We were in a dangerous high-speed sandwich situation and the impossibly small gap between the lorry and the railing was making Viking Lars' beard stand on end. Chris and I were sitting in the back seat (so we couldn't see quite so much) trying to relax and go with the flow. It's hard to go with the flow sometimes, especially when it's hurtling towards you at 180K. In our current circumstance the only possible recourse was to slam on the brakes and pray, but Carl did something different; Carl accelerated. It could only mean one thing: imminent and certain doom.
Lars muttered something unintelligible (a Viking death poem we presumed) while Chris and I bade our farewells to each other and made a pact that we should meet up in our next lives and give Carl a driving lesson.
That we avoided being demolished I state merely as a fact. I can offer absolutely no explanation as to how or why we were saved (it may have been a miracle; it was a day of miracles as it later transpired). It was a very long time indeed before anyone spoke. Finally:
Carl said: "That was a bit close"
We were on a mission. The saltwater fishing had been good: in a "Viking slaughter" two fish had been caught the previous day and let's face it two fish in two days between four experts (three of whom are instructors) out of the sea is damned fine flyfishing in anyone's book. The fact that the fish had been caught while I was indisposed and therefore conveniently unable to verify whether they had been caught by fair means (and not with a large net, say) comes as a highly suspicious coincidence but I kept my doubts to myself.
So with all this unbearable excitement it was decided that we should break the day up and have a mornings Grayling fishing, just to relax us like, before resuming our Saltwater action in the evening. Carl had never caught a grayling before and was very obviously in a very great hurry to do so.
The fishing went well, so well in fact that it also went on for longer than expected, potentially making us late for our rendezvous with flyfishing destiny. Viking Lars knew of an unpronounceable spot called Moesgaard where one could catch large cod on the fly (naturally we disputed this; cod are a saltwater fish making them completely uncatchable for us flyfishing dudes) and he said it was important to reach there by early evening. Ordinarily this would have presented a problem. But we had Carl on our side.
I am reminded of Starsky and Hutch, and in particular one of their scenes where they drive through a ridiculously narrow street with papers blowing all around the vehicle for effect, skidding to a screeching halt so that Starsky can jump out and slide across the bonnet.
It's a very strange feeling to be driven so quickly. When it first happens to you and you survive it, you feel like getting out and kissing the ground. After a while you become more blasť about the whole thing and arriving in a whirlwind of excitement and dust, you quickly leap out hastily looking all around; maybe you slide across the bonnet.
Viking Lars led us through a deep forest; it may have been enchanted. At one end we arrived at the sea (the one full of the big cods). By now everyone knew the score: we spread out along the shoreline, casting our flies around weed beds and other obstructions, slowly stripping the fly and all the while feigning interest (so that Lars wouldn't remind us for the hundredth time that total and absolute concentration was a must).
At one point something different happened: the skies parted, a shining apparition appeared, some angels started singing and I had a take. Naturally I missed it. Lars immediately hooked a fish and said that I should concentrate harder.
This saltwater flyfishing is a funny business; I had lost all faith in it as a means to catch fish. It was a thing almost as unlikely to happen to me as getting struck by God. Still I do have this to say in its defence, to suddenly discover that saltwater fish can be caught on the fly and they really are there and not just a by-product of someone else's overenthusiastic imagination is amazing (and I'm not beingthat cynical when I write this either it's something I believe in).
I said: "Wow!"
It was about this point that I hooked a fish of my own, Lars nearly had a heart attack, and various onlookers had to be rushed to hospital.
Next week - what I learned