Although most of our holidays took in some old boat somewhere or other, I can’t remember when I became aware of Shemaron as a 1949 built ring net fishing boat. Boats abandoned on shorelines, in harbours, and along tidal riversides, were fair game for our holiday sightseeing. I was initially drawn to of their lovely grungy looks, their size and shape and their graceful lines. From an artistic point of view, I find it of interest to see things out of context. I learned of the great success of the ring net fishermen and their instinctive flair for hunting and catching herring, and of the boats returning to harbours low in the water with holds full of fish. These times are still just within living memory, but with the decline in the fishing industry, it has become too difficult for many to make a living in this way. Many of these boats have been decommissioned and scrapped or simply abandoned.
We used to holiday most years in Argyle, and we would always try and get sight of Shemaron in Carradale harbour, the Crinan boat yard or lying against the quay in Tarbert. Then a lucky opportunity enabled us to buy her. At this point, I couldn’t see exactly what I might gain from the new experience of owning an old boat, but I was carried along by my husband’s enthusiasm. I had enjoyed boat trips on holidays in Greece, but Scotland was not such a sure thing and being prone to motion sickness I wasn’t sure how long I would be comfortable on board. Slowly travelling up to Tarbert and spending time on Shemaron, then eventually having one or two trips out on her, I found that I was having fun and getting a lot of satisfaction; I also found that in the sheltered waters of the Clyde I was very comfortable on board.