Friday 12th August (the Glorious Twelth – no grousing here!)

Visibility as we drove out of Halifax this morning was no more than 200 metres – drivers were being careful. Thoughts of “will we be able to start 300 metres at 0830?” sprang to mind. About 5 minutes before reaching the range, the fog burned off and we finished the drive in glorious sunshine.

Insect repellant was liberally applied on arrival, some bomber sized mozzies around! With the sun finally putting in a real appearance, the water on the range meant the vans could have driven on the resultant mirage.

Today's course of fire was 2/10's, at 300metres, twice at 500 metres and a final shoot at 800 mteres. Shooting started on time, at 0830. A gentle fishtail wind blowing up our trouser legs meant that so long as you left the sights alone, life was relatively easy. Some didn't.

Conditions at the first 500 shoot were relatively benign. Most had learned that the flags are very light and that the mirage was a better indicator of what was happening. Many of the team went clean in the morning with varying degrees of success connecting with the small V bull.

Again, our hosts produced timely drinks and eats at lunchtime that were ideal for our needs.

The first shoot, at 500 after lunch was judged “hard work” by many, with rapidly rising levels of humidity. The fishtail wind had by now got into its stride. Very quick changes through zero from 1½ mins left to about ½ right meant that some elevations opened up slightly as some very quick shooting was needed. V counts were slightly lower. Our Captain was shooting with a young team member from Huddersfield. She was wearing shorts, so an adventurous ant decided to go exploring; an expolaratory nibble caused enough distraction for our young lady to put a shot in the inner. Her blush was rather sweet when it was suggested that the ant had nibbled in anticipation of a cordon bleau snack.

The first detail at 800 metres required many team members to fire their sighters with no real idea of zeroes. Nearly everyone went high, often finding the magpie, outer, or even missing over the top. Being nice chaps, they told those of us in the second detail. The wind was still up the trousers, but changing quickly, as at 500 in the previous shoot. The firing point at this distance is actually the stop butt for the Association's pistol range, so it seems very high, looking down at the targets and the rest of the range. It makes for a very attractive view, though the wind flags are much lower than the flight of the bullet, so of little use at 800. The mound is actually at the same level as the targets, so in effect, one shoots uphill from every other distance.

Closer inspection of the day's stats showed Henry Day taking the morning's shoot with 50.7 at 300 to go with a 50.8 at 500. The team took the 11 top places.
Jon Kent enjoyed his afternoon top score with a 50.6 at 500 and a 50.8 at 800. A fine shoot in testing conditions. We had 6 members in the top 10.
The day's aggregate did not go to Day... who had 200.24, Jon Kent won with 200.25.

On the drive home, our young Cambridge graduate announced that he is thinking of checking out the massage parlour near the hotel. His blush was nearly as good as our young lady from 'uddersfield earlier in the day, when he was teased with the “oh so predictable” questions.

The team is attending a reception and dinner tonight at The Halifax Citadel to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Rifle Association, the oldest rifle association in northern America, north or south of the border.