Thursday, March 26, 2009

Donaghadee Sea Fishing

Ever caught your own dinner? Here's a quick advert for one of my favourite spring/summer activities - sea fishing from Donaghadee.

Quinton Nelson's wee boat runs from the harbour twice a day, at 10am and 7pm. It costs about £10 for the 2-3hr trip (duration is weather dependent) and is great fun. He can fit about 20 people into the boat, so group bookings must be a possibility.

Highly recommended - here's his website

I first went out on his boat when I was about 15 - and it's one of the things I've introduced my three weans to. And as the boat returns to the harbour when the fishing is done, it gives me a perfect opportunity to tell them the story of Hamilton & Montgomery arriving at Donaghadee with boatloads of their relatives in May 1606!

This also reminded me of some of the Scots language names for fish, names that are still used down the Peninsula. We call a pollock a lythe, and a coalfish is a blockan - there are probably mair. Herring are called hern, and folk that live in Portavogie are sometimes insulted by local outsiders by being called hern-hogs, which is the name for the variety of dolphin/porpoise that feeds on shoals of hern. A big crab (one that you can eat, no yin o the wee yins that skites aboot ablow the roaks) is a crubin.

Here are some pics from last August:

Jacob and his mate Andy -

Maggie-Jane and Charlie -

The box of mackerel!

UPDATE: In his Description of Ardes Barony, in the County of Down, 1683, William Montgomery - grand-nephew of Sir Hugh Montgomery - wrote that "...all the Eastern coasts thereof abounds with fishes, as herrins in harvest; also Cod, Ling, Graylords (which are near as big as Cod), whiteings, Bavins, large dog fish, Haddocks, Mackrells, Lithes, Blockans, Lobsters and crabs..."