Let me tell you a tuna story
Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:31 PM
We decide to sleep on the boat and leave at 5 am so as to get the last two hours of the ebb tide to get us past Portland at around slack water . George had bottled it after last year and decided to drive down in Lee’s car . The only problem with this is that George hasn’t driven a manual car for 24 years saga to follow .
We store all the bags and bedding in the shower and toilet to keep everything tidy and shut the door . We leave the pontoon at 5 and get the tide all the way till we pass Portland weather not too bad cruising along at 22 knts . By the time we get halfway across West Bay we’re down to 14 knts and the weather has turned on us like an ex wife “shitty “ not what we were expecting .
Cruising along steadily at 14 knts we slowly reached start point and the start of day break . The weather improved and soon we were back to 20 knts and time for a coffee and some breakfast . I Went to fill the kettle and there was no water which was strange as I had filled the tanks the day before with 300 Ltrs.
A quick check of the switches and no fault found , a quick check in the shower room and hey presto we have an indoor swimming pool now that’s posh you might think . But in the rough weather the luggage has shifted an switched the hot water on in the shower room . Now because the pump is not switched on we have all the luggage and bedding has been sprayed with 300ltr of hot water and every bag is full of water a good start we both agree . We put all the bags on deck with the soggy bedding and hang up what washing we can . We decide to phone George to let him know the bad news but ended up laughing so much I thought I might need a tena pad . When he answered the phone he sounded relieved to hear from us and explained he hadn’t been able to contact us as we had no phone signal so we asked him what the problem was . He explained he had parked in McDonald’s and when he went to leave he couldn’t find reverse gear so after trying for 20mins he got a couple of blokes to give him a push to point him in the right direction OH DEAR . When we explained about the flooding he said oh that’s not so bad my bags in the back of the car on which note we said see you in Falmouth and the phone went silent .
By the time we had reached the eastern end of the naval exercise area we had decided sod the clothes so put them all in a pile and we would wash and tumble dry it all at the marina .
The weather had settled down so we decided it was time to set the out riggers and the lures and with not a lot of effort it all sat very well at 5 knts
we trolled towards Falmouth we passed the fisheries protection vessel which must have wondered what the hell we were doing but they would find out at a later date.
As we approached Falmouth we reclaimed the lures and the outriggers and headed for the marina and looked forward to a well deserved pint . Once we had moored up we headed for the launderette at the marina where the worst of the clothes were put in the washing machine and the quilt spun dry and loaded in the tumble drier .
Admittedly I had to load the quilt with my foot as it did not want to fit but With some persuasion I managed to slam the door shut.
So then it was all up the pub to have few pints and a pasty well it ended up at 6 each actually . By this time we were all feeling happy so on the way back it was time to get my quilt and put the washing in the drier . Well the quilt was some what melted or fused together as George put it , now that was comforting from somebody who couldn’t find reverse gear . We got back to the boat and ate our pasty’s with a nice bottle of red wine and agreed the day had been eventful and tomorrow could only get better .
The next three days
Woke up at 7-00am feeling a little worse for wear but nothing a quick shower and a full English couldn’t put right washed down with copious amounts of coffee .
Back to sea wolf and get ready for the off by 8-30 . We steamed out to the 6 mile line and started setting the gear which we were quite proficient at by this time . We trolled east for about 25 miles and never saw much at all just the odd dolphin . We were now off Dodman point which was once known as Deadmans point where the tragic accident of the sinking of the Darlwyne happened on the 31 July 1966 with the loss of 31 lives the day after England had won the world cup , a sombering thought as we turned and headed back towards Falmouth.
The weather was wall to wall sunshine , this was better than the previous day
Then a scream “tuna in the spread “ poor old George was wrong again it was dolphins but what a sight to behold hundreds with calves jumping and racing around the boat .
We trolled all the way back to Falmouth and not a sniff or sighting of a tuna , I was now thinking of Mr Chapman’s comment last year “you have two hopes no hope and bob hope “ could he have been clairvoyant and meant this year . Well we retrieved the lures and shipped the poles and put it all down to a learning curve that could only improve with time . We stopped and feathered up some mackerel just so we could say we didn’t blank which turned the day into a success and not total failure .
