A stitch in time…..

There is much to be said for the ‘ostrich’ approach to a problem. By ignoring a problem you can get on with other things more important at the time but naturally that problem is unlikely to go away. In fact it will only become a bigger problem. So what is this earth shattering issue that I have been wrestling with? Oddly enough it involves a boat. An inflatable dinghy in fact. This particular inflatable is in actual fact the property of the ‘King’ and his older brother ‘Prince William’. This dinghy was presented to them as a Christmas present – its sole purpose to reduce carbon emissions by using up the worlds supply of fossil fuels, particularly 2–stroke, as quickly as possible.
Yes this fine vessel did its task well and for 10 days over the Christmas period, thousands of litres of fuel was removed from the world’s resources by the two of them towing each other around on it from dusk to dawn each day. On the return journey home they even insisted on driving it back in close company with the mother ship. (Close company, meaning that they would zoom across our bow every 15 minutes before disappearing over the horizon again.) Knowing that they would of course be monitoring fuel consumption closely, the inevitable happened and they ran out of fuel about ½ a mile away from us – in full view of us luckily enough. It was a flat calm afternoon and as the sun was setting, I thought it would be both entertaining and educational for them and us to have a little fun with them, so Jenny and I steamed on, pretending that we couldn’t see them until they were well astern. Are we the world’s worst parents? I don’t care – it was most entertaining to let them think a long, cold night adrift in a dinghy faced them, with no food and worse – no facebook!

After what we thought was adequate time for a lesson on bunkering and trip preparation to have been taught to them we turned around and headed back to rescue them. (Actually we saw that another boat was heading to their assistance and we imagined the headlines that may follow, should the authorities get wind of this!)

We knew they were safe as the argument between them was clearly audible across the water. Anyway I have digressed from my original story. After we returned the dinghy was tied to the dock with all male members of the family vowing to come down, clean and deflate it ‘in a day or so’. As happens we all got distracted and weeks went by. It filled with rain water and long marine growths began to trail from its underside, whilst these organisms’ fresh water cousins attacked the interior. So consumed with guilt was I that I took to not looking at it as I passed it and once even joined in a conversation with a concerned group of boat owners as they stood tsk, tsking about its condition. (I forgot, in my enthusiasm to agree with them, to mention that I owned it)

Eventually, last Friday my conscience got the better of me and I headed down to ‘rescue’ the boat from the encroach of the sea. Now had I dealt with this earlier, it would have involved a quick hose or a wipe down with a sponge, but thanks to my ‘ostrich’ approach this became 5 disgusting hours of pressure washing, scraping, and scrubbing. When I first pulled it out I expected eminent marine biologists to converge on it or for Bob Brown to declare it a significant wilderness site. But anyway it is done and the lesson learnt! Teach your kids that a boat is like a dog – it is for life not just for Christmas!

So whilst on the subject of not putting things off, we have 3 spaces available on a second boat scheduled for a 5 day course beginning next week, Monday the 2nd July. So you have no excuses for not completing that Competent Crew, Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper practical course! And with this glorious winter weather upon us the Bay is spectacular and what a great time to do it.
Call the girls today to secure your spot.
That’s all for this edition and until next time, do it now!
Cheers
Mike Job.

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