A birthday afloat. What could be better. I’ll tell you: being on the Shark Fishing trip that I’d planned for this day that was unfortunately called off due to the weather.

What was difficult over the last few days, had now become impossible. The swell over the reefs at the mouth of the Haven was making life uncomfortable for the boat’s non-fishing crew. One hand on the rod, one hand holding to a rail, I tried my best to dangle some mackerel feathers but it clearly wasn’t going to be a long session out at this mark.

We tucked into West Angle Bay for some respite. No fish here either, but we were rewarded by the sight of a pair of harbour porpoises hunting in the bay. Perhaps they were scaring the fish away, or perhaps they were going empty-bellied too. Never before have I seen this species so close to the harbour, but, well, the clue is in the name.

Steaming back upstream, we kept a sharp lookout for terns in the hope of locating another school of bass. A small group were feeding amongst the piles of the LNG terminal. Fishing there is out of the question.

A few unproductive trolling runs further upstream couldn’t find the bass. I had to settle for the porpoise sighting as compensation.