Wednesday 10th August

The team followed one of our Nova Scotian hosts to the lock up where our rifles had been stored and thence the forty five minute drive up to the range. We had all been shopping the day before and one of the vans carried victuals for the whole team to have breakfast and lunch on the range.

Bull Meadow range goes back to eight hundred metres and faces North East. It was constructed by members of the Nova Scotia R.A. in 2004 and cut out of the predominantly pinewood forests common in the province. They have seven nicely balanced, cantilever targets. We were advised that the prevailing wind is from about eight o'clock, though today's shooting saw light airs mainly from the right and pretty much in our faces.

Rifles were dried out, sights fitted, bedding screws torqued up and all was prepared for our first shoot in Canada. This year's Great Britain Rifle Team's first shot, fired by a tall left handed shot was correct for wind. It clung on to the target at twelve o'clock and the Vice Captain, who was butt marking assures us that he was very generous in awarding a scoring hit. At least the shooter probably has an idea of his 500 metre zero.

As ever, the entertainment then continued. One of our stouter, taller new caps produced guffaws as the bench he was delicately perched upon unceremoniously collapsed under him. It must be said that he seemed to enjoy posing for the subsequent photos. Fortunately no splinters ended up anywhere painful!

The Captain was heard to request the Vice Captain for the loan of a stool. Our Vice Captain found it necessary to instruct the Captain on how to straddle his stool properly, ensuring that the ventilation was in the correct corner.

Having blown out our collective cobwebs at 300 metres, the team moved back to 600, where we shot individually and then were coached. The ammunition was deemed more than up to the job, holding the Canadian half area V bull more often than not.

Shooting finished reasonably early and we all returned to the Lord Nelson Hotel to change prior to motoring out to Bill Gilles delightful waterfront home for a much appreciated barbeque. As it was raining (again), few team members ventured onto the water. However, a few of us enjoyed a trip on a small boat for a “sightseeing” cruise. A bald eagle was glimpsed and we rescued a teenage lad who was seen rowing his boat, towing him back to his mooring having run out of gas. I heard a new word on the cruise. The Canadian winters are harsh. It is all too easy to retreat into one's nice warm house and appear in Spring. The mental condition of people who stay in all winter is described as “shackywacky”. Ought to be in the dictionary.

We start to compete in the 137th annual Nova Scotia Rifle Association Meeting tomorrow. The last time a GBRT visited was in 1961.