How to negotiate with the Captain of the fishing vessel and don’t go fishing

“The phrase “you can’t go with us” from fishers, security guards or from the organizers paid trips in a small boat for 200 dirham, it’s perceived as a challenge…”

10 October 2016

On arrival in a pirate town Essaouira my first desire was to catch a wave and to go fishing with the locals. By the way, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ was filmed in this town.


I decided to postpone surfing since renting the board is much easier than, say, finding a large fishing boat and sailing with the locals to catch fish, crabs and squids.

I spent three days on the search! Every day I approached local fishermen and asked how to get to a boat. Everyone said it’s not possible since I don’t have the documents that would allow me to leave the port and become a part of the local fishermen team.

The town is really small, there are very few tourists, and no one speaks English.

I was living not far from the port, so be it 5 am or 1 pm I just kept walking around looking for a captain.

The phrase “You may not go with us” from the fishermen, guards or providers of rental fishing from an oar boat for 200 Dhs is taken as a challenge, as a way of proving that there is a bypass to get onto the boat. Besides, it’s up to the captain to decide, not the sailor.

As a result on the third day I came up to a group of fishermen, sat down in front of them and said I just had to go with them, that I was ready to work like them, to do whatever they told me to, even to catch those crabs with my teeth without requiring any money in return. They declined again!

I didn’t go away anyway and quite by accident the captain saw me and told me to come up to him. He hadn’t finished speaking yet and I was already jumping down to the deck. Having stumbled over the rope on my way I approached him.

The captain turned out to be a young fellow of around thirty. At first he started showing me the documents and the sailors’ passports and said I couldn’t join them. In the end he gave up and told me to sit still and to keep a low profile. I was as happy as a pig in muck.

I had some things to take from the hotel. As I returned to the port I met one of the sailors from that ship and we went to have some coffee since we still had five hours before the departure.

On our way we dropped in at his friends’ from another ship. All in all, everything went as planned.


“The guy on the left looks like that actor from the movie Point Break”

After watching soccer and having tea I went back to the port again and found out to my surprise that they sail until all the containers are full of sea animals. That’s almost a week!!!

Oh no, I planned on spending 1 day in the ocean as a max since I had arranged to see my friend off to the airport and, well, just to spend my time with him.

That was the dream of my life! Spending the whole week on the ship with no shores in sight. I would really know the life of local fishermen and the process of fishing.

I came to the hotel really sad, and I still am even as I’m writing this entry. The only thing that’s makin me happy is the fact that I proved to myself that ‘no’ is not the final answer but just a pointer at other possible ways! Not here, then somewhere else.

By the way, one of the crew members brought me squids, shrimps and a huge grouper. The next day we had it all cooked in a local café.

Soon I’m going to Casablanca from where my friend is departing. I’m going to renew my efforts in making friends with the captain and finding out what it feels like to be seasick.


Soon we will meet on the opposite side of the world in South America, follow our travels:

The translation was made by PM:STUDIO
Переведено: PM:STUDIO