It’s only when night falls, the sun like a pool of something molten yet cold on the grey horizon, that I realise just how alone I am on the boat. It’s just me, attended by a silent retinue of winches, hooks, scratched plastic tubs and battered steel tables. And then, beyond the chipped paint of the gunwales, the infinite ocean. It’s a perfect arena for introspection, scored by the lashings of rain on a hard metal deck. There’s not even a bird this far out. There’s nothing: just me and the crabs, in their invisible millions. And that’s when the speed kicks in.
This week, after twenty years of deadline rushes, mood swings, lost keys and unreplied emails, I was diagnosed (against my every insistence at the start of the process) with ADHD. It’s a strange time, as I’m having to re-evaluate a lot of things I thought about myself. Many things I thought were deep character flaws are, it seems now, just medical facts – but that doesn’t mean for a moment I don’t have to do anything about them. That discussion is for another time, however. I’ve come here to talk about drugs and industrial fishing.