Whilst there were many highlights (like the lovely weather, discovering great rum, and being in control of a small catamaran) I think swimming with turtles and snorkeling over wrecks full of fish were top.
The best thing though was experiencing all the delights with my wife; superb food, lovely drinks, exceptional service and friendliness of staff, and of course the sunsets. Yeh man!
I was glad to have missed storm Ciara, though my garden didn't miss it with 3 fence panels damaged / destroyed. Of course today as I am typing this storm Dennis has and still is causing mayhem. I have another fence panel dislodged and more on the neighbours side, not sure when I can sort that as there seems to be a shortage of panels.
With no fishing this weekend I have picked up my diary from 2000 with the last few entries in December. I pleasured fished Bristol Docks on December 2nd, I sat on a peg near the Thekla boat and set up both pole and groundbait feeder. I had 4 skimmers and 3 roach on the feeder, and 7 skimmers and 1 roach on the pole. Not big fish as I weighed my fish in at 7lb 2oz. On this day I only had bites on bronze maggot, and double bronze was best.
A week later and it was the Bathampton Christmas match which was being fished on their commercial lakes. I drew a peg on Withy Pool and when I had a skimmer first cast out on a little feeder I was enthused. I shouldn't have been, it was the only bite on the tip, and I had one bite on the pole on corn which I missed (liner?) and that was the extent of activity for me.
Back down the docks again, this time for the Docks AA Xmas match. I was gutted when I drew Bathurst Basin as you needed to be in the centre to get on the skimmers, and Bathurst used to hold none of them! It was a pole day I thought, and I fished at 8m and fed no gbait at all, just lightly loose fed small amounts of maggot and caster. Using a 20 to 0.09 it took about 30 mins to get a bite, and during the match fish came in little bursts, roach, dace, bleak and even perch. Single white or red maggot on the hook worked best. I finished up with just 3lb 1 1/2oz but this was enough to win the section, so money and a prize at last. I went to the Docks again on the 23rd December for a little knock up, but I struggled to catch 3lb of roach and was again in a poor area so tipped back at the end.
I got out for a few hours on the 27th December, fishing the cut by the Lock Keeper at Keynsham. I whipped out 50 fish from the 7 feet deep water, bleak, dace and even a perch and an eel. Nice to see the float go under, and be able to fish... I say that as the very next day we had 2 inches of snow, a bit more snow the next and then we had -8C at night! Still I went fishing and I went to Conham (Bristol Avon) walking through the snow. I fished opposite the railway arches, set up a maggot feeder only and cast that across. I did catch on this, 2 chub and 1 dace, and whilst this was never going to be a bag up session I take a lot of pleasure being able to catch just a few fish when conditions are tough and many people don't bother.
Here's hoping to the return of some better weather, I certainly want to fish next weekend, it may be a trip to Hillview, but I'll keep an eye on the weather.