The reality is far different to what I imagined. I answered a job advert, and quickly found myself on a fishing trawler surrounded by 20 guys who didn't speak a word of English. We set off for the cape of Africa, braving the rough waters of the Atlantic. I sang a few traditional fisherman songs to keep our spirits up, but many of the men seemed perturbed by my dance moves to Oops Upside Your Head. Neither did they seem particularly keen on my rendition of Whigfield's Saturday Night. I started to suspect that I was on board with a bunch of fishing newbies, and I decided that, being the only one of us in an argyle sweater, I would rise up and lead these nautical n00bs. Someone had to take responsibility here.
The next day, I was awoken by a loud commotion on the deck. I scrambled upstairs to find that we were in hot.pursuit of a shipping container, which seemed to have the other men very excited. Perhaps they were having a friendly drag race with another vessel. I wasn't sure because I couldn't understand their language, plus they kept firing their guns in the air.
|What I imagined wasn't exactly what I got|
As I was the self appointed manager of this vessel, I decided to take decisive action. I noticed that we'd been out at sea for ages and still hadn't caught a single fish. At this speed, we'd be sure to capture half the ocean if we deployed our net. I moved to the rear of the boat and deployed the net straight into the water, immediately curbing our velocity and bringing the boat around in a small semi circle. My fellow fishermen seemed pretty ticked off by this, with one of them hitting me in the face with the butt of his AK-47. I began to lose conciousness, but not before I cursed whichever union gave him the power to hit his boss.
When I finally came round, I realised that we were on board the shipping container that we were chasing. One of my colleagues handed me an automatic weapon, and pointed towards a bunch of cowering people near the control deck. Their arms and feet had been tied. Perhaps this is what happens when you lose a race at sea. It appears that we had taken control of their ship, which I guess is what happens when you gamble out at sea. I could hear gunshots ringing out on other areas of the ship.
In broken English, I was told to stay and guard the prisoners. While I wasn't keen on being told what to do (being the boss and all), these Somalians seemed to understand more about the fisherman's code than me, so I stayed put.
The prisoners were Americans. They seemed very upset by this whole turn of events, and several of them were sobbing. One of the prisoners spoke to me.
"Hey buddy, if you let us go I can pay. Double what these guys are paying!"
I explained that I was the boss, but I did offer to loosen their straps as I thought being hogtied was a rather harsh forfeit for losing a race. As soon as I did, one of the passengers quickly snatched the gun from me and knocked me out cold, which seemed a bit harsh over a bit of fun.
When I awoke I found myself tied up in the cargo hold with the rest of my fishing colleagues. It seems the crew of the ship had taken control, and we were being transported to shore to face charges. I didn't really understand fully, but it seemed that my time as a fisherman was over. It came as quite a relief actually, since I can't stand the smell of fish