The sun’s on its way – I hope

Boating NZ - - Editor's Note - Lawrence Schäf­fler Edi­tor

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.

Happy boat­ing.

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