string or small
rope spills the contents of the net at one yank and eliminates the labor of
taking the entire net out of water. The sack part is much stronger than
the forward sections as a greater force is exerted against it when the net
is full of struggling fish. The sack's mesh is also larger, being about two
inches between cords as against one inch at the entrance of the net. This
larger mesh insures drainage of water and is strong enough to withstand
attacks of larger fish picked up while the net is dragging. A smaller mesh
aft is impractical as it would become quickly clogged with sea life and
would break under the pressure of the imprisoned water.
Soon the net of the Fontuna was ready, the windlass was again
set turning, and the net was swung out on a boom and lowered away.
After a space of a minute nothing but two diverging cables of steel
extending into the gray waters, marked the drag. Where the two cables
were joined onto the boom, relieving rope was attached and made fast to
the deck to take the strain off the mast.
"When de cables get close togedder, we knew we got somethin,
but we don't know what. Maybe shrimp, maybe feesh, maybe junk" said
De Cruz with a shrug.
Again the trawler settled down to monotonous tugging along the
coast at one knot. Through a cloud of screaming sea gulls some ships
could be seen putting out nets while others cruised about in search of
better grounds. Paralleling the dazzling sand dunes first trod by