Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2015 Contents Take monthly with water December 2015 59
ON THE WATER with David Lockwood
Time to connect
In respect of our personal economic
and social situation, recreational boating
is certainly worth a bit. We’ve been tearing
up our hard earned these past few months
in preparation for the annual family
boating holiday on the Hawkesbury and
Boating maintenance has included
the usual slipping, antifoul, anodes and
a couple of new sea cocks this year. Note
to self: make sure you crank the handles
around more often to keep everything
moving. But it’s also a fact that, after 11
years mainly in the water, your boat will
need a bit.
Our 480hp Cummins engines and their
water pumps were overhauled, of course,
while the batteries in the port bank had
reached their load carrying use by date.
We decided to boost the house battery
bank while we were at it. It’s only money.
Batteries. I think my kids will look back
and remember them with amusement.
They aren’t