1st sailing, and I was very pleased to welcome back Steve and Julian. Julian is an absolute doppleganger for my friend Le Roux, (both have South African roots) and it quite freaks me out every time I see him. I was really keen to get the guys a coddie, but after two hours of the session trying, without success, it was back in for the bass. These were playing well once I found a shoal. Nothing big, but enough action for Steve and Julian to want to extend their session to the 2nd one. Here they were joined by ever regular Mark, and my very beautiful Czech friend Katarina.
2nd session was way better. I put coddies out of my mind, and went and chased bass instead. And bass we got. Plenty of them. And also, a very nice surprise. My very first, and only a 2nd on BIF1, John Dory. Only a wee chappie, that was returned after a photo shoot. I was well made up. I was also made up to see Katarina fishing like a complete pro. Her very occasional trips out with me have created a very competent "Rybarska". Makes me very proud. Steve and Julian both found bigger fish than on the first session. Marky was actually, and very rare for him, the one not doing so well, although he pulled it all together towards the end and included a new PB wrasse in his tally. Very enjoyable stuff.
3rd sailing, and a return of my man Clive. With a very special man in tow. His father, Ken. Sadly, Ken suffers with dementia, which I know quite well as my mother also has "short term memory issues". Just as my mother, Ken was actually a lot of fun. The trip had been discussed before hand, and the target was not so much to catch fish, but to provoke memories of happier times, when Ken (who was always super fit, even running for England at one point in his youth) was crazy for fishing shad in South Africa.
I must admit, I was quite nervous about the trip prior, not knowing what to expect. But I was at ease the moment I met Ken. Such a polite gentleman, in every sense of the word. He was reluctant to fish at first, wanting to just watch. But something told me he was just being polite. So, I insisted. And his smile, when attached to his first ever bass, told me it was a good call. The whole session was an absolute delight for me, and his thanks at the end of the session, bought tears to my eyes. Privately of course.
It left me with a desire to do more of this sort of work. Dementia robs people of their ability to live unaided, because of the little things in life, such as leaving the gas ring on or forgetting to feed the cats. But the real person is still there. Very much. And something that they can associate with, brings it al out. A very beautiful ending to the day.