Friday, 5 February 2010

Fin' oot da misforn knotts

Old seamen in the different parishes who knew the sea-lore would be sent for to "fin' oot da misforn knotts" before any sixareen was launched. Round black knots were "misforn knotts". A boat with these sort of knots in her boards was sure to be cast away. "Windy knotts," or knots with sprains out from them, like "wind-straiks ida sky," told that the boat with these knots would always falling with gales and bad weather. 

"Good knotts," or "lucky knotts," took on the shape of ling, cod, or tusk-fish. Sixareens with these kind of knots always had good fortune at the "far-haaf," and sailed to the stations with big hauls of cod and ling.

"Blood knotts," were unlucky, "njuggle knotts," a portent of disaster, "ling knotts," and "hansel knotts," were lucky knots. The most dreaded "knott" of all was the one shaped in the image of a cat; if the boards of a sixaern were seen to contain any "knotts" shaped like cats, then the unfortunate timbers must be cast away and new ones substituted. 

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Essential equipment for the sixareen fishermen
19th century Owskerri or bailing scoop from Burra. 
Each area had different designs and colours.