Wednesday 17th August

Danny had kindly arranged the fishing trip. We all managed to rendezvous downstairs at the appointed hour and piled into the vans. The only van equipped with sat nav is driven by the team airline captain who duly put in “Government Wharf” into the magic box, not noticing that there was a choice of 4 “Government Wharves”. He set off in his big white fun bus, the other 2 vans following. Naturally his choice of wharf was wrong. A fact duly communicated in no uncertain terms by next year's GBRT Captain as they all barrelled along merrily toward Boston (Massachusetts).

Situation recovered, the convoy arrived about 25 minutes late at the correct wharf and boarded the fishing boat. We cast off immediately and made for deep water under increasingly sunny skies.

Our first stop landed some real whoppers. Mackerel jumping on to the hooks, the heaviest being at least 5 ounces. Fortunately, as is the nature of catching Mackerel, there were lots of them.

The swell during the rest of the trip led to some worryingly green faces, but our erstwhile anglers persevered at our next attempt to land the Nova Scotian version of  “Jaws”. This time around, small Pollack were throwing themselves on the hooks. The diarist felt a definite tremble on his line followed by what felt a dead weight which the “professional” on board initially thought was merely a hook fouling on the bottom. On retrieving the hooks, bait and lead, only a fish head was found on a hook and the weight was missing. It seems a shark had had a go.

Apparently, Pollack do not make good eating, they constitute a high percentage of crab sticks and similar products, but the sticks need flavour added (some real crab) before they are saleable. Henry landed the only fish of any size – a 1½ lb cod. The Captain hooked a cod estimated to be between 7 & 10lbs, but the gaff was not wielded quickly enough, the Leviathan took one look at the beard and was off, last seen heading off to warn his mates. Actually I'm sure “Angler David” will claim the fish was a good 20lbs and inevitably, it will grow in the telling!

Our impressive haul filled half a plastic supermarket bag once filleted. The restaurant has rung to ask “is that all”? It's a good thing we found a great fish restaurant very near to where we disembarked from the boat. One of our “”, on seeing the very pink concoction that Shouler was drinking enquired as to whether one had to attain a certain cup size before being able to order such a drink?  Though not all team members were able to come fishing today, there was a definite sense of “family” around the table, it bodes well for Ottawa.

We fly tomorrow. There will be the inevitable snags – even without rifles there are bound to be some entertaining moments, I feel sure. Our first shoot will be on Friday afternoon at 900 metres in the Ottawa Regiment.