Short stories

A day in the life of a FISHERMAN. (10 to 15 min read)

So I have always loved fishing and with fishing it does not always mean catching. Going out to sea on a boat is big deal even when you do it day in and day out.  I will explain a little bit here, when I was a young boy, barely teenager, I began working on fishing boats “trawlers”. I loved learning how the fish were being caught and then I was taken by how beautiful it is to be on the ocean. A huge sense of freedom or something like that, a sense of escape could be a word used to describe it. When we throw the ropes off and head out fishing, we leave the world and all her issues behind us and brace ourselves for a new set of headaches. Though we do not mind rolling around in fish guts or hydraulic oil if the needs come to that because when we are out there, there is only one way to get back home is be able to fix stuff, mechanical stuff and whatever a day at sea might throw up at you, you must fix as best you can until you can get back ashore. The love of the Ocean grew on me over time and almost like some sort of addiction type living, like a co-dependency “I feel alive when I am at sea”. Weird isn’t it?

All those years ago when I was starting out, I never knew that fishing and fishing boats would give me cause to travel around the world and continue working as a fisherman. Fishing has done just that for me, fishing and being a fisherman has brought me to some great places and continued to keep me alive and well. Enjoying all the different types of fishing and the different species and all of the wonderful natural nature scenes, right there in my own “office”, The SEA.

Two come to mind that are worth sharing.

Once upon a time I was working as a crab fisherman in the Pacific Ocean off the California coastline. It is a seasonal fishery that begins in winter and serves the huge Thanksgiving market. Anyways one average day while out working our pots “gear” we noticed a buoy in the distance that seemed to be diving by itself, the buoy is a little float we attach to the end of the rope so that we can see where the crab pot is in the water. We drove our boat a little closer to see and we noticed something was caught in the rope and the float was stopping the animal from diving deeper as it tried to get away from us. Though the animal came back up because it was exhausted from trying to swim and untangle itself, might even have been at it all night long. The heavier crab pot below on the ocean floor was too heavy for it to lift and so it was barely able to get its head above the water to breathe. I am no zoologist or anything but when an animal is stressed there is certain look that comes across their face, just like ours kind of. We noticed how the animal was hearing the motor from our fishing boat and trying to swim down and away from us and then pooping back up for air, the poor thing was really exhausted though. We made a decision to go a little upwind of the animal and cut off our engines and drift back with the wind to make an attempt to catch it and help untangle him/her.  As we worked on the ropes and holding the animal, of course it was sloshing around and trying to ward us off with the last of its strength. We managed to pet the animal in hopes of calming it down and we got him/her free. I wanna image it was a mommy; she took one look back at us with her mouth open and headed off down under the Ocean. That animal that day was a leatherback turtle and it was huge. I was amazed holding her fin or flapper type leg thing and her face was prehistoric looking. A little beak with another type tongue and opening inside as she was trying to shout at us I guess and spit, she was fairly exhausted though too.

On another day doing the same crab fishing may have been a different year though we noticed again something splashing in the distance. It is a little unnerving when you see a large object in the water floating around because it is almost instinct to fear it may be another fisherman’s body in the cold water. We could not tell with binoculars what was going on so we stopped hauling our gear for a bit and headed the boat over to get a closer look. The area of the California coast that day was between the Golden

Gate Bridge of San Francisco and the Farallon Islands which are a short distance out to sea from the SF bay area. As we approached the splashing in the water we noticed a dead whale floating in the water (you may have heard the expression “gone belly up” that is where it comes from) and the splashes were being made by sharks as they swam in and took a bite with tremendous force. Roughly about eight or twelve sharks maybe even up to sixteen of them, there could have been even more under the water that we could not see. They were hard to track because they came in at speed and almost hit the dead whale meat with their big open mouth and ripped a piece of meat off for themselves and turned and swam off gulping the meat down. Then they seemed to comeback for another bite. A great white shark feeding frenzy is what was happening and though we feel for the whale as I remember doing so on that day, that is how the food chain works and that was nature at her finest. We watched for a while and then headed back to work.

The two examples I share with you just now are two of thousands and there really are many more, ask any fisherman they all have hundreds and thousands of stories. Oh yeah, by the way, the turtles would not normally get caught up in the crab gear ropes like that and the crab fishing gear by design is designed to rot in the salt water of the sea quite quickly so that if the gear breaks off or gets lost the ropes and many parts will break away easily and prevent it from “ghost fishing”. The two examples are to give you an idea that it is not all about harsh and tough extreme conditions when you are a fisherman, sometimes there are wonderful awesome stories of experiences too.

