September 10, 1938, Tangier

Temperature here said never to rise above about 85. Sea is fairly warm, water extremely clear, objects 20 & 30 feet below being visible when there is no wind. There is a tide rise of about a foot. Sea & harbour full of fish, but for some reason only the smaller kinds seem to be caught. There is a largish fish, about 6” to a foot long, brown-coloured & somewhat resembling a Pollock, which haunts the stones of the jetties in great numbers, swimming in shoals of 5-20, but all the fisherman say these cannot be taken on a hook. The method of fishing with rod & line for smaller fish seems to be foul-hooking. A contrivance made of about half a dozen small hooks set back to back, with a bait of bread or meat just above it, is lowered into the shoal & drawn rapidly up as the fish gather round it. Long-shore fishing with a net is done as follows. A net about 150' feet long & 6' deep, finely meshed in the middle but coarse towards the end, is carried out to sea by boats & placed in position, being held up by the floats. Attached to each end of the net is an immensely long rope, probably half a mile or more. This is gradually hauled in, the men on each rope converging gradually then bring the net into a curve. There is a team of 6 or 8 men & boys on each rope, They do not pull with their hands but have a string round the waist & on the end of it a knot that can be attached immediately to the rope. They then pull with the body, leaning backwards & doing most of the work with the right leg. As the rope comes in it is coiled, & as each man reaches the coils he detaches his string, runs forward & hooks on to the seaward end of the rope. Hauling in takes at least an hour. Of the one I saw hauled in, the bag was about 30lb of sardines (or some similar small fish) & about 5lb of sundries, including squids, red mullet, long-nosed eels etc., etc. Probably value (to the fisherman) about 5/-, & representing about 2 hours work-time to 15 men & boys, say 20 adult work-hours, or 3d an hour.

Donkeys here overworked to a terrible degree. They stand about 9-10 hands & carry loads which must often be well over 200lbs. After putting a considerable load on the donkey's back the driver then perches himself in the middle. Hills here extremely steep, 1 in 5 or 6 in many places, but donkeys go up carrying loads so immense that they are sometimes almost invisible underneath. They are nevertheless extremely patient & willing, usually wear no bridle or halter & do not have to be driven or even led. They follow or walk just in front of master like a dog, stopping when he stops & waiting outside any house while he is inside. The majority seem to be uncastrated, ditto with many of the horses (all small & in poor condition.)

Smells here not too bad, in spite of the heat & labyrinthine bazaars.

Fruit in season, prickly pear, melons of many kinds, grapes, brinjals, otherwise all European. Water carried in goatskins & sold. Large fig-tree here has both green & purple figs on it, a thing I did not know happened. A sort of convolvulous creeper very common here has blue flowers & pinkish flowers on same plant & sometimes on same stem. Flowers now out, cannas, bourgainvillea, geraniums; peculiar coarse grass for lawns.

Two kinds of swallow or martin here. No gulls in harbour.

Gets dark here well before 7pm (ie. really 7, summer time not being in operation.)

Butter here all right, but fresh milk apparently almost unobtainable.