The sun’s on its way – I hope
It’s September and that means it’s Spring. Officially. And that, in turn, means the boating fraternity’s pulse begins beating a little more quickly.
A bit like bears emerging from hibernation, boat owners all over the country will begin rubbing the cobwebs from their eyes and boat covers. They’ll also wince at the nerve-jangling monotony of Greensleeves blasting from Mr Whippy’s van – with hordes of shrieking children in tow – as it cruises the suburbs.
But rather than dwell on grumpy, uncharitable thoughts, focus instead on prepping your pride-and-joy for summer. This is a good time to assess the health of her batteries and bilge pumps, fit some new anodes, show the engine you love it with a gift of new oil – maybe a smarter set of squabs?
If you need to feed on some marine-themed inspiration, you should definitely visit the Auckland On Water Boat Show later this month (27-30 September). It’s always an excellent trigger for enriching your boating experience – geared in equal measure to petrol-heads, cruisers, racers, techno-geeks, paddlers and anglers – you’ll even be able to buy an ice-cream in relative peace.
And as we stand on the cusp of a new boating season, licking in oblivious ecstasy, it’s also perhaps time for many of us to reflect – ahem – on our maturing bodies.
I’ll be the first to confess that I am no longer able to sprint across a heaving deck to secure a flailing line – as I did 30 years ago. Well, if I did I’d probably continue headlong over the side.
Today things move at a more genteel, measured pace. Which is why this month’s Coastguard column – about the need to be aware of your body’s slowing rhythm and accept it as a gentle reminder – is so interesting.
Unlike the retirement of our Search & Rescue workhorses – the fleet of Orion aircraft – also featured in this issue, I’m not suggesting you hang up your sailing gloves for good. But there’s much to be said for being a little more circumspect and cautious.
The Equinox is around the corner and, before you know it, you’ll be poring over the Xmas shopping list, wondering how to justify the cost of that new multi-function display that, inexplicably, has your name written all over it.