And for those reasons you can probably understand that it is possible to fall in love with the sea. Some fishermen will tell you they hate the sea while secretly deep down the love her too.

My life as a fisherman has been great all the way around, like I mentioned the California coast and fishing different species and types of fishing equipment and always learning how to catch. I didn’t mention above, I am an Irishman born and raised and only ventured as far as California because of fishing. I began fishing in Ireland as young teenager and then because of having dropped out from school, I vowed to myself to see the world by way of my job and to be a fisherman all the way. Of course I have done many other types of work throughout my life as there are many different fishing seasons and there was down time too (off season).

Thinking back to when I began at only 12 or 13 or so years of age and to have lived so long as a fisherman and had so many wonderful times all courtesy of  healthy pay packets from fishing WOW!

I have used fishing to afford me to do what I want in my life and when I wanted though always centred around one season or the other. When I was a kid at about fifteen years old, I told myself that “The Ocean makes up two thirds of the world; I will never be out of work”. That is how I thought of it all the way back then. I am 47 now and it sure does feel like ten lifetimes ago that I was wide eyed and eager to learn it all and sail the seven seas, lol.

Some other funny things about fishing are the people that you meet along the way. Often times the guys involved in fishing are not college graduates and the likes, most dropped out just like I did from the academics and simply went fishing. You do encounter a lot of alcohol around the lifestyle and some drug use too. Fishing can be that means to an end for some too and it is a job where you need to know what you are doing first and foremost and then be willing to stick it out on the boat through storms and calm weather and whatever mother nature throws at you. Drug addictions seem to thrive within the industry and alcoholism too. “Rowdy uneducated fishermen” is a description I have heard being used a few times. “smelly fishermen” too. Fishing as a job can be feast or famine so big harvest and a load of money for a season and then down time with little to no income. I have never minded because I do not drink alcohol and I do not use drugs and oh yeah, if I smell of fish that means I am making money bay-beeeee!

During this past year fishing and the sea kind of divorced me. She told me sling me hook. She sent me packing and told me take a long walk off a short pier (harbour). Yup last September, it was a Saturday, not too warm though, a sunny day. The sea was calm and I headed out fishing for the day. Long winded story short on that one, the boat I was on sunk and brought me under the water with her. It was the middle of the day around about 3.00pm or so during a normal fishing day and the stupid boat sprung a leak and filled up with water. I noticed the sound of one of the engines had slightly changed from its usual ear deafening noise and I walked back to investigate. My fishing gear seemed normal everything was pressurised as should be though something didn’t seem right. The engine below that seemed to ever so slightly change her tone drives a water pump to build pressure up for fishing and I thought to myself, “not that pump shaft again” as it had been repaired before. I opened the hatch cover to investigate and to my shock, the engine room was full of water. The engine was still going because the water had not fully covered the engine completely yet. The automatic thought is that the pump has broken and the engine is pumping water into the boat now and so I shut the engine off immediately. I walked quickly to the wheelhouse to figure out what to do and within seconds the boat had capsized. Just like as long as it took you to read it or as quickly as I wrote it the boat turned upside down, well maybe over on its side and went to the sea floor. Had I had any anticipation of that being the outcome I would have dove in to the sea and swam away. There is a good chance that the shock of it all took me by surprise to say the least. I was inside of the wheelhouse and with the boat taking an abrupt upturn and over I was thrown to the floor somewhere in a little corner of the wheelhouse and I was gone from standing upright turning on all my “pump out” pumps to on the floor totally submerged in water. The weirdest piece of that is that when you are inside the wheelhouse of a boat the water is not supposed to be in there with you.

Sinking, I had to think and I had to think fast, to be honest with you, something came over me like a voice outside of myself that said “don’t Panic” I had grasped my last air and a half a mouthful of water as I did and a voice told me don’t panic while I was thrown across the boat and all kinds of noises were happening as everything was being upturned and water was gushing in from anywhere it could. I have had one or two panic situations before and a couple of traumatic ones too, nothing ever as fast and as life threatening to my life though. For example and dramatic effect, I performed mouth to mouth on my son when he was drowning beside a swimming pool once upon  time too, it didn’t work and he died as a result of that drowning.

So you can say I have had experience in life threatening and panic situations before. Though let’s stick to the fishing side of things for today.

