Thursday 11th August

Our first real day of competition. A warm, muggy morning with “mizzle” was the order of the day on the way to the range. Total entry for the Nova Scotia meeting this year has been restricted to 42 shooters and we are a team of 20. The morning's course of fire was 2 sighters and 10 to count at 300 and 500 metres. A good thing. 300 metres was about as far as we could see. Didn't seem to matter, with virtually no wind, scores were high. 13 possibles were recorded, with 12 being from the team. I feel I must note that the Captain was one of those, accompanied by 1 V bull, but don't mention that I have put that in the diary!

The 500 metre shoot was won by John Warburton. The mizzle was beginning to dry up as we approached the lunch break. A majority of our number put them all in, many with reassuring V counts. The ammunition was pronounced “probably acceptible”

Prior to lunch, the team decided on an improptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” to one of the older members, who last had a birthday in Canada when he was an Atheling in 1973. Naturally this occasion has been the excuse for much ribaldry during the day.

Our hosts proved an ideal lunch. Some chilli stew, buttered rolls, chocolate chip biscuits all washed down with either coffee or water. Most welcome as we had all been up since at least 0615.

The afternoon's shooting saw us competing in a Queen's I match. By this time, the temperature was on the rise, along with the humidity and the mosquitoes. After the rain of the last few days, the range is sodden, so it's all a bit muggy anyway – one of those so very personal times when putting on waterproofs ends in moisture not getting out, rather than any getting in.

Again, scores were high, Steve Penrose taking the afternoon with a 105.15. The top 10 featured 8 from the team.

The programme called for us to finish shooting by about 1645. We were all done and dusted by about 1530. Many thanks to the local youngsters marking so well and to a very efficiently run range, so efficiently run that one of our number actually missed his detail as it occurred some 20 minutes before schedule.

The wind is due to change direction tomorrow, so now that we all have no doubt as to our zeroes, we can look forward to more of a challenge from the weather gods.