Friday was practice day, I got my tackle ready at the campsite and found one of my reels had packed up. I took it apart and could see the problem but not how to fix it, years of neglect had finally taken its toll. A trip to the tackle shop and a £110 pounds lighter and I was the proud owner of a Diawa SLOSH20. Out on the water, on a glorious day and I was soon into some Wrasse, all Ballans. But the echo sounder was working fine and I was happy I could find fish on competition day. I moved out to deeper water in search of Rays, but only found a solitary Dogfish. Mackerel were conspicuous by there absence. Back at the campsite things were livening up with new vans and cars arriving every few minutes with yaks lashed to there roofs or on trailers. My mate Pete turned up after first going to the wrong campsite. After too much beer and rum I turned in and set the alarm for 06:20…Snapper woke me at 6 trying to cadge some milk. I got up. By the time we drove down to the car park it was nearly full and just managed to grab the last few places. It is a great atmosphere on competition day. With all the kayaks being rigged and wheeled down to the lawn area and all the banter that goes along with it. Then breakfast at the open air café and the safety briefing. Before we launched Richi paid tribute to Cam who recently passed away, it was a moving and heartfelt eulogy which ended with a rousing 3 cheers for our friend.
We launched in a mass start at 10am, a hundred yaks heading out into the bay. Fanning out, rods bristling from their arse ends and paddles whirling like the Dagenham girl pipers on speed.
Sunday. And after packing up it was down to the bay for a last session. Myself and Andrew were planning to go out, but the car park was full when we got there. I bumped into Dave who suggested Kimeridge. That sounded more relaxing than sharing Swanage bay with every sailing dingy and jetski in Dorset. I went to find Andrew who had by now found a parking space. So it was just me and Starvin who headed up the coast. What a stunning paddle that part of the coast is. Truly world class scenery. We caught bugger all, not even a bite between us. But as chill out time we filled our boots.