How would a boy raised in the 21st century world of Snapchat, Xboxes and TikTok cope with life on an Atlantic trawler, tossed by the constant waves, chilled by the icy winds?
Caleb’s father David recognised the dangers. He himself was just a child when he sailed with his own father. Indeed the family has handed down fishing lore from father to son since the 13th century. Could this generation be the last?
For the first couple of days aboard Crystal Sea, Caleb was seasick. Undaunted, he cooked daily meals for his father and their three crewmen, serving up spicy Mexican dishes, stews and curry. He took his turn sorting the catch, gutting fish, chopping ice and filling buckets.
“I was really pleased that he stood up and put the effort in,” says David, as the two of them sit together at home in Cornwall remembering this first outing. “He wanted to be part of the crew.”
Caleb had asked to be allowed on the boat for a while, so David knew he was keen. But it could have gone either way, once the reality of a week out on the ocean struck home. It was a challenge for David too: would he be able to teach his son? Would Caleb listen?