Situation was, I was lying on the floor at least that is what I thought and the floor part was now the up part, does that make sense? I had a piece of hand railing in my hand that I was holding and I did not recognise it. In my head I thought and these were my exact words “what is this, what fucking hand rail. I know this boat there is no handrail, am I outside? Where the fuck am I?” Panic was slightly kicking in because my air was not lasting maybe as long as I had hoped. I really did not have any thought about how long my air would last, I had a nervous panic type flutter coming from the middle of my chest. The hand rail I soon realised was the step where I rest my feet when I am sitting in the chair at the wheel. This helped me understand which way was up. I did not know exactly which way was out though because water was still heaving and sloshing around as well and the inside was full of water. I pulled on the handrail and did not give any thought if I might pull it out of the wall where it was fixed, I just knew to pull towards that direction as the way out, the door, was beyond that area.

As they would say I “pulled for dear life” on that handrail and pulled myself through the water. Thinking of course I would make my way to the door, the flow of water or the boat turning around in the water like how maybe inside of a washing machine might feel, I was thrown forwards in the boat with the flow of water. I found myself in a storage area towards the front of the boat still on the inside just further forward than the wheelhouse and all the normal standing upright type spaces. This would be a cubby hole to best describe it. Luckily I was thrown in there by the water as I surfaced into a tiny air pocket where I was able to exhale and half fill my lungs with air again. This cubby hole was almost completely full of water too. I just happened to be thrown into the air pocket, how lucky was I?

I remember beginning to panic because my mind did not know where I was and I said to myself “where am I? Where is this?” Kind of like my voice inside of my own head was roaring now and I could hear myself almost crying or with a very much heightened anxiety in how I sounded to myself. The water was a murky brown slash green shade and I was feeling around and looking for whatever I could to help get myself orientated, any little bit at all.

I felt the hand rail again just around a corner and I pulled myself out of the cubby hole. Everything was so weird to be looking at the roof and the windows with the water on the inside rather than outside where it is supposed to be, right? I could see something shinny through the water as I was looking and it could have been up or down or who really knows at that point. My chest was hurting by that time and I could see myself floating with my neck and shoulders tipping the roof lifeless, arms draped outwards and my body suspended in the water. Snapping back to my panic I remember telling myself “fuck that, I ain’t going out like that”. Those were the words in my mind, just like that. I guess my mind tried to fool me or something or was I losing consciousness or something weird. My lips and mouth were trying to breathe and just take in the water, my chest was sore and my mouth was making the motion of sucking in the water into my cheeks and blowing it back out as I was trying to figure how to get out.  It was like my body was entering into survival mode and wanted to breathe yet I or my mind was pushing back against it to “No! You will die”. The shinny object I was looking at I figured out the be the chrome handle of the throttle for the main engine and so I felt for it with my hand and when I knew which way it was facing I was able to understand where the door would be based off the position of the throttle on the dashboard. I let go of the handrail and put my forearm across my head to act as protection for my head, who knows what else is hanging upside down and clattering and could even knock me out, and I pushed off with my feet in the direction of where I believed the door to be. With a few kicks and a few strokes, I believe I actually closed my eyes at that moment, the moment when I went for it. The real do or die moment. A few more kicks and a few more strokes and I got to the surface and took a big gasp. The sea was not rough at all that day and I remember as I came up for that much needed air I could here the sea almost like fizzing because of all the different things that were floating off the boat and the tiny air bubbles coming back up from under the sea where the boat was now laying.

Yes I had my life jacket and yes I was safe, well to a point at least, I was no longer trapped inside and could breathe.

I kicked of my welly boots and I saw a large 1 ton tote/bin that I used on the deck to keep my daily catch in and I swam for it and used it as a raft. A little difficult to get on top of but the area on the bottom where a fork lift would pick it up from aided me in scaling my heavy soaking body up on to it and then I began to kick my legs to head for the shore. A scene from Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn was in my mind. My breathing came back to somewhat normal and everything of me tasted like salt water. Yup the mucous from my nose and my eyes and my mouth breathing and getting bits of sea water still.

Not to be mistaken, this all took place in approximately thirty feet of water depth and one quarter mile from land or even less. This is the sandy part of the sea I was fishing in that day. While I was on my new little Huck Finn raft the nearest boat to me drove right past me, I thought he was going to make a wider turn and rescue me, he drove right past. If I had strength I could have thrown myself higher in the air out of the water for him to see me. I could not. The other boats were not far away either and none of them saw my ordeal or knew that I just sunk and am floating here in the water not far from them. People out hiking for the day were walking the local cliff walk and they raised the alarm that it appeared a boat had sunk and a fisherman was floating in the water.

There were two anglers (that is guys fishing with rods) in kayaks not too far from me and I yelled. They did not hear so I whistled with my finger inside of my mouth and one turned to see me, I raised my arm and he acknowledged that he saw me. He was probably about 600 or 800 mtrs away. Raising my arm was difficult because it was heavy from my two wet sweaters and the fact that I was kind of out of energy. I could see the other fishing boats fishing away and they could not see me. The kayak man seemed to not be moving towards me yet and was still fishing is what it looked like to me so I whistled again. I have to guess he was winding in his lines and getting his stuff together before coming to rescue me. I thought of a simple plan, get him to throw me some sort of rope and he can paddle in to the rocky shoreline and I will float on my new raft behind him until in and then I could get the wet clothes off of myself.

Another local crab fishing boat was making way out of the local harbour area and I remember thinking, please turn South, and please don’t go North. He turned South and I thought, YES! And then I saw his bow slow down and he was throwing out some pots. Then I saw him speeding up again. I could tell by the amount of white water being pushed by his bow (that’s the front of the boat). I thought “what if he doesn’t see me and runs me over” I toppled my raft to make it look larger in the water so he might catch sight of me. It then tumbled back down on top of me so I was underneath it then and I had to duck under the water and begin to get back up on my raft. The kayak man was getting closer and said the boat was coming for me, I said “fuck sakes he is not, come over here and tow me, he is shooting his pots, he is fishing”. I really was amazed I was in the debate at all.

The lobster boat approached faster and I could see the man inside was watching me and getting ready to make a manoeuvre to rescue me. I knew who the local fisherman was as this all happened right outside of my own local village where I grew up. He offered me a rope and asked “can you grab this?” I had to reply honestly, “NO” He went inside and turned his wheel and came back a little and reached his arm out to me, it was like one of those angel pictures, Michael Angelo type stuff. His finger tips were bent one way reaching out for me and my finger tips bent the other attempting to latch on to him reaching out for him too. Safe at last aboard his boat and he ordered me to sit down and take it easy. I threw off my life jacket and wanted to get my sweaters off because I was feeling warm now and the adrenaline was kicking in to overdrive. Something about being rescued, it just feels great. He sped up and got me to the harbour in a matter of a few minutes and within those few minutes the lifeboat was on the scene and the coast guard and the rescue helicopter was hovering overhead.

I tip my hat to that man for that day, even though I was no longer in the major disaster panic, I definitely needed rescuing.

I made it though and have lived to tell the tale. Coming close to death is no joke and I can openly admit it does take a toll on you. I always did want to know what Patrick might have went through the day he died in that swimming pool; I just did not want to know it so up close and in real life. I came as close as I could to experience what my own son died of without going through the act of dying.

So what happened and how did the boat sink etc?

Mechanical failure, substandard parts and all that jazz.

The main thing is I made it out and am alive.

The sea though, she divorced me that day and I have done nothing but reflect on it since. I can definitely say without a doubt something about being around boats for thirty odd years of my life, from little yawls to big vessels. I am still alive and for one reason only, it is called experience.

Imagine that episode of sinking to a less knowledgeable younger man, my thoughts are that there would be panic and dead.

Imagine what I have learned since the ordeal and about it. Kind of goes to show you that you will always do your best work and thrive in life by yourself. Never any need for passengers when the real heavy stuff needs doing. The real stuff that makes guys like me, guys like me. Few and far between.

Thanks for reading and special thanks to the people who walked the cliff that day ad raised the alarm. I have no idea who you are, you are appreciated.

If you would like to read any of my other work feel free to look up my blog or my books, Aidan Mc Nally (All are available on Amazon)


Doonbeg, Trump Vs Pope

One Thursday afternoon my good friend Mr. K. R. phoned me up and said “hey I am off of work and have time, I want to see Air force 1”.

It took me like 15 to 20 seconds to figure out what he was talking about. Ah, it clicked with me, the president of the United States is in Ireland this week on an “unofficial/official” visit.
Yeah why not, it is only a spin down the road and back.
We struck off in a company car of his, the company that he works for as a commercial fisherman. A brand new Ford ranger crew cab 4 door 191 D reg, brand new.

We headed off that afternoon and when we were cruising along the motorway it seemed like we might actually dodge the showers of rain, the brighter skies were west of us as we drove almost floating like, in the pleasant Ford ride.
We arrived at our destination, Shannon Airport and were waved through at the Garda (police) checkpoint, so we drove on in along the fencing of the airfield. We did take notice of the protesters who were somewhat fenced in at the entrance to the airport grounds but air force 1 was our target.
There she stood, out in the airfield and accompanied by two smaller jumbo jets which also stood proud with the US flags across their tail fins. Painted the same blue and white. Mr Trump definitely brought the entourage, that’s for sure.
We took some last minute video clips as we drove along the fence admiring the enormity of the airplane itself.

We had no idea how our evening was going to go nor did we have any precise plans.


