A lifetime at sea

Retired skippers John Arthur Irvine and Willie Williamson have more than 100 years of fishing between them. Both played a key roll in progressing Whalsay’s pelagic fishing industry to what it is today. Here they share some of their stories with Cloe Irvine. They worked close to shore and learning from the older hands of how to navigate using fishing ‘meids’ was essential. When the first Decca navigators came in they helped a bit but they were a far cry from the satellite navigation that is the standard today. Recalling those early fishing trips to John Arthur, now 77 years old, said it had been vital to take on board the lessons that the older generation had passed on. “We didn’t even have a radar when we first went to Aberdeen, with stacked mist half of the time. >click to read< 08:11

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