Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A dogfish and Rod Stewart

My walk along the seafront on that first day of my stay in Deal was very invigorating. The sun was shining, the sea wind was crisp and refreshing and the air had that slightly iodine touch to it. I first walked towards Deal castle. This Tudor fortress was commissioned by Henry VIII and has an attractive rose floor plan. Visiting Deal castle had been one of activities on my to-do-list, until Teresa told me that it was just bare walls, and that there wasn’t really that much to see. So I decided that I would just take some photos of the outer fortifications.

Deal Castle seen from the promenade.

Before walking in the opposite direction, towards the pier, I looked out over the sea. It was a clear day and I think I could spot the coast of France, which is only 35 or so kilometres away.

But back to the pier. It was low tide and the concrete structure sat high above the water. From a distance I could already see that there were anglers fishing from both sides of it. The actual pier is the third Deal has known. The first one was built in 1838 and was completely made of wood. It was largely destroyed by a heavy storm in 1857. In 1864 a new iron pier was built. This structure was seriously damaged in 1940, when a Dutch ship, Nora, bumped into it. In 1957 the current concrete-clad steel pier was inaugurated by the Duke of Edinburgh. Its total length is 311 metres, which makes it longer than the RMS Titanic. In 2008 the pier got a new pier-head with a restaurant.

As I mentioned before, I’ve known this pier since 1972. I remember that at the time it was in rather bad repair. It looked really scruffy and not very inviting. That’s probably one of the reasons why I never went on it. Too afraid that it might crumble beneath my feet!

This time the pier looked very inviting indeed. I still had more than half an hour to go before my rendezvous with Teresa and Mats, and therefore leisurely set out on my walk. Although it was rather windy, the sun was warm and I really enjoyed my stroll.

Halfway I reach the anglers that were casting their lines into the water. I stood and watched them for a while, but they didn’t seem to be very successful. Until, one of the men suddenly pulled up his line with a fish dangling from it. The fish jiggled and wriggled while the man removed the hook. It was a very attractive fish, not very big, but with a beautiful elongated spotted body. To an untrained eye this looked like a baby shark. Experts, however, will immediately identify it as a dog fish. I asked the man whether if I could take a photo of him holding the fish. He didn’t object and proudly held out his catch to me.

And no, the angler wasn’t Rod Stewart … But where does this famous singer fit in to this story, then?!


Dedene said...

You had a lovely day out there. Now what does Rod have to do with all this?

Bob said...

Fishing Rod??

chm said...

Bob : lol!

Louise said...

I thought Rod was more into sailing than fishing! Is it possible to eat dogfish I wonder? I don't think we get them in Australia.

ladybird said...

Dedene, I really enjoyed every minute of it! As for Rod ...

Bob, Hahahaha!

Chm, lol indeed.

Louise, Judging by his great 1970-ties hit one might expect him to be into sailing.
And yes, you can eat dog fish. In Europe it is mainly used to make 'fake crab meat ' aka surimi. I don't know about Australia. The water might be too warm!