As we left the Shannon airport, we were again saluted by the Garda (police) as we drove out and on past the encampment of protesters.
Just to explain, An Garda is the Irish language for our police here in Ireland.

I am not sure if my friend fully approves of me making public this story so I will have to refer to him as K. R. as I relay to you that particular evening’s carry on.
We were back on the motorway out of Shannon Airport and a series of roundabouts give you options to head for Limerick City or head for Co. Clare, primarily the large town of Ennis which is on a Limerick to Galway route.

Mr. K. R. was at the helm and as his life is spent as a trawler man, the helm is somewhere he is most familiar to be.
My good friend is an avid Donald Trump supporter and true fan really, I remember back in the day of the presidential race in the U. S. when he had his “make America great” cap and loved everything about the man.
There have even been times he has asked me to send tweets of appreciation to Mr. Trumps twitter account.


K.R. drove us in the direction of Clare County and says we will go and see if we can see him, maybe he will visit the pubs or restaurants of the local towns as Donald Trump Jr. & brother Eric had done so the night before.
“Let’s see what this Doonbeg place is all about”. On our way out to the Clare coast we saw a funny poster or two, posted by Paddy Power, an old derelict petrol station has had all new signage placed around the old run down rigging and an advertisement sign with numerous jokes. The petrol station was called Trump Plaza. The signs were a bit too comedic and a little vulgar to repeat here. A photograph was taken and on out the road west we went.
A traffic alert sign flashed with a notice saying “Traffic to Doonbeg diverted, all traffic via Kilrush” some Garda were stationed at this intersection junction and we didn’t dare infringe.
The next turn for Doonbeg was some few miles down the road which had again, Garda stationed at the Cross roads and K. R. turned up the road their direction.
Approximately 4 Garda were at the crossroads and a van and some traffic cones.

One Garda stepped out from behind the van and waved us through. We continued on this little country back road for a few miles. Each time we passed any sort of side road or other country road there were more Garda sitting at each of them and some traffic cones in the road way. The Garda moved the cones from the road in front of us as we approached and we kept on driving.
It wasn’t the warmest of evenings either but at least we had dodged the rains and the southwest coast of Ireland was definitely alive with a smooth Atlantic air stream, rolling in across the land from the ocean.

Each time we passed a Garda post we started to notice their little overnight bags beside them and K. R. and myself had a discussion about how we should find a garage (gas station) and buy a round of fresh teas and bring them back to them. Each little Garda post had a construction type night lighting on a mini cherry picker type hoist. One such Garda post had a horse box/trailer where placed inside of it were two wooden chairs, this seemed like a flash back to the 80’s to see what may have been “HQ” for the Shergar investigations, back in full use. The good old Garda post “horsebox”.


When we arrived in Doonbeg it was somewhere close to 9pm. The road we drove in on cropped-img-20190607-wa0002was from the southern side of the town. We first met vans aligning the roadside, the media, RTE, Virgin TV, BBC to name a few of the recognizable ones. There were not too many options for parking. We turned the corner around into the main street and found a parking spot further up the village by the church.
At the end of the town there was a barrier erected and again guarded by An Garda and this end of town seemed to be where the locals and reporters were mostly gathered. It only made sense that we walk back down through the village.


Feeling a little peckish I suggested we eat in one of the three or four restaurants in the village. There was a buzz in the little country village of Doobeg.
We entered one of the eateries and it was quite packed inside, it was a restaurant which is adjoined to a bar and had a doorway between the two. The girl had replied to me as I asked her “is it sit anywhere?” She told me how the kitchen closes and 9 pm and she will have to check. The time then was 9.10 pm. “Not good news for you” she may well have shouted at us as it had the same effect but she was very apologetic in letting us know of the kitchen being closed.
An Irish village is nothing new to us as we hail from an even smaller village ourselves. We went back into the street and it appeared to be the same with the other restaurants also, that 9 pm was shut off time for a bit of grub.

We walked over to the corner that seemed to have the larger crowd gathered and stoodIMG-20190607-WA0001 among the crowd and there really was an electric buzz not only to the evening weather but the people themselves. Everyone waiting for a Mr. Trump visit. I noticed behind me on the wall a little village library mounted to the wall and in it were a number of books. It was a little wall mounted book case with two glass doors. I said to K. R., I should place my book in it for the villagers. I explained to him how I always carry at least one copy of “TWO sons TOO many” with me if I am on any kind of road trip and so back to the pick up truck we went. I grabbed the book and signed it to the people of Doonbeg.
We Headed back through the village and among the crowd, passing the Garda at the check point barrier and I placed the book in the village library. We spoke with a journalist who seemed to be under the impression that there would be no show from the Trump family tonight and he explained how the reporters had all agreed to call it a night.


