Yesterday promised to be a good fishing day. Unfortunately I chose to go where the wind, stronger than forecast, was making conditions more uncomfortable than I cared for. After much moving about and many miles travelled, I only had dogfish, pout and a wrasse to report. It happens. However, the big benefit of fishing here on the Solent is that there is nearly always something interesting to see. This trip included a drive-past of HSL102 at speed, the restored WW2 aircrew rescue launch. Then as dusk approached, a Spitfire flow over and provide a display (albeit at a distance) of loops, rolls and low passes as it showed off to the residents of No Mans Land Fort. The sound of the engine was unmistakable – have a listen below.
Here are some of the entries for the DoinTheDo photo competition received so far. There is still time to send in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close 30th June 2018. First Prize a day on DoingTheDo charter boat with Dave and Caroline; runner-up prizes of bags of DoinTheDo swag!
To commemorate the launch of Dave and Caroline’s charter venture, DoinTheDo, we are running a competition though June 2018 to find the best photograph featuring fish!
First prize: a full day fishing on DoinTheDo, donated by Dave and Caroline
Runners-up prizes: DoinTheDo Swag bags containing DoinTheDo goodies, donated by Dave and Caroline.
How to enter: send your photographs to email@example.com either as a Catch Report or separately as a competition entry. We will also have scouts out looking for likely winners in the local Solent Facebook groups!
What we are looking for: imaginative photographs showing the beauty of fish or the joy of fishing. Try different angles, close-ups, action shots, fish in the water – anything that shows fish and fishing at its best.
Entries close at midnight on 30th June. Winners will be notified the following week.
The May SMAC meeting featured a boat safety talk by Brian Masters representing the RNLI. The audience included SMAC members, ECA and other guest who packed into the Marina Bar to hear Brian and take advantage of the Life-jacket Clinic run by RNLI Volunteer Richard Hills. Although the audience was composed of experienced boat anglers, Brian who was an excellent speaker, took this into account and we all learned something new. He also showed us some very interesting and helpful videos of RNLI rescues, and what actually happens when you fall in the water with and without a life-jacket.
The RNLI are promoting life-saving actions to take if you fall in the water, and my own takeaway was that once you overcame the initial Cold Water Shock effect, you only have a limited time to save yourself because after your body temperature drops 2C, you pass beyond the phase of “useful consciousness” and are then totally reliant on rescue. Brian shared some great tips and I am sure everyone went away much better informed on sea safety issues.
The RNLI were very generous with their safety freebies, and in return SMAC and guests raised £94 for RNLI funds. We are very grateful to Brian and Richard for turning out as volunteers, and to the RNLI for being there if we need them.
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. Visually check the condition of stitching on all the straps too.
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.
If the canister is not corroded, weigh it – check it’s above the MIN. GR. WT stamped on the side and replace if it’s below that weight.
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!
My thanks to Andrew (Clinker) of WSF for improving this list of checks!