Have a Go Iceland Philosophy Sailing Talking Point Why Adventure?

Fishing for Experiences: When Failure is Success in Disguise

Fishing Eskifjordur
Written by Stuart Wickes

Talking Point: Fishing for experiences

I’m fortunate (or is it unfortunate) enough to have never had to fish for my supper. I’ve never had to bait up a line, cast off, reel in or gut a fish. I’ve never really driven a motor boat either. So perhaps it was a little foolish of us to rent a motor boat, borrow a couple of rods and set off to explore Eskifjordur to try and catch a fish supper. But it just seemed too good an opportunity to miss. Iceland is famous for its fishing and the fjords of Eastern Iceland are a picture perfect place to give it a go.

Eskifjordur Iceland

Looking out onto Eskifjordur, in Iceland’s Eastern Fjords

We’ve got the gear but no idea

It wasn’t until we were out in the fjord that it dawned on me we really had no idea what we were doing, beyond circling perpetually while dangling lines over the side of the boat. It took us fifteen minutes to figure out how to start the boat and get it in gear. Out in the fjord, it took another ten minutes to figure out how to release the clutch on the fishing reels and a further ten to wind all the line back in again after it whirred its way into the depths.

Fishing Eskifjordur

Fishing in Eskifjordur, looking out to the peninsular at Mjoeyri

Having fun arguing

Still, it was fun to be out on the water arguing over whose turn it was to hold the rods or steer the boat. At least until the mist rolled in and the land disappeared much like the fish. Despite our best efforts, unfortunately (or is it fortunately), nothing bit on the lines. Which is probably just as well for I think if a fish had landed in the boat some of us would have jumped straight out.

It all sounds like a pretty unsuccessful family fishing adventure. And I guess it would have been if we really had needed a fish for our supper.  But fortunately (or is it unfortunately) it really didn’t matter; we weren’t fishing for dinner, we were fishing for experience.

We tried and we failed. That’s what I call success…

I used to think an adventure had to be something in which you are tested in some way, achieve something or acquire a new skill. Perhaps I’m getting old and lazy, for these days I’m less about catching the fish, or even about learning how to fish. I’m just happy to get out and do something new. So we went fishing. We tried. We failed. We learned nothing. But we had a lovely time.

Talking Points

Have you been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to go out and fail at anything lately? Do you ever go fishing just for experiences? Do you think failure is a success?

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Talking Point is a series of short posts in which we pick a photo, write a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Do leave a comment with your thoughts.


About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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