Returning to the pontoon the boys washed the boat down and I did the hoovering “I know my place in life” . We collected are dry washing so we were now back to normal well as normal as three blokes can be living on a boat . Up,the pub for a few pints and dinner and talk the day over to see what we could change for the next day .
On returning to the pontoon the chap on the next boat turned up and exchanged a few pleasantries then disappeared? . In the morning george was causing a lot of commotion about a gannet caught in fishing line so I rushed out to see what the problem was . Well to my disbelief the bloke had put a rod out over night with a bubble float on fishing with live prawn which a cormorant had swallowed . I explained to George that gannets were white and not black with evil eyes .
I retrieved the cormorant which was well and truly pissed off by now and very aggressive with which George quipped “a bit like you that one” which almost hurt my feelings . The cormorant had gutted the hook so I got my Ck scissors out to cut the line as close as possible . While trying to cut the line the cormorant made a lunge at my fingers and while pulling my hand out the way I inadvertently threw the scissors over the side which George found amusing , so I let the cormorant go and it turned on George like an evil vampire and drew blood from George’s fingers now I was the one laughing . By this time we were both starting to get annoyed so I went and got the fillet knife to cut the line and just for a split second the thought of beheading the cormorant flashed through my mind but a swift cut of the line and he was free . We put him on the pontoon as he was waterlogged but he jumped in and legged it with not so much as a by you way . I put the rod back on the inconsiderate anglers boat and how unlucky it snapped in half as I replaced it “justice me thinks” .
Well the next few days we’re much the same with no more mishaps and no sighting of any tuna or sharks . By the fourth day we decided to go live baiting for blues and steamed off for eight miles . The life boat crew said they had seen tuna the previous evening while on exercise so we thought it worth a go .
Well the weather was starting to get scruffy and mackerel were non existent with just tons of bloody channel whitting . The super pod or dolphins turned up yet again and this is what the lifeboat crew must have mistaken for tuna .
We were starting to loose the will to live as the white tops had made it almost imposible to spot any activity at all and through the gloom a ship with a gun on its stern was making its way way towards us . It stood off about 500mtr away and the stern door lowered like Darth Vader’s Death Star then it threw out what looked like an orange Telly tubby but no it was an inflatable with with two warriors on board .
Nigel asked if it was ok to come aboard with which i replied no and then told them I was only joking , which they found amusing . He said the boat looked impressive the other day as they passed us when we were trolling . He asked us if we were live baiting for sharks with which we replied yes and did we know the rules on blue fin tuna , again I replied yes . The ship came real close and took loads of photos and we also took loads and with that Nigel bade us farewell and was gone “nice chap” think his name was Nigel .
After another hours fishing we decided to call it a day and headed for home where we came across the European fin class championships . Bloody rag and stick boys everywhere no one wanting to give way which could have been a recipe for disaster . Well I could not get through so I joined the downwind leg at 20knts now I can’t understand what all the waving and shouting was about as we were overtaking all and sundry and going the same way heading towards the two red bouys in the distance.
Well heads down and were first through the bouys . I think we won but we decided not to collect are first prize in case of any repercussions .
The forecast was deteriorating so we made the call to come home and return when the weather settles down , the only thing left to do was load up with pasties and pies and head for Dorset.
- Maverick, Paul J, Brian and 9 others like this
Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:18 AM
Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:29 AM
Keep a good record of what goes on with this trip Fred !
The way it's going Hollywood will want to make a film about it and you'll be able to buy a bigger boat with
it's own laundry room !
Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:07 PM
You should write a book Fred it would be very entertaining
- Kingfisher 126 likes this
Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:09 PM
Has the three month trip been shortened Fred?
Typo or the presence on Nigel and his chums?
good read mate
- iansimpson63 likes this
Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:35 PM
- niggle and Stuie like this
Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:40 PM
No we go back next Sunday when the weather settles down .This means a lot more writing as the plan is the end of december .
good luck Fred
hope you get a couple, you have certainly put some preparations in