Sunday, 5 October 2014

My last day working on the Quay, my daughter has gone back to Bristol, and the tourists that are around are more interested in coastal cruises than fishing. I put my last customers on the boat, pushed the boat away and climbed the steps back up to the pier. I'm on my way back to the office to get a piece of tin foil to smoke the gram of gear I've just bought as a way of saying goodbye to the job and hopefully goodbye to the gear. I put my hand to my waist where I wear my money belt and to my horror it's not there. A days takings and a gram of gear gone in one hit. I ran to the office scanning the ground for the belt or anyone holding it, then run back to the landing from which I'd just left, the belt had disappeared, I didn't know whether to, cry, scream or laugh. I knew the belt had a dodgy clip on it but I'd been wearing it for a couple of weeks and well it was the last day today so I didn't see much point in spending a tenner on a new one, what a mistake that turned out to be !
There were a couple of lads crabbing on the landing.
" Have you seen a money belt ?"

" Was it a light brown leather belt ?"

"Yes, that's it have you seen it ?"

"Yeah It was in the water right by the boat 100%, I thought it was attached, sorry mate I didn't think anything of it."

"FUCK FUCK FUCK"

Now what am I going to do ? The belt has obviously sunk, I need to get that money back, if I don't my savings will just about cover the loss but that's not really an option. I don't really want anyone else finding it because of the drugs.

The boat I'd just sent out was called Crazy which is owned and skippered by a good friend of mine Chopper, I phoned him and told him what had happened and he said I'll just have to sit there until the tide went out and hopefully it would be there. The tide didn't usually go out that far but we'd just had the big Spring tides so there was a chance that it would go out far enough or at least far enough for me to be able to wade in. I remembered I had a can of special brew in the office so I fetched it returned to the landing and assumed watch, I had nearly three hours until low tide. The two lads that were crabbing left and wished me luck and I was left there on my own to contemplate this disaster and the probable outcome at the end of the day. Thankfully I wasn't on my own for long. 

I was joined by a group of twelve people from Bristol who'd gone out mackerel fishing with Chopper earlier in the morning, they'd only come back with a few fish because the mackerel were pretty much gone, but they were happy and they were keen. They'd gutted the fish and kept the heads to go crabbing. I'd been speaking with one of them over the last few days organising the booking. I told them what had happened and they were gutted for me and they were good company whilst I sat there brooding and waiting for the tide to go out. I did a few tours of the beach when restlessness got the better of me and it wasn't long before I realised that the tide wasn't going to go out far enough, I needed a plan B.

Low tide was almost upon me. I reached for my phone,

"Hi Steve, I've got a problem. Have you got a wet suit and a snorkel I can use?"
"Why what's up mate?"
"Money belt's gone in the water, with all the money in it. I'm fucked !"
"OK mate I'll be there as soon as I can !"

I hung up, and made my way to the pub for a quick pint to glug before getting wet. I was served my pint in a plastic container because it was Sunny Sunday which meant there was live music and the place was kicking !

As I made my way down the Pier to the landing I noticed the landing had emptied of people, all there was left was one girl playing with her crab line, as I looked down she looked up saw me and shouted.

"I've found it I've found it"

No fucking way, I ran down those steps and sure enough as she pulled up her line mackerel head an all there it was, my money belt.

" I think you owe me a tenner " she said

I could not believe my eyes, I undid the zip and pulled out the mulch that turned out to be £ .790.00 plus change and peeled off a twenty.

" No I was only joking, I don't want anything"

"Well you're taking it and as far as I'm concerned you've got free fishing trips for life !"
I Hugged her and then hugged her again. 

"Well it's time for me to go" she says
"Yeah me too, I'd better go and sort this out"
"Don't forget to ring your mate to tell him you found it, bye Karl"
"Hang on, what's your name?"
"Chelsea"


Below. My daughter Neoma who worked with me through the summer.

Video of sunny Sunday at Pier tavern.