It is never too late to follow your dream: Tor-Ørjan Store is fishing cod in the waters off the Senja island. (Photo: Private)
Are you uncertain if you have chosen the right profession, or have you been dreaming of becoming a chef, archaeologist or sailmaker? Tor-Ørjan Store (42) quit his job as an IT consultant, bought a boat and started fishing in Northern Norway.
– I always wanted to be a fisherman, but after my military service I received a work contract. Then, I met a woman, and then we got children, he tells the Finnmarken newspaper.
In 2013 the children had grown so big that Tor-Ørjan could follow his childhood’s dream.
– I started to think about what I really wanted to become in life and what plans I had. It was maybe a midlife crisis that got me to start as a fisherman.
He resigned his job as an IT consultant in Tana municipality and chose a much tougher profession.
– The first year I fished in the Varangerfjord in Eastern Finnmark. At that time, I had a small boat, a 27-foot plastic fishing boat.
To open more opportunities, he chose to buy a bigger wooden boat and sailed to the Senja island, Norway’s second largest island, to start cod fishery earlier than what one does in Eastern Finnmark.
Net Fishing off Senja
– The sea is a little bit bigger and the current is a little bit stronger around Senja than in the Varangerfjord, but otherwise it is pretty similar, says Tor-Ørjan.
He is not the type that exaggerates. Fishing off Senja is far rougher and riskier than what he describes.
The steep mountains continue below sea level and the fishermen must set their nets just a few feet from shore.
– We must ensure that we are not drifting up on shore. The shallower we dare to set the nets, the more fish we get, he says.
Ideally, the nets are set on about 60 feet (18 meters) deep, often only a stone’s throw away from land.
– The best wind is of course off-shore wind, so you do not run aground while pulling in the net.
Despite the dangers at sea, the former IT consultant is very happy with his new job.
– I am very happy with net fishing. Sometimes it is a bit too much wind, but I have always enjoyed working outside, says Tor-Ørjan.
Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews