Flying Fish

R396040
8th November 2009, 20:01
Have just watched a BBC TV programme LIFE which had some marvellous footage of filming various fish in the oceans of the world and one that evoked memories of times gone by involved the filming of flying fish airborne which obviously took time and patience on behalf of the film crew. They succeeded with great shots.
It brought back memories of my second trip to sea in 1948 on the British Might of BTC or as I soon got to know it Better Times Coming, The company then involved BOT wack, food definitely not much to write home about even in days of rationing back home, Discovered the joys of getting up a little earlier than needed and exploring the scuppers of the foredeck for plump succulent flying fish stranded there during the night. Many a tasty breakfast thus enjoyed.
Anyone else remember this, I am sure most tanker men would although in later years on ESSO and Athel food was much better.
Stuart Henderson

RayJordandpo
8th November 2009, 20:27
Having watched that LIFE programme I thought the very same thing. Enjoyed many a tasty meal on flying fish found in the scuppers. They always seemed to be in abundance around the Canary Islands

Ian6
8th November 2009, 20:40
Likewise in Caltex in the 1950's. The food there was pretty good but by definition after a few weeks at sea (first heading to load in Houston, then changed to the Persian Gulf, followed a couple of weeks later by 'make that Galveston') nothing was as fresh as a juicy flying fish from the foredeck scuppers. Mind you the Indian Crew were generally there ahead of us Apprentices.
Can't find them in Tesco's freezer area (flying fish, that is).
Ian

R798780
8th November 2009, 22:11
Yep, saw that programme.

Best episode of flying fish was at Ascension Island discharging JP4 from the Moss tanker Luxor to Pan Am (USAF) at the airfield - is that "Widewake" ?.

During the 12 to 6 morning shift with not a lot going on, I watched flying fish being disturbed by dolphins. Some would smack into the ships side and, dazed, would be picked up by a dolphin which subsequently let it go, a fathom or two away. Then watched while another dolphin headed in to pick it up for it's supper. Just as dolphin 2 closed in, dolphin 1 surged forward and picked it up again - and ate it. That happened more than once, who says dolphins don't have a sense of humour !
The odd flying fish got enough altitude and landed on deck. I got a couple of sizeable ones and yes, they went down well with the rest of breakfast and a couple of cans of Tennants.
Picked up a FF on an early trip as apprentice. It dried nicely with wings spread. I wonder if the old grammar school biology lab at Bishop Auckland still has it. I have a photo of it somewhere.

janathull
9th November 2009, 05:40
Used to take a bucket and go round the ship picking up flying fish when I was on tankers. Lovely, fresh fish for breakfast.

R396040
9th November 2009, 15:49
Flying fish

Hi Hugh,
Thanks for your reply. Yes I also recall trying to preserve flying fish and mounting them on a board but unfortunately it never succeded. Some had huge wingspans and folks back home thought my tales exagerated, no TVs in those days !!
I see you were Cunard Brocklebank. I was on Cunard cargo boats mainly from 1957 to 1972, did trip on the old Matra to in later sixti es with Clifford -Hicks as Master.I was Purser/CS
Stuart (George) Henderson

Chief Engineer's Daughter
10th November 2009, 21:49
I saw that programme too! I said to Mr CED about picking up fresh flying fish off the deck first thing in the morning for a fry. Do you guys at sea still do that?


Picked up a FF on an early trip as apprentice. It dried nicely with wings spread. I wonder if the old grammar school biology lab at Bishop Auckland still has it. I have a photo of it somewhere.

I dried one out as well, with wings pinned out. Then varnished it to keep it preserved. Flying (sorry) back from the Phillipines with it in my hand luggage was fun. Bet you couldn't do that now!!!!!

Robinj
12th November 2009, 15:16
Whilst sailing on the Frenulina in the South China Sea which only had a few inches freeboard when fully loaded manys the time flying fish landed on the deck, but snapped up by the chinese crew pretty smartly.

rcraig
12th November 2009, 21:51
Spent hours one night off one of the Fanning Isles before I managed to get one from the main deck with a bow and arrow (from Fiji) and pulled it up so I could tell the tale 55 years later. Also by standing at the bottom of a gangway with a cargo cluster light you could club them as they shot up and we had them for breakfast.
Useful tip if you are ever off these islands!!

Boseley
14th November 2009, 12:12
Having watched that LIFE programme I thought the very same thing. Enjoyed many a tasty meal on flying fish found in the scuppers. They always seemed to be in abundance around the Canary Islands


I have not seen them here,

Bob

Pat Thompson
14th November 2009, 13:50
Greetings,

Saw loads of them on he Road to Mandalay and funny eough they were all playing..

charles henry
14th November 2009, 13:56
Greetings,

Saw loads of them on he Road to Mandalay and funny eough they were all playing..

Can't remember any of the rest or who wrote it,"The road to Mandalay" which started:.-

On the road to Mandalay
Where the flying fishes play

de chas

K urgess
14th November 2009, 13:59
Kipling, Sir. (Thumb)
http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_mandalay.htm

Don Matheson
14th November 2009, 14:20
On a supply ship/tug working in the waters off Indonesia we would see them all the time. Our deck was very close to the water and as we had floodlights on all night we would often get them on board. Singapore crew used to get them in the morning but usually had to fight the cat to get to them.
Wonderful things to watch and very tasty eating.

