Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blustery Bradwell

Last weekend I disappeared for a day down to Essex.  Bill and I had scheduled in a day to get started with my bug some weeks before, and now it was time to get cracking!  We knew it wouldn't take long and so I set off early so we could be done asap ... hoping to have time for a fish!

We were all done by lunchtime - my other blog is updated with those developments, just click here to read how we got on with the car.

Bill and I had been speaking during the week, and it became clear we had no chance of getting out on the boat.  We were forecast some fairly windy conditions, and it was clear the sea would be awful.  On the plus side it looked like the wind was in the right direction for a productive session at Bradwell, and he has a fishing shelter so we figured it would all be good.

High tide was dude at something like 2am, so we planned to get our jobs done in the morning then spend an afternoon getting ready, and hit the beach late in the day so the tide came towards us.  What actually happened was that we were so efficient we had my bug done, Tasha's Skoda service done, and a new super sticky tyre fitted on Bills Seat Leon by early afternoon.  We even enjoyed lunch and a pint in the local pub. 

A few hours were spent in the afternoon getting tackle and bait together, followed by an early evening meal. Linz clearly wanted us out the way [;o)] as we were packed off with a flask of coffee and a foil parcel of bacon butties by 6:30pm.  Arriving at Bradwell we realised it was windy.  Very windy.  Time was on our side though, and with high tide still 5 hours away we were in no rush to cast out.  And so we set up the fishing shelter, which thankfully has little flaps sewn in the bottom which you can load up to hold it down. 

For those that don't know, Bradwell is a shingle beach.  This proved something of a problem, as it proved awfully hard to bury the legs of the shelter, and then weigh down the flaps.  With the use of some handy rocks we felt like everything was going to stay in one place and settled down to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cigarette whilst waiting for the tide to come to us.

By 8 o clock we were desperate to get fishing, and so ventured out of the security of the fishing shelter to get set up.  I had a little play with the camera, but this was the best shot I managed to grab.

Having cast out, with line bowing across the beach, we retired to the shelter convinced the wind was picking up.  Another coffee was poured, cigarette smoked, ... and we realised the shelter seemed somewhat smaller.  Basically the wind was so strong it was pushing the side panels into the shelter.  This in turn was pushing the shelter into itself, making it smaller.  As we looked up it was clear to see the entrance being concertina'd shut. 

We checked and changed bait a few times, but by 9pm it was becoming clear we had to do something about the shelter.  We were literally sitting on top of each other by now.  And so we tried digging trenches, sinking the flaps, and getting everything weighed down again.

In hindsight I think we would say that our efforts were not especially successful.  Within 15 minutes or so we had decided that the shelter, which by now was showing signs of being more like a kite than shelter, should be manned at all times.  As we were sat there, saying how we wouldn't rather be anywhere else, with no warning at all the shelter tried to disappear down the Bradwell shingle.  Bill went flying backwards, I dived forwards, and somehow the shelter stayed within the Essex county boundary.

This signalled the end of our fishing session, and as I held the shelter down Bill packed the rods away.  Kinda reminded me of the time I fell in the lake when we first went fishing together all those years ago!  Except I wasn't freezing my butt off in a tent held up with spare fishing rods this time!

Bizarrely, it was fun.  But I think I would advise against fishing in 40?/50?/60? MPH winds!

Oh, and we didn't catch.

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