The M.F.V.

Motor Fishing Vessels have long been a part of Naval life, the smaller wooden boats being used as tenders to Capital ships and the larger steel boats as Port Auxiliary vessels. The Christmas Island M.F.V. was a wooden vessel used mainly to catch fish to test for radio activity after a bomb drop, it was skippered by a Midshipman with a stoker as engineer and a couple of Gilbertese as crew, it fished with four long lines with spinners, two through fairleads each side at the stern, and two on booms port and starboard, we also fitted a universal joint on the stern bulwark to hold a big game fishing rod, I think the advocator of this rod had visions of Marlin and Sailfish, Ernest Hemingway style, but as far as I know it caught nothing The main fish caught were Tuna which, after testing and passing the test, were served up for supper, I was asked to fit a couple of bunk beds to the M.F.V. which I did, why? I don't know as it didn't do any night trips as far as I can remember, perhaps the Middy was planning an escape to Honolulu ??. My memories of M.F.V.s are varied, on a Carrier as Liberty men one had to climb down a jumping ladder all eager to get ashore, and then returning at midnight tired and bleary eyed, a rough half hours trip back to the ship, hoping that your mate had slung your "mick", then to climb the ships side again on the jumping ladder to be greeted by the Regulating staff looking for booze and a goodnight shout of " Get turned in ", it all seems a nightmare now, but then we were young and hardy, nowadays its a major job getting in and out of bed, " Oh my back" !! , now where did I put that Claims Direct phone number? ©: Dave Rogers 03 February 2002