Viking II and supplies tackle from his shop on the high street.
He welcomed me on board to see how, with the help of veteran lobsterman Ray Lewis, he goes about his business. I was lucky to be motoring out of harbour with still water and blue skies – frequent high winds had meant slim pickings for most of May and June.
Like a production line, each pot was opened, emptied and baited with a chunk of plaice then stacked in sequence on a bench ready for launching off the stern. Maybe 15 minutes to raise and relay the dozen.
John’s mobile rang and half were sold to the Lobster Pond (01341 281234), the quayside shop for live or cooked lobsters. The others would be buried beneath the waves in one of the chests, ready for the dealer from Bangor, who sources up the coastline from mid Wales. From Bangor they go to Spain where lobsters reach respectable prices.
Before returning to port John switched to fishing prawns in a similar fashion. A string of tubular prawn pots baited with ripe herring. 4 or 5 kilos were harvested and secured in the submarine stash.
Back ashore, slightly lobster pink despite my factor 30, I had much more respect for this noble crustacean. For summer occasions and anniversaries there’s nothing quite like a fresh lobster from Barmouth caught by John or Ray. So much better than frozen supermarket lobsters from Canada.