We had pretty poor weather between filming with the Strawbridges on Kensa and them cooking for us and only a couple of days in which we could reasonably catch fresh enough fish for them to cook. But luckily the day before the dinner we were blessed with some sunshine and quiet weather so we left Percuil as the sun was rising and headed down the river for our first full day of fishing! There was very little wind but Kensa went nicely under full sail until just off Amsterdam Point where the breeze died completely and we had to row for a bit.
We stopped off in St Mawes to pick up Debs then headed out to St Anthony and round the lighthouse to try out some new spots. It was very quiet once we were round the corner with only an unimpressed seal and a couple of shags for company. Not having an engine does have its downsides, but fishing without any background noise is very peaceful indeed.
We had a good chance to practise handling Kensa under sail in the morning; brailing up the main sail (gathering it up into itself quickly using a rope on a pulley-type system) when we wanted to cut speed quickly and working out how close to the wind she’d sail, what she’d tack through and so on. Essentially like a Top Gear road test of a new vehicle, except without the bigotry.
Happily we caught quite a few decent sized pollack in the morning, along with a couple of mackerel which we were rather hoping might turn into a shoal but didn’t. After we’d dropped Debs off in St Mawes and grabbed some lunch / shamelessly admired Kensa looking pretty on the beach, we headed back out again, this time in search of bass which The Hungry Sailors were keenest to cook. No joy, but plenty more pollack and lots more fishing under sail until the light faded and we were forced to head back up the river.
So despite a lack of bass, we had a great day fishing and were very happy to deliver three beautifully fresh and generously sized pollack to the TV crew in St Mawes the following day. Dick and James Strawbridge cooked us a delicious meal that lunchtime, featuring our Kensa-caught pollack in a beurre blanc as a starter!