Our main mission then became food. We drove off out of the village on another of the roads out of the village and found ourselves back on the coast road through Kilrush again.
This time we were keeping an eye out for any food establishments for something to eat. Nothing caught the eye and it had began getting dark. It had to be close to 11pm and by that stage we ended up in the larger town of Ennis where we luckily caught a place before it closed for the night.
Having the guts stuffed, a plan needed to be made for the night. I said we either do one of three things, head home, get a hotel room or head for the coast and sleep in the truck by a beach for he night. K. R. replied

        “I am a Trump supporter and I want to wish
him well tomorrow as he flies out. Head
for the beach and we can grab a few hours
in the truck and get a little rest”.

He said he was tired from the driving and the food and offered for me to drive. And so off we went.


He pulled up the maps app on his phone and suggested we head for the beach of Spanish point which is a coastal area of county Clare. I said that we had no business going back towards Doonbeg and to keep away from all the Garda checkpoints and the likes, best we approach the coast of Clare from the northern side rather than the southern side where we had been earlier, Kilkee, Kilrush & Doonbeg. Spanish point it was and so off we headed into the dark of night out along the back country roads of county Clare.

I was following his direction and the map from his phone which to give an idea, the roads are so small and minor in these areas that when it is on full zoom on the phone you see little white roads on the map and we followed some of these. Twisting and turning and finally being able to make out a road that looked like it just ended so that told me it must be to the beach. About 50 yards or so before the end of the road we came across another Garda post and this had probably been the fifth or sixth one we had seen that night. This one was a little different though. The Garda beckoned me to come to a halt and I rolled the window down a bit.

May I see some I. D. he asked me. As the driver I had no problem in doing so and handed him my drivers license and he asked for K. R’s I. D. too. I thought this a little strange, as K.R. was only the passenger, he handed over the I. D. anyway.

The next thing I knew I was being asked for permission to search the vehicle. More Garda were showing up and we were standing in a lane way in what could only be described as the back arse of County Clare.
The rain was spitting down and I was surrounded by approx. 20 Garda who did not seem to know what they were going to do with us, they had no clue why we were there and were continuously asking us how we got this far.

Apparently we were at the golf course of the Donald’s Doonbeg resort hotel and golf course. As one of the detectives said, there was a 3 ring security perimeter set up and we made it to zone 3, how does that happen?

Another Garda had his leg up on a ditch while he used his knee to flip through sheets of photocopied paper and a flash light to try and figure out what they are supposed to do in this situation.
A little bit of chat was going on between myself and one of the Garda but I could tell they were all seething and somebody or all of them probably should be losing their jobs for not being able to deal with us or handle the situation properly.
What do you think?
A security perimeter for the president of the United States, a ridiculous budget of around 10 million Euro and an all the expenses and bonuses etc etc and they didn’t even know how we rambled on in to Doonbeg and into the center of a 3 ringed security zone.

To make matters worse, I had been telling one of the Garda of how I had walked up and down the main street of the village of Doonbeg & I had placed an item 9 inches by 6 inches thick in a glass case on the wall in the main street of the village and left.

Of course I was getting sick of the idea that just because they are the police force that they are going to tell me how to be or what to be so I got a little hot headed and asked them, who is in charge? I believe it went something like this,

”who is in charge here? Seems like nobody
has a clue what they are doing, more cops
and more cops keep showing up with the
same stupid questions and nobody
seems to know what to do. I reckon the
whole lot of you charge me with
something or fuck off. This is some
bullshit “.

I mean come on, it was 3 o clock in the morning by that time. I told them I don’t feel well and I needed to sit down or something I need to be asleep by this time of night. Nah they could not have given a flying fuck. All they were all worried about was from my view point at least, they needed to be making sure they are not going to lose their jobs or something.
So from An Garda to special branch (detectives) to sergeants and then came the armed response unit who again decided they would have a rip through our personal belongings. Mind you I mentioned to the Garda, I did consent to you having a search but who is this guy who just showed up? I didn’t consent to him searching the vehicle. He just replied “tell him to stop so”. The other armed response guy was all “Mr T.” looking & trying to do the pit bull stare down. I asked the guy turning my personal stuff out on the back seat, “are you finished yet? Maybe you can close the door”, old muscles, his partner with the stare, “we’ll tell you when we are finished”.
He was the antagonizing type alright. By that time of the morning I was beginning to think, screw how many of them there are, best I make sure and really tear the head of the little guy with the muscles as he thinks a lot of himself.
Maturity got the better of me and I just expressed my lack of admiration for his stinking attitude.
On and on it went til about 5 am, the American accent lads showed up and then we waited again for more inspectors and cops. Till finally a dog squad showed up. They needed to sniff the vehicle for bazookas is what was explained. We were asked “are we sure there is nothing by way of fire arms or explosives in the vehicle?”. The dog did his thing and they left.
I would estimate about 25 to 30 members of police and special branch and who knows if the American accent guy was secret service or just a transplant in Ireland who now works for the local cops. I asked the Garda I was talking to for his name. He said it was Alan, turns out that was a lie as he had a different name as it turned out a little later. I asked another what his name was and again no comment.

