|Another nice spanish mackerel caught from the waters just outside Paka, Terengganu, Malaysia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The engine problems had been fixed so I decided to sail with the tide and arranged to meet up with Robbie in his boat "Wee Lad" off Dunure which was some 20 minutes away from Maidens if Chasca could achieve the fourteen and a half knots we discovered she was capable of.
The forecast was good with calm seas expected but as I let the mooring ropes go I noticed a stiff breeze wafting across the pontoon we were about to leave from.
While I was preparing to leave a small yacht was rounding the harbour mouth, heading in a northerly direction and as it cleared the shelter of the harbour I noticed that its mast was swaying about much more than I would have expected, which meant the sea was choppier than anticipated.
Quite often on hot sunny days the morning breeze becomes strong with the change in temperature in the air from the cool of the night to the heat of the rising sun.
Undeterred I set off down the short channel that would take me and Chasca on our first adventure.
Half way down I passed the small yacht retuning to port having thought better of venturing out on the choppy sea.
An old sea dog like me was made of sterner stuff so I gave Chasca a bit of throttle and soon it was us that was tossing about in the moderate swell kicked up by the early morning breeze.
Full speed ahead, and as the waves thumped into the hull it sounded like thunder, but when I felt the first brush of sea spray on my face memories came flooding back of the good old days.
Fourteen and a half knots was too fast for this kind of motion so I slowed her down to half speed, after all this was supposed to be fun time not an ordeal which it was turning out to be.
Instead of decreasing as I expected, the breeze freshened a bit more and the clumps and bangs on the hull became louder but I carried on, a lone boat punching through the waves, my legs buckling at the knees to counteract the dipping and diving Chasca performed as we pushed on.
There was a time when I had to slow her right down to ride an extra large wave, that I thought of going back, but I had visions of the sea going calm and the perfect conditions I expected when I traveled down to Maidens, and with Robbie on his way out of Dunure I carried on.
The sea abated slightly as I neared the Dunure shore, giving me some lee and I managed to give her more throttle, and then, through the spray I spied the Wee Lad steaming before the wind towards me.
" When I saw the sea state,I thought you might have turned back." Robbie shouted, his voice just audible above the now decreasing wind.
"NA! NA! you know me better than that." I laughed, then off we went to a piece of ground where we thought some fish might be.
Ten minutes later we were there and the sea had already calmed to the smoothness I had hoped for on our first trip.
Twenty minutes, and still no sign of fish so we headed to 50 feet and tried again.
It was Robbie who caught the first fish, a very small whiting that was immediately put back, but as soon as his hooks hit the bottom with his next cast he felt the tug on his line, and up came three mackerel.
No sooner had he his catch aboard when I felt a pull on my line which turned out to be a small whiting.
Whiting returned and swimming away I cast again and caught three mackerel in the same way Robbie did, it was as fast as that, but normally when that happens more follows. Not this time.
It was a day of moving about and catching three here and three there, but all in all fifteen mackerel and a good suntan was not a bad start to my new venture, considering these were the first signs of fish this season.
Robbie and I might be retired but we still haven't lost our touch.
Quite happy with the days events, six hours later, tired and weary, (old age is catching up with me) I headed for Maidens on a glass calm sea, giving Chasca her head, and at full knots it wasn't long until we were mooring up at the marina again.
So well had the day gone that I forgot to take photos, although Robbie took some on his camera as I steamed pasted him at full speed, so when he sends them to me I will post them.
Right now I am off to sea on our second adventure and as the day is sunny and the sea calm, the tide in early afternoon, I hope to have good fortune to report in the next post, accompanied with photos...............if I remember.
Make do with the stranger above for now ha ha.
CAST OFF FORWARD, CAST OFF AFT.