Big shout out to all the people that turned out to support the fishermen’s protest at the UK Government’s capitulation to EU control of UK waters during the transition period. If they thought using commercial fishermen and anglers (and associated industries) as a pawn in the game without losing votes, I think they will have a surprise later. Anyway, on to the story. A good number of boats turned out to motor up and down along Southsea Common. It was a very still and murky day, so to add to the drama some crew decided to let of some flares and orange smoke.
Unfortunately, the smoke just sat there instead of blowing away. Orange smoke has a sticky residue. One particular charter boat, not the fastest, let off a smoke from the stern and became enveloped in its own cloud of orange, from which is could not go fast enough to escape. Net result, the poor skipper spent two hours cleaning orange stain off his newly painted topsides. Not very fair, really.
We are all looking forward to Dave and Caroline starting their charter business. The build of their new boat is nearing completion, and the countdown to launch begins. They are aiming for launch the Week of the 14th May. Chris at “Swiftcat Power Catamarans” is building the vessel, and this coming weekend will see the first fix of electronics plus safety gear and other equipment.
After launch the first week will be spent with sea trials, then it will be open for bookings. The website www.charterboatdointhedo.co.uk will go live at the same time. Dointhedo will be operating from Premier Marina Gosport, which means you can be out of Portsmouth harbour and heading to the chosen fishing grounds within minutes of leaving the berth. As part of the launch promotions, there will be a number of competitions to win charter trip “Gift Cards” which will allow the holder to take one of a variety of trips (Wrecking, Inshore etc). Keep an eye open on Facebook forums such as “Solent Beach & Boat Fishing” & “Solent Boat Fishing”, as well as the “Dointhedo” Facebook page for details on how to win one of these vouchers.
Here at Boat-Angling, we will be running a photo fish competition with a top prize of one of these amazing vouchers. Keep visiting this site to ensure you do not miss out on the details of this forthcoming competition.
If you wish to be informed of progress as it happens then write to Dave and Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will add you to the mailing list.
I am a stickler for wearing a life-jacket when at sea, but to be honest I am not so diligent when on land near water, or even boarding my boat from the marina pontoon. Looking around, I see that is not unusual but statistically most drownings occur within one metre of safety – such as falling off a boat while moored, or off a pontoon deck. I noticed the Baltic range of buoyancy aid clothing on promotion recently, which fit the bill perfectly. These are buoyancy aids which look and fit like clothing, so you are more likely to wear them. I chose the Sandhamn- a stylish gilet which I would wear for comfort and warmth anyway, and is also a fully functioning 50N buoyancy aid. It is available in red, black and white, in sizes S to XXL or 60Kg to 100Kg. I chose a Large size which is a snug fit on a 42″ chest and light clothing. Added features are two zipped outside pockets, a fleece collar, an inside zipped pocket and a crotch strap. I haven’t yet tested it by falling in, but I have tested the drying qualities after our cat chose to wee on it. I gave it a good rinse and hung it in our shower overnight. It was bone dry in the morning, even the fleece collar. I’m still not friends with the cat though.
I bought my Baltic Sandhamn for a very good online price at www.anodeoutlet.co.uk Clare Blatchford-Hanna has offered Boat-Angling readers free shipping if you use the code freeshipin the coupon box at checkout. While you are there, have a look at Clare’s impressive range of anodes too.
This is just outside of our area but I am sharing it here because it has some important safety messages that are a valuable reminder for everybody.
“At 0026 on 6 August 2017, the 5.64m recreational motor cruiser James 2 and the 26.24m commercial fishing vessel Vertrouwen collided in Sussex Bay,
1.6 miles south-east of Shoreham harbour (Figure 1). Both vessels were undamaged by the impact but James 2 was swamped by Vertrouwen’s wash and sank (Figure 2). Three of the men on board the motor cruiser drowned; a fourth was rescued from the water 5 hours later by a passing fishing vessel. James 2 was drifting with the wind and tide while the four men on board were rod fishing for mackerel; Vertrouwen had just left port and was on passage to Grimsby.
The collision occurred because Vertrouwen’s lone watchkeeper did not see James 2 and, by the time the sea anglers realised the danger they were in, they were unable to get out of the way. James 2 sank because it did not have the internal subdivision or built-in buoyancy necessary to keep it afloat in the flooded condition. The three sea anglers drowned because they were not wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) (lifejackets or buoyancy aids) and were unable to raise the alarm; the fourth sea angler was extremely fortunate to have survived.”
More details and recommendations here (including notes about the splash-well, lights, drinking and watch-keeping)
Ideally, send them away to be serviced. OK, not all of us do that so here is the next best thing.
Visually inspect all over for damage, and repair if possible.
Unwrap the bladder (inner yellow bit) and check for damage.
Check the firing mechanism – it will have a replace-by date and a green/red indicator. Replace if red or out of date.
Check the gas canister if you can see it. Replace if there is any corrosion on the surface.
Blow the lifejacket up using the mouthpiece. Preferably, use a pump to prevent getting damp air from your breath inside the bladder. Blow it up until firm
Leave 24 hours, and check if it is still firm. If it has lost noticeable firmness, send it away for repair or replace.
Repack according to the instructions.
Here is an extra tip. Try it on in the inflated state, and make sure you know how to do things like pull over the spray hood, pull out the EPIRB to activate and switch on the light. You might (or might not!) know where these things are in the packed state. It will all seem very different when it is inflated and you have time to find things when you are in a warm dry room. Better to get familiar now than in the cold water. I am glad I tried out the spray hood on my Spinlock – I don’t think I would have realised how it works without benefit of a mirror and a bit of practice!
29th December: This Russian cargo ship is in trouble midway between Cowes and Lee-on-Solent, so if the cod fail to show you can at least go and have a look. All 13 crew are safe but can’t be very comfortable.
From the EU Council agreement on 2018 fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea published on 13th December:
“Concerning sea bass the Council acknowledged the bad state of stocks in the Celtic Sea, Channel, Irish Sea and southern North Sea and their importance for many countries. It consequently decided to make additional efforts by only allowing limited fisheries with certain gears in those areas, while providing for a two months closure to protect spawning aggregations. Recreational fishing is further restricted, with only catch-and release fishing allowed during the entire year. A lower daily bag limit for recreational fisheries is also fixed in the Bay of Biscay.”