We were driven to the check point closest to them by the Garda that had stopped us in the first place which was called an “official escort”.
We were told that we “must be up to no good” by the Garda who seemed to be the boss of operations. Of course I was quick to correct him and explain how he shouldn’t be jumping to make assumptions as there is no good, bad or indifferent here.
We were then told we would be followed by escort to the local town some 25 miles away at which time we should head back to Dublin and wait for it “to think twice about ever coming to Clare again” again this was by a Superintendent or sergeant of some kind. Couldn’t really tell as he had no interest to give us his name either.


We were operating on low fuel and we needed to stop so that we could fill up when we would come to the next local town. Due to the early hour of the morning and the very remote location we were in, we had to wait for the garage to open up for the day so we could pump some diesel.
We parked in a garage parking area and waited, all the while some special branch detectives sat also in the forecourt watching us. They were relieved of their duties by another set of Garda and these new Garda were accompanied by two more.
When 7.30 am. came and we were able to pump some diesel. We headed for the road home and spent the entire journey back wondering what on earth was the level of security about. If they would like to say it was a secure zone for the president of the United States visit, it wasn’t, as we just drove all the way in. Luckily for them we were not political or anything other than my friend is a Trump fan.
We wondered what all the big so called expensive budget was being spent on for the presidents visit to Ireland as it definitely didn’t go into any kinds of briefing or “explainer courses” for the detail that were assigned the job. To be honest the whole thing began to feel like a let down. My friend K. R. didn’t get to wave Mr. Trump off, and something a little deeper. The piss poor effort made by our very own country on making a brave and fine security line.
To show a real joke of the whole thing in Ireland. There was a much bigger effort put in to having security for the pope than the Donald.
How lame is that?


So there ya have it. What are your views on the whole thing?
What d’ya reckon?”

Just one Thursday evening where myself and a friend were inside zone 3 of a security zone supposed to be set up to protect the president of the United States. Held, searched and escorted away from the golf course of Doonbeg resort, county Clare Ireland. Mr. Trump’s golf resort and spa hotel.

I will post a picture or two on my Facebook page and website to accompany the story to give you an idea of or to verify the story.

IMG_20190215_014356  @TWOsonsTOOmany

Your comments as always are very welcome. Feel free to share or tweet the story.
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Aidan Mc Nally ~ Author.

Read on for Aidan’s brilliant submission, Safe Harbour.

There is nothing like that lick of the lips when your face just gets battered again by the sea. We are to-ing and fro-ing hard now. The planks in our little fishing trawler just might not hold up to this storm.

I stand out on the side deck peering to see through the heavy ocean spray and let the captain know if anything should appear in the distant night, Rob watches portside me to starboard. Is it rain or spray from the heavy swells? Either way that sea salt tastes as strong as it smells each time I take a face full.

Only to imagine six hours ago we were fishing away in the calmer waters of the Celtic sea, hauling the nets and the abundance of fish had me and Rob planning our week ashore next week. How we would spend our money and who we might see out for a few drinks.

The daydreaming flows when working away on the deck of a boat, of chasing the girls and the hardy drinking, all goes hand in hand in a fisherman’s life.

Now tonight in this storm dreams have faded fast as we stare down this ferocious storm. All the rigging is howling and with each wave the fears, are we gone this time?

Captain Rock is hard on helm with how he is adjusting our speed each time we rise high on the crest of every crucial wave, these are like slabs of concrete rushing towards us 40 to 50 feet tall.

Rock has been at SEA all his life like myself and I put in him the confidence of the gods to man the wheel, although Rob keeps watch behind me over on the port side, he holds the stern mast with both hands, I can’t help but continue my own act of we will be ashore soon. I saw it in captains face earlier when our forward mast cracked from a rogue wave just ahead of this storm, fear. We will battle this storm as we continue up the face of each swell now, Rock steers us along.

