions, which if you ever find yourself in Positano in the summer, I highly recommend!


  1. Well what do you know! This morning I was thinking "how can I learn how to clean fish?" and there you are with such a lively and simple how-to!

  2. After having cleaning so many fishes, do you still like them now ?

  3. I still like them, but don't like cooking fish at home 'cos of the smell!

  4. Well I can recommend then boat excursion. I personally had a very special time and cannot wait to make it again this time with my good lady.

    Is that Gloria in one of those photos. Please say hi to Lara and Gloria for me.

    All the best



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