Where Are The Gang?

Whenever a great team splits up you wonder where all the members of that team went to. Where they gone? Where they be? Where they at? These are the questions on people lips when a great team splits up. And you know what? They are fair questions for real! You get to ask those questions, it’s a right, it is an inalienable right. 1st amendment! USA! Say what you like about the USA, but they sure know how to (get a British guy to) write a constitution.


A great philosopher with the eyes of a slow, docile old man who speaks with the voice of Alan Bennett

It all leaves you wondering: when a great team of Hake fishermen and women break up, when they hang up their overalls, when they retire their fishing knives, when they leave the big blue soup, the large water pile, the wet world west, the blue deepness, the sea, what do they do? Where do they go? Where? Once the great masters of the sea return to the land, do they wither? It can happen you know…


Both my grandfathers couldn’t take life on the land, they didn’t have the skills, they couldn’t adjust, they drank themselves into an early grave. It’s an easy thing to do. It’s what happens when you put all of yourself into something that you might not do forever. It’s Lieutenant Dan.

Lieutenant Dan wanted to die out there on the battle field. All his pappies had died out there on the battle field. It gave them a clean end to their story. But Lieutenant Dan’s was messy, he was crippled, he was depressed, he became an alcoholic. Even without being physically crippled, the story of depression and alcoholism is a very familiar one amongst veterans. Whilst there are specific reasons to veterans it is also common amongst a whole host of people who dedicated a lot of themselves and a lot of their time and their lives to a job that separated them from their family and, too some extent, common society.  They become institutionalised and do not have to tools to survive. This feeling is compounded by the fact that in the environment they used to live in they where masters of the tools to survive, they were respected, they were skilled, they were proud. But no more.


So what am I? I have worked for years installing and maintaining conservatories. I put them up, I take them down, I mess them around. People like conservatories, people are often very grateful for the work I do. Recently I had been replacing conservatory roofs all day and the family whose house I’d been working on came out and gave me a tea and a slice of toast and we stood and shared it and it was a really beautiful moment. It was calm, it was pleasant, we had some nice chat. I finished the job on the conservatory and I went home, I told my wife about the day, it was fine. She told me about hers. I live a nice life, a life I’m happy with. That’s the truth. I’m pretty sure when I retire I wont have to devolve into depression and alcoholism because my home life is already a big part of my life. I haven’t made my life all about my work, that was my decision. It was a good decision.



Unite! Us few that charge into the great big blue sea to claim its bounty,

Us few who can smell the wind and see the salt,

Us few who can feel the fish under our feet as we prowl the boat,

Us few who feel more balanced in a storm than we do on dry land,

Us few who live more out here on the sea than we do anywhere else.

And why? And what do we claim?

We claim our bounty. We claim our harvest.

We claim our hake.


Welcome friends! Here we are on the internet keeping the legend of Ajaxah 32 going. I don’t even know if the sailors know about all of this. About this website, about us (a bunch of random people from thousands of miles away) became obsessed with their exploits on the big blue, about how famous they are in our community), about how ecstatic we are to now have this website. But here we are, paying tribute to the lords of Hake.



We are here, waiting for your offering,

You, who draw from what is out of view,

You, who can see and carve through the deep blue,

You, who provide for us with your bounty,

I can’t live without you, you live without me,

You’re a true man, this I understand,

You rule the sea whilst I burden the land,

The lord will save you, for all our sake,

For we bring nothing and you bring Hake.