"Get your bags out the back," he said. "Come on. We're going that way." My dad pointed towards the lights and slammed the car door.  We walked along a country road towards the lights, over a little bridge and turned through some gates onto the canal bank!  The water glistened in the moon light, and just ahead we could still see the little lights and smoke coming out the back of a boat and the most delicious smell of sausages roasting.  Laughter and music wafted towards us with the smell of dinner. "Woof woof" a little dog was running beside us and chasing after my dad's feet. " Come on Barty" my dad said as he picked the dog up and carried him inside.

"Welcome sailors!" said a tall man with a big round belly smoking a pipe as he came forward and gave my dad a big hug.  I was so shocked!  "And you must be Callum, welcome aboard!" We ate the delicious dinner of sausages with Frank and his wife Helen followed by the most amazing apple crumble and custard.

That night we slept in bunks in the long, warm boat and I watched the moon making ripples on the water. It was so quiet! All I could hear was the water lapping on the side of the boat and my dad snoring from the next bunk.  The next morning we got up so early that the sun was bright pink in the sky and we took the fishing rods and walked along the canal. We found a spot along the canal and Frank put up a shelter for us as we hooked the bait on the line.  It was cold but Frank gave us hot tea to drink and porridge with honey. 

It was amazingly quiet and we all sat in a row waiting, Frank resting the fishing rod on his tummy and my dad staring straight into the water waiting for the hungry fish to swallow the tasty bait.  My dad had hardly said a word since he came into my room last night to tell me to pack my bags. "Right son," he said "now remember if you feel something pull on the bait, just pull it right in, don't wait."

We sat there for some hours, just watching the water and our rods, Frank telling jokes about when my dad and he went fishing on the canals when they were boys. "Your dad was right daft when he was young," Frank whispered as my dad stood puzzling over which bait to put on the end of his rod. "He fell in the river three times one weekend when we were fishing!"

"By the looks of things he still is!" I said and we laughed at my dad pulling strange faces as he looked bemused at the rods. "Woah, what's that?" I said, suddenly feeling like I was going to be pulled into the water. "By gum the boy has got a bite!" Frank cried as a second yank pulled me and my stool closer to the water's edge. "Quick, reel it in son, come on quick!" my dad shouted as he ran over and pulled me up from my feet and grabbed the rod.  The reel screamed pulling out at the speed of light as the fish pulled on the rod, arching it with all its might. "That fish must be huge!  Come on lads lets pull him in," Frank said as he got the large net ready and with one mighty pull, this massive fish leapt out of the water and we pulled him in towards us.

"It's a pike! You've caught a pike my lad!!!" Frank shouted.  We gently took the fish off the hook and lay him in a trough of water so we could look at him and admire our catch before we put him back in the water.  He had the biggest teeth I had ever seen. "Razor sharp, my son, that fish is one of the world's top predators, and you caught him! Well done my son!" my dad said as he ruffled my hair. The pike was the biggest fish we caught that day, the whole three days, in fact. The rest of the time was spent with Frank telling me funny stories about my dad and my dad laughing more than I have ever seen him laugh.  It was good to see him relax and great to spend my holiday with him.

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