Don

Pat Thompson
14th November 2009, 14:26
Greetings Marconi Sahib and Chales Henry,

He also made exceedingly good cakes (exclam)

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat -- jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:
Bloomin' idol made o'mud --
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd --
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay...

When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin' my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an' the "hathis" pilin' teak.
Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay...

But that's all shove be'ind me -- long ago an' fur away,
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay...

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay...

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be --
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

K urgess
14th November 2009, 14:46
This badly exposed picture wasn't quite taken on the road to Mandalay unless it starts in the Gulf of Guinea.
Spanish crew cooked them for breakfast which is why I joined them in the crew's mess on occasion.

Klaatu83
14th November 2009, 14:58
When one stops to think about it, the concept of a fish that can actually fly through the air is truly extraordinary. In addition, despite the fact that they are a common enough sight to those who go to sea, they represent a phenomenon that most landsmen have heard of but never experienced.

ray bloomfield
14th November 2009, 18:43
Do they actually 'fly' I thought they exit the water at a rate of knots and glide till they loose momentum?

Ron Stringer
14th November 2009, 19:18
Do they actually 'fly' I thought they exit the water at a rate of knots and glide till they loose momentum?

Gliding is flying, Ray. But you are right, that is what they do.

rab.m.
14th November 2009, 19:28
Remember the Chinese dhoby wallahs on HMS Jupiter collecting them by the bucketfull in the mortar well.The laundry where they worked,ate and slept was on the starboard side the port side if I remember correctly being the bomb room.

R798780
14th November 2009, 22:49
Do they actually 'fly' I thought they exit the water at a rate of knots and glide till they loose momentum?

I have seen them break the surface of the water at the appropriate rate of knots and glide on, then some distance away if the tail touched first the odd one would continue the glide after some tail wagging without the body going back into the water. May have depended on the sea conditions.

TonyAllen
14th November 2009, 23:22
saw many flying fish but when I saw mud skippers up river in malaya I was gobsmacked to think fish would come out of the water and use their fins to walk .Amasing .Tony

sidsal
15th November 2009, 21:45
When I was 2nd Mate in Esso just after ww2 I had a flying fish land in my bunk when I was fast asleep. We were deep laden and rolling and the porthole was open wide. A real flap !
In the Carribean when we made our way from ruba towards the Mona Passage we would be heading into the NE trades and the flying fish would radiate out from the bow wave. There was a biggish bird which would fly from side to side watching out for them and it would suddenly dive after a fish and swallow it from behind as it flew !!

RayJordandpo
16th November 2009, 16:37
I have not seen them here,

Bob

Whilst serving on deep sea tugs in the seventies we did lots of tows in the Atlantic and West Africa. We often stopped at the Canary Islands for Fuel, stores etc. Being low in the water we collected many flying fish on deck and cooked them for breakfast. We found them to be bigger and more plentiful around the Canary Islands.

Ian J. Huckin
25th May 2010, 21:26
I sailed on several 50's built BISCO ore carriers coming back from S. America fully loaded with minimum freeboard. We would hang cargo clusters on the ships rails and "harvest" bucket fulls of them for breakfast.

But don't forget, at certain times of the year the roe was toxic......

Also, once anchored off Panama (Roman Reefer - the old one) where we had made port of refuge, we were running out of scran. So the Phillipino crew were fishing out of the side stores loading hatch in the galley. Pulling up 'durado....great eating. Anyway, during evening meal in the officers saloon there was a huge commotion in the galley, I mean pots and pans flying, guys screaming, it was a real carcophany. We ran to the galley and there was this huge pelican flapping around inside the galley. He had snagged the bait and hook just as a crew member cast it out. He actually hauled it into the galley. Took a while to jump on top of it and cut the line then heave back out through the hatch.

Wonder how the cook would have prepared it?????

ALAN TYLER
26th May 2010, 16:03
First consume several cans of "Tenants" (especially the cans with the nice ladies on). Pluck the said bird after you,ve given it a couple of taps with the meat cleaver,, clean and remove the innards. Then place in a roasting tray sprinkle with parsley and gently tip it in the gash bucket. Then get on with the rest of the Tenants!!!

Ian J. Huckin
26th May 2010, 16:20
First consume several cans of "Tenants" (especially the cans with the nice ladies on). Pluck the said bird after you,ve given it a couple of taps with the meat cleaver,, clean and remove the innards. Then place in a roasting tray sprinkle with parsley and gently tip it in the gash bucket. Then get on with the rest of the Tenants!!!

Bravo Alan, could not agree more.........(Jester)

Donald McGhee
29th May 2010, 22:04
Flying fish.
Eaten them too, like most segoers have at some time, but the best times ever were spent just watching them glide along, endlessly fascinating, a real joy.
All for free and in my book one of the most unique sights when at sea, which will stay with me forever.

John N MacDonald
31st May 2010, 18:44
About 3 days from Panama in the Pacific we were joined by 7 or 8 Brown Boobys which roosted on and used the mast as a lookout to chase and some times catch flying fish scared from the ships Bulbous bow. I spent a few hours watching both prey and hunter with the Boobys sitting about 2 to 3 feet away from me apparently unafraid!

alan ward
19th October 2011, 09:31
Asian crews would get their fishin lines out if they saw a deep puddle.No catch no matter how small in size was returned.I can still visualise the haul,hanging to dry from a line through their eyes,their sides slashed and garam masala rubbed in.