Monthly Archives: April 2013

A SEA VIEW

fishermen-huts-ibizaWe were enthralled with our first view of a fisherman’s hut! It was a modern sculpture of timber and stone, bound together with twine and wire and reachable from the land above by a long tree limb with crosswise treads nailed every half metre. A good-sized hemp line dangled helpfully alongside. We saw many more of these huts while sailing around the Balearic Islands. Ranging from a few bits of wood nailed to a crosspiece and wedged across the mouth of a cave to elaborate double-storied structures with terraces, many of the huts are only visible from seaward. Crammed between rocky outcrops, dug into an overhang or built into a sheer cliff, the huts are practical, secure boat shelters … once you get your boat in them! Using manpower alone to push a small but hefty fishing boat up a series of tree crooks set into stone or, sometimes, concrete and then to negotiate wet and slippery rocks to get to a scree-ridden track heading upwards to a dirt road where, hopefully, someone waits with transport home does not seem like any kind of fun at all. This vital necessity to protect the means that feeds the family isn’t about fun anyway but it is a precious cultural heritage that should be protected.  There aren’t many fisherman’s huts left on the mainland: waterside property is far more precious. We can only hope that the Balearics don’t get sucked up by the EU’s health and safety rules, regulations and other requirements that are used to leach places and people of their individuality and their freedom to choose for themselves. Viva España!