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FISH OF THE MONTH COMPETITON - sponsored by CLOVEN HOOF...

August 13, 2018

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Getting to know her...

So, finally, after some last minute delays due to coding issues (the biggest one being the inspector off sick...) and some miscommunication about the sign writing, BIF1 was lowered into Brighton marina on the morning of Tuesday 9th May. Sadly, Capt Bruce was otherwise engaged, enjoying his Marine First Aid training, and subsequent certificate. Which meant I had to helm her single handed for the first time. The shaking in the video below perhaps sums up just how nervous I was...

 

 BIF1 gently lowered into Brighton Marina...

It didnt seem right to take BIF1 out without Bruce on board, so I fueled her up, and tied alongside Scooby to transfer a few personal effects. Then, I put her on her new mooring, right under the marina office. That evening, Bruce popped by on his way home from the exam. We went down, and of course could not resist having a quick thirty minutes on the rod. On the very first cast, and very inshore, my rod slammed round with a small schoolie attached. That is was not a big fish did not matter. The fact that a bass had been caught on the very first ever cast from BIF1, seemed to be a great omen. The only fish of the very short session, although Bruce did have a better fish chase his lure to the surface.

 

 Assembling the TetraDock...

 

The next day Bruce and I went down to meet the very nice man from www.tetradock.com. We had put much thought into which way to go with avoiding organic build up on BIF1's hull. The options were three fold. 1 - An annual haul, blast and scrape, involving painting chemicals onto BIF1's hull. Not always completely effective. And I had recently been experiencing the power loss and increased fuel consumption on Scooby, that occurs when a lot of nasty stuff grows. 2 - Have a very expensive copper based antifoul put on the hull. The manufacturers claim ten years protection. However, people we spoke to said this is not always the case. 3 - Have a floating dock, and power BIF1 out of the water onto it each trip. This was the most attractive option straight away, but after investigating, price once more came into play. It was looking very likely option 1 was the way forward.

 Powering BIF1 up and onto the pontoon

 

And then, a friend, Matt Bedding, mentioned he was purchasing a dock from tetradock.com. Bruce chased down the firm, and found the price was way less than half the nearest rival. Further investigation showed the docks had a good reputation. Bruce put in the order, and here we were a couple of weeks later lamely attempting to assist the very nice man... It was assembled in less than two hours, launched and tied into place. A couple of additional fenders were hastily purchased, to keep the pontoon away from the finger, and then, Bruce and I were into practicing launch and return. Its actually not nearly as difficult as it looks. You bring the nose up to the center of the pontoon, and use the engine at low revs to straighten up. Just as you are central, you straighten the engine up very quickly and push the power on hard. And she goes up. You can adjust her angle using the engine all the way up. Coming off is very easy. You simply put the power on full astern, and as soon as she starts moving, come off the power. She drops nicely off the pontoon. Much more practice requited, but we will be mooring like dons by the time of the first paying customers.

 Holly with a giggle inducing gurnard...

Next on the agenda was to get Bruce with more experience of running around after people. Bruce appreciates that there is a big difference with going fishing on a boat, and taking people fishing on the boat. With this in mind, he invited a couple of his friends as guinea pigs. Neither have much fishing experience, which meant Bruce would need to do everything for them.Not just tackle, but also in making decisions as to when to move, when to start a new drift. The whole shebang. And he came up absolute trumps. Our happy guests, Holly and Andy, caught Plaice, Gurnard and bass, as well as squid which they had declared were their number one aim. I also played, and found all of the above, plus a nice wrasse who's beauty impressed Texan Holly very much. 

 So pretty and so strong... the wrasse obviously...

It was time for Holly and Andy to go ashore, and Bruce chose to join them for a cup of tea and an hour of stability. I elected to return out to sea, to continue familiarizing myself with BIF1. I was quite nervous. I had become so confident with Scooby and her peculiarities and now I have to learn BIF1's from scratch. I went to a spot eastwards for a few drifts, and quickly managed five schoolies to sg sandeels. Then I spotted the famliar outline of "Proteus" my mate Steve Green's catamaran about a mile further out to sea. I gave him a ring to see if anything was happening out there. He mentioned he had his camera on board... a mutually beneficial photo session was planned. He took some great shots of me and BIF1, and then I went alongside and retrieved the camera, and returned the favour. After all of this, Bruce rang to say his car keys were still aboard. I went and met him, and we went out for another hours familiarization. Pretty much the schedule until the 1st June, when we will officially open for business...

 BIF1 leaving a swell at a little over 30 knots....

 

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