After chatting with the shore manager Draco and then later with skipper Jon Joll, arrangements were made for me to go to sea with the crew of the Sam of Ladram. I packed my bags and headed down to Brixham on what was a dreary wet end of October morning.
The rain and howling wind had ramped up in just a few hours and as I arrived by midday it was relentless. It was also set to get much worse. The week ahead had been forecast as a 7 to 8, with one decent day nestled somewhere in the middle. There was even talk of a 9, possible 10 late Sunday, though hopefully we would land before that monster arrived.
Sturgeon tablets were taken and wrist bands were set in place both elastic tight. I was clearly taking no risks. It had been a good while and even though I knew what to roughly expect from a stormy return, the sea is a funny old place at the best of times; there is no other feeling of being rocked repeatedly from side to side while trying to maintain a confident balance, or the idea that this assembly of steel and wood was to be home for the best part of a week or so. Thankfully we were leaving in the evening, which meant I could take it easy to begin with and if my stomach did show early signs of annoyance, I could quickly bunk down with an early night.