Fishing in Varvara

Varvara Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 20 › view all entries
The other fishing boat heading out to sea as we prepare

Today we went on a trip that I had been excited about for a long time, and eager to experience. I have been dying to go on a boat in the Black Sea, as my grandfather was a fisherman and had a boat himself when I was little, however he died before I could really experience going out with him and actually be able to remember it. So I was really looking forward to this day as it was a way of me connecting with my grandfather through something he really loved to do.

We reached Curleys house and we werent sure if we were going to go out as the weather wasnt great and we werent sure if they would let me on the boat, as Im a woman, and its a superstition that a woman brings bad luck on a fishing boat. However, Curly was just as excited about it as I was and got his mates to start prepping the boat and gear.

The three fisherman awaiting their steed
Within the hour we were jumping in and pulling away form shore.

At first I was just with a simple long sleave shirt, though I did take my red sweater, I didnt expect to have to wear it. However, about five minutes after we left the marina the chilly sea wind hit me and I realized that even with my speater on it was too cold, so I borrowed one of Curlys seaman sweaters that his wife knitted.

After about a half hour to an hour we stopped and they started to drop the long net which took about 45 minutes to do. At that point I was starting to feel soft rolling waves. Mind you, I worked on a boat for 4 years, though I did get seasick sometimes, it was very seldome. I started doing all the little things I learned while working on the boat to keep myself from getting sick.

Curly waving goodby as we pull off
Everything from looking to the horizon, taking deep breaths, moving with the boat. Finally, when the table was set, I tried not to think about it, drink my beer...ahaha...not a good idea...and ate a little food. The food is what helped, and I managed to scarf down a couple of slices of bread which soaked up the acids that were making me sick.

Finally after a quick dinner, we got up and they started reeling in the net. There was such rhythm in what they did. One guy was reeling in the net, hand over hand, and putting it carefully to the side. While the other was arranging the rings in special notches on the boat. Then one by one the fish started coming up. They untangled them and threw them at our feet.

The captain Curly went and picked up a fish from the floor and handed it to me.

My father the fisherman
.."How does it feel" hahaha...Put it in my hand, but since it was real dark I ended up grabbing it by its fin and stabbed myself with it...though I held in my little yelp as I couldnt be girlie at this point, and grabbed up the fish. It didnt have any scales, and felt smooth and thick. The fish was long dead, as it dies quickly after it gets tangled in the net.

After pulling in the whole net we started to head back. The waves had picked up since we left, and as we moved along and picked up speed the water splashed over the bow of the boat and hit my face. Though I was freezing, it was such a refreshing and nice feeling.  Pulling into the harbor, even though I didnt really do anything, I felt pretty good about myself as I really wasnt such bad luck.

We were the last boat to come in, and everyone was already counting their fish.

the gypsy first mate and the captain
When we pulled in one of the fisherman came up to our Captain and tried to pick a fight, saying that we blocked his nets and he didnt catch anything. To which our Captain responded that that was his original fishing spot, that this guy was using HIS boat, and that its part of the trade, sometimes the fish come in from the north and sometimes from the south, it just depends on how you catch them, we were just on the right side. It kind of upset the evening because this guy learned how to fish on Curlys boat, and now uses one of his boats to make his living. However, moods went back to normal once we finished counting our fish, and it turned out we pulled in more fish than anyone that night. After seperating the fish in between the two gypsies, the captain, and a couple for us, we sat down to munch a little and have a couple of drinks.
Slowly, but surely, as we pulled away from shore, it got FREEZING

Some small talk later we grabbed up our catch and headed back to Fazanovo.

The great thing is, this fish has a very special way of preparing. What they do is clean the fish, and cut up in slices (like bread), and lay it out and cover it with a thick layer of slat and oil. Leavin the fish to lay out all day, they then wash it from the salt, and jar it in oil. You can keep the fish like this forever, and you eat it raw, just take it out of the jar and put it in a plate and serve with a nice alchoholic beverage...either beer, rakia, or vodka...yuuuuuuuummmmmmmm!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The other fishing boat heading out…
The other fishing boat heading ou…
The three fisherman awaiting their…
The three fisherman awaiting thei…
Curly waving goodby as we pull off
Curly waving goodby as we pull off
My father the fisherman
My father the fisherman
the gypsy first mate and the capta…
the gypsy first mate and the capt…
Slowly, but surely, as we pulled a…
Slowly, but surely, as we pulled …
My father hanging on because we st…
My father hanging on because we s…
Sunset
Sunset
while waiting for the nets, we sat…
while waiting for the nets, we sa…
and this is all I saw...hahaha
and this is all I saw...hahaha
once we found a good spot that did…
once we found a good spot that di…
Pulling in the first fish!!!
Pulling in the first fish!!!
As the season wasnt in full just y…
As the season wasnt in full just …
Stabbed myself with the fin..hahah…
Stabbed myself with the fin..haha…
Heading back
Heading back
Our catch!!! We got more fish than…
Our catch!!! We got more fish tha…
The fishing party celebrating our …
The fishing party celebrating our…
My father, Curly and food
My father, Curly and food
Curly and I struttin our stuff hah…
Curly and I struttin our stuff ha…
Varvara
photo by: boriana84