I fell off my pushbike this morning. There I was speeding down a small slope (admittedly whilst fantasizing that I was descending some storied peak in the Tour de France, Evans, Froome and Contador in my wake). At the bottom of this storied climb (it must be at least 8 meters) a dear old thing was pounding it out on the CYCLE PATH dragging her small white fluffy dog along. Have you noticed BTW (note cool txt speak!) that these fluffy white dogs are in plague proportions in the Brisbane metropolitan area? You know the ones I mean – they are some cross pollination breed –fluffy white, the size of an Ugg boot and with about as much style. They have beady little black eyes like raisins and the horrible things cower away from you when you try and pat them. Maybe it’s just me. Everywhere I go people are dragging them through parks by their diamante collars or walking along carrying the stupid things. Anyway I decide to hit the brakes and go around her (if you time it just right you can give them a good fright when you suddenly appear next to them). Now I had personally adjusted the brake myself before I left home. The male in me feels that I am letting the gender down, running off to the bike shop every time something needs fixing. So I have a go myself. I wouldn’t attempt my own dentistry so why I feel I can fix bikes I don’t know. So as I applied the slightest pressure to the brake it locked up and I was skidding on the wet leaves straight at Mrs Fluffy dog. I took the lesser of two evils and decided to crash on the grass rather than smearing fluffy dog across the bike path (the next rider along might skid on it). I fell sideways on the dewy soft grass and only scrapped my leg getting up. The old dear plugged on oblivious to the carnage behind her, but her pet Ugg boot looked back and I swear it mocked me with its beady little eyes.
Danger lurks at every corner! I read with interest the Queensland Marine Incident report for 2012.
This document details all of the boating cock ups in the state over the past year and always makes for entertaining reading. The good news was the lowest number of fatalities recorded in 14 years. The opening comments talk about one person being booked for speeding every day in Queensland waters. You would think that they would take his boat away from him! Of all marine incidents – grounding, flooding, collision, sinking and MOB, ‘Recreational Sailboats’ accounted for only 12% of the total. ‘Hire and Drive’ boats made up 40% of all groundings despite representing 0.3% of the 250,542 vessels registered in the state! And people wonder why we don’t bare boat….
Of the 771 incidents investigated by MSQ, 35 of these were ‘Hire and Drives’ and 29% of these were for ‘Collisions between ships’ (Charter boat? What charter boat?). The Gladstone region led the league table with 249 incidents, just pipping Brisbane with 225 and the ‘fabulous’ Gold Coast batting above its weight with 100. Digging deeper into the data I note that there were only a total of 27 ‘groundings’ reported in the Brisbane area! Someone’s telling porkies…..
The most astounding statistic is that most incidents – over 70% – occurred in clear weather, with good visibility, winds below 16 knots, within smooth water limits and in daylight hours!
As I said danger lurks at every corner! To avoid becoming a statistic yourself you need to book for a weekend sailing trip this weekend! We have 4 places still available. To avoid adding to the statistics we will be giving the Gladstone region a wide berth on the Yeppoon to Brisbane offshore trip 7 – 11 August 2013.
That’s all for this edition
Until next time stay safe!
Cheers Mike Job.