It was time to get my new Tempo in the water. Elliot was dead keen to get out on the water after suffering the same exam revision ordeal as i had for the past month. A plan was set to see if much was about in the deep waters off West Cornwall.... we were in for a surprise.....
I took my Black Tempo and Elliot took my Abaco so that we would have a fish finder. Here they are ready to launch....
We head a mile or so offshore on glassy calm water. Elliot couldn't keep his eyes off the fish finder and seemed to be enjoying the Abaco - a bit different to his Teksport Xcite 290 Angler! I was getting to grips with the feel of the Tempo... boy its fast although noticeably more tippy than the Abaco - this was to be expected though. I quite enjoyed repeatedly over taking elliot in the Abaco.
Slivers of mackerel were dropped in 170ft and we started to drift. The conditions were lovely. We were there sitting offshore in warm sun whilst over the land loomed deep black rain clouds - confirmed later by people asking us if we got soaked by the torrential rain when we got home!
Before long i had a solid tug on one of the baits and something heavy was on the end..... the rod was buckled over and the braid at breaking point.... what the hell was this! I felt what i thought were slow thumping head shakes every so often and every so often line would pull off the reel
Thoughts of huge skate and other sea leviathans were running through my head. 15 minutes later we had a glimpse.... "its a bloody ray" shouts elliot... i peer down into the depths.... it was looking like a giant skate. Every hope of a huge fish was shattered with every inch it got closer to the surface. It soon became apparent that i had hooked a massive section of trawler net, not happy! it must have weighed 50lb-100lb and was covered in seaweed and mud. Oh well, not a bad test for my 12-20lb Ugly Stik and 20lb braid. Back to the fishing and elliot found a Haddock. I had a dogfish shortly followed by a haddock. Haddock fight well in this depth of water and when they are in numbers it can make for a fun days fishing. I reached around for my measuring stick to get photos for Kayak Wars when i realised i hadn't put it in the car earlier that morning. Explicit words echoed across the sea. Luckily the Abaco has a built in fish ruler. I paddled over to elliot but by the time i had got there the dogfish had found itself a way back to the sea. It wasn't going well.
Elliot had a small cod, a few mackerel and both of us found whiting. I managed my first Grey Gurnard for the year - a pretty little fish but covered in spikes which are unforgiving to your hands!
The fishing was slow for the haddock and all was quiet on the water. The silence was broken by splashing water. Looking around i was greeted by the sight of a huge grey dorsal fin rising out of the water before disappearing again.
Risso's Dolphins! I had heard reports of them being seen over the last couple of weeks and had quietly been hoping to see some.
The pod surrounded me and elliot and i didn't know where to point the camera next! Its the first time i had seen them up close - beautiful animals that look like white ghosts with body scarring. Elliot and myself looked on in awe as they gracefully cruised passed us, adults and calves, maybe 15-20 individuals. I managed to get a few nice photos which i was really happy with
That was a magical experience. One of the great things about kayaking is that it allows you to be in close proximity with nature and in a non-invasive way. These dolphins knew we were there, in fact they deviated from their route to swim around us, perhaps as inquisitive about us as we were about them. Maybe they wanted to check out the Black Tempo! They headed along the coast and out of site. Me and elliot paddled in to fish over some reefs. No sooner had we paddled inshore the dolphins gave us another pass.... Fantastic! Well we were over the moon, its the first time we have had dolphins beside us on the kayaks. Seen plenty of Harbour Porpoise and Common Dolphins but they never come close to the kayaks. Im still waiting to see the Bottlenose Dolphins and the elusive Minke Whale though. Seen Bottlenose Dolphins from the shore and a Minke Whale from a boat but not yet from the kayak.
Back to the fishing and we had tied up to a pot buoy over a reef and elliot quickly pulled out a pollack on a savage gear eel. I dropped a bait down and failed to get a bite.
We tied up to a few different buoys, elliot finding another pollack, before deciding to try the deeper offshore water again. We drifted around for half hour or so without a bite which was surprising given that we were at mid flood by now. Then elliot fluked out a tiny Red Gurnard that had been hanging onto his bait. We headed back to shore in the sun and spotted a few Barrel Jellyfish on the way in
Then it was time to unload the Tempo and have a play! Elliot loved it and was soon asking me how much they were. My turn, time to see how fast this thing really goes....
It accelerates well...
I took it for a quick spin. It really is a lovely kayak to paddle and can see why every raves about them. The black colour looks so stealthy too... its awesome!
Im very happy with it. Although not as well suited to fishing as the Abaco, with compromises to storage space and stability, these compromises are made up for in speed. A great kayak that I'm sure i will have lots of fun with. It seems to be a fish catcher too.... although we had no great numbers of fish i had 4 species. The Abaco done well for elliot too and he had 7 species! Not bad for a few hours on the water
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