No time for daydreaming now though. I am holding firm also the aft cabin door as I lean out squinting to see anything at all. Not a sight just a dark black night with howling winds, must be storm force ten now and each wave breaking across our bow. Dreams have now turned to will I ever see her again.

Cannot and must not let Rock catch me worried and for sure there will be no good come of it if our new crewman Rob sees worry on my face.

The deck is awash every time one slab of a wave crashes down across our bow, I can feel captain Rock breathe a sigh each time as if his throttle hand is doing his breathing now. Drives her fast up the face of each wave and slows her right back as we dive across the crest.

As I hold tight it does come to mind how all those folks at home in their beds right now, listening to the heavy rains pound or their Windows, they have no clue we are out here in this, their fish supper from the chip shop at the weekend. Will they miss us or just order a burger instead. A fisherman’s life indeed, risking our life every time we throw the ropes off and head out to sea.

“Focus man!” Captain Rock caught me out and as he is hanging off the wheel, we exchange a look, he and I both know this might be our last one.

Some lightning starts cracking across the sky only to show us the real daunting size of the seas right now, taller and more green are the seas now, white water breaking in all directions, we battle on hoping not to roll over on any of these swells.

When our mast broke earlier it had taken out all the antennas we use for radio signalling and radar equipment which is how we would normally deal with driving the boat back home or even send out a distress call to emergency services, without those antennas we are just three men on a boat in the middle of ferocious oceans all secretly praying deep inside.

I see it, I see it, Rob yells out. I hold tightly to the hand rail as I shuffle across the deck to him, Captain Rock is screaming aft to us where? “God Damm it where?” Up we go another big wave and down with water white all around us, I roar back to Rock let me find out as I pass the aft cabin door. Though Rob is only standing 12 to 16 feet away it is probably easier to stand up in a roller coaster ride than shuffle across this deck tonight.

“Back there, back there” Rob is starring behind us as I reach him with a lunge to grab hold of the mast. One hand around the mast and the other linked to Rob’s arm. My hair soaked flat across my eyes and the salt water running hard across my face, I catch a glimpse of that beacon light. Warm smiles tickle my insides though 30years at SEA experience tells me “we’re not home yet” I say to Rob.

Port side, west northwest of us I roar out to Rock.

Having clambered back into the wheelhouse I point to the light and Rock tells me with just a look, how are we gonna turn down this swell to run back there?

“We might not make it if we steer across this swell” he says I know but we can go a little further east and try take a chance to put it on our stern and surf our way home? That’s my suggestion.

“Rob get in here!” Roars Rock as he works the throttle speed.

“Go check on him and get him in here safe he tells me”.

Every time a swell from the sea hits us now is like an earth quake, a thud first then spray and water everywhere, all blocks and tackle and rigging chomping like church bells, out of tune.

Rob makes it back inside and I meet him in the galley, he is soaked to the skin as am I. I laugh at his eager expression, “don’t worry laddie, all in a day’s fishing” I can tell he has nerves of steel but he just doesn’t know it yet as the calibre and magnitude of this storm is probably one of the worst of the two or three I have ever seen. My nervous laugh is to calm me more than Rob as he is full of the innocence, as long and Rock and myself stay calm well it must be just normal, so obvious how he feels.

In the wheelhouse now we are three, watching for the flash of the lighthouse beacon.
It is time says Rock and with a full burst of throttle and rolling the helm from hand to hand we go up like an airplane, the floor beneath us feels like it is just gonna keep rising vertical, Rob falls from his standing and rolls to port side across the floor. I have my feet wedged to a cupboard and Rock screams loud “hang on fellas”

A wave crashes against our side putting water crashing through the wheelhouse window. “Get up ya bitch” Roars Rock and round she comes, our little trawler made the turn. Down we come crashing into the water below us. With our now broken window we can hear the spray of the water so loud. The wind is screaming through the wheelhouse window as we surf ahead of the storm.

All the same worries still exists as to will the next swell sink us if it breaks across our stern but with this storm behind us now we can run a lot faster and our rolling motion has changed from being picked up and slammed down to more of a pushed along with might, picked up a little less and only the broken window lets us know of all the rigging banging and clattering up above.

The beacon is getting closer now and Rock knows his way well from here, he lets a big cheer “we made it lads” as we round the beacon lighthouse to head for the harbour proper.
The calmer waters of the harbour not only settle the boat underneath us but all of our private fears. We made it once again coming in safe and sound, the dark hours of early morning and all the houses on the hillside just the odd light can be seen. Most folks sleeping can only dream of the adventure we just had. Will they know what it took or even what it takes to get the fresh cod for their supper this weekend?

Cornwall ya beauty as we throw the ropes to the dock wall.

the end.