Passed through the Bridges at 7.30 am. and stopped in a couple of places for Mackeral. Our first mark only produced small Bass and was very weedy. The second mark was a bit hit and miss but gave us some nice chunky specimens and some Scad.
We then tried a couple of spots about 6 miles south of Swanage about an hour before low. During the day we spoke to several Club Boats and heard Marichelle, Jojo, Alfresco and Hydra. The next hour gave us a steady stream of fish. There were plenty of Tope up to 25lbs. Conger to 20lbs, a good selection of Rays up tp14 lbs. A couple of specimen Red Gurnards just under the 1.5 lbs mark, Pout, more Mackeral and Scad and the inevitable doggies and bream.
Late afternoon, we moved inshore for a few Plaice. We managed around 20 plus with three keepers on the 2 lbs mark. While we were Plaicing we were listening on Ch 16 to all the Maydays and Pan Pans which seemed never ending.
One call was from a small 15 foot fishing with four on board. They were out of Cobbs. Initially, they put out a Mayday, but they had managed to tie onto a red can before the Ferry. The owner explained to the Coast Guard that he was new to boating and had only just got the boat and was using it for the first time. There were four on board with life jackets. The Coast Guard was very sympathetic and professional and explained the difference between a Mayday and a Pan Pan and put out a request for any vessel able to assist with a tow to Cobbs. We thought nothing more about the Pan Pan Relay and proceeded to the Secret Ray Mark. The Rays were very co-operative, especially the Undulates, and Mike managed a Spotted for his Species Hunt.
Around 20 hours, we upped anchor and headed in. This was a good couple of hours after the original Mayday/Pan Pan. We came past the Chain Ferry and saw the broken down vessel still attached to the red can. The tide was now ebbing around 5 knots and they were beam on to passing boat traffic and really being bashed about in rough conditions. There was about just over an hours light left by now. We decided to respond to the Coast Guards Pan Pan Relay and were able to lash the vessel alongside with Mike and Jan's help. I was a bit concerned about the height difference of the two boats and had I not been happy at this point, we would have asked for a Lifeboat. Fisheagle was able to protect the vessel from several idiot Gin Palaces speeding through the Harbour. Most vessels slowed down when they saw the situation and a good blast on the horn caught the attention of others. Once we got out of the rough water and near the Island, things improved and we were able to proceed at 4 knots.
We did not take any photos of the incident as we did not want to embarrass anyone. The owner could well become a Club Member in the future and will go out with a buddy boat next time. A big thank you to the female Bridge Officer on Condor Liberation who had been monitoring my conversations with the Coast Guard and Harbour Control and who, when I asked her, ensured that the Condor passed with minimum wash. Also, Bridge Conrol for ensuring that our passage through both Bridges was traffic free and unimpeded. Thanks also to Mike and Jan for a nice clean boat and a great day. Finally, a reminder to self after such a stunning day, that there is not much sun cream left on board. Now the fun starts, trying to upload a few fishing pictures.