Ahab's Axplanations

Colleagues, just as the nKPM has been rolled out in Kent, our old mate Capt. A. Hab (M.N Ret'd) and his members from up north have been rolling out their own version in Grimsby. It seems they have had the same sort of issues as ourselves. Strange how that always seems to happen !

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Federation of Grimsby Trawler Operatives

Ahab's Axplanations

Industry Restructure Special

Dear Fellow Operatives,

The chilly November sun rose on Wednesday last week to herald in the launch of a new chapter in the history of the Fishing Industry.

It is the case that when any vessel is launched, for all the planning, calculations, blueprints and computer modelling, nobody really knows exactly how it will float until the blocks are knocked out and she actually slides into the water. The new Kipper Procurement Model is no exception and this week has seen many Operatives rushing from stem to stern to mend anything from small leaks where perhaps a rivet or two has been omitted, to gushing fountains where machinery has simply not been put in place at all.

In Grimsby itself the Fleet Allocation Model has ensured that, of the 40 jolly Jack Tars on watch at any time, there are only 11 trawlers available to them. With the 'Admiralty advice on single crewing' the remaining 29 fisherpersons are presumably expected to swim to anywhere between Rockall and Trafalgar in order to respond to sightings of fish.

The marine radio system has been carefully organised so that Operatives are able to tell precisely what is happening at any one time, as long as they are in possession of three or more ears. Despite what I am sure must be an abundance of tri-aurally gifted Navigators, there have already been several reports of Operatives coming close to being pulled under by large and dangerous catches while some idle lugger is quietly enjoying a calm moment with their feet up on the taff-rail just over the horizon.

Problems of this nature were widely predicted, and reported back through the 'Question the Chief Engineer' facility on the Grimsby Interweb. I am sure Operatives will be reassured that, as a result of this, the same team who put the new system into place will be reviewing it as a matter of urgency at some time in the future.

This puts me in mind of my time aboard HMS Thunderer, where, after some grumblings from the box-boiler, the Engineers warned the Captain that there might be a problem with it. The boiler was duly surveyed by the boilermakers, and pronounced to be in good order. How we laughed as we steamed out of Portsmouth Harbour and she blew up, sinking the mighty vessel, while coincidentally launching the ship's cat on a trajectory which brought it to rest somewhere near the war memorial on the seafront at Gosport.

Elsewhere in Grimsby the Trawler Captains can be seen in their cabins hunched over their computers allocating fishing quotas to their crews for every second of their watches. Their efforts to stem the tide of work is as ineffective as those of the Danish King who sat on his throne and directed the waters to recede. As they rise at the end of their shifts, with their eyes rheumy and close to tears, I can only pity the poor Canutes.

Yours in the oggin and going down for the third time,

Capt A. HAB (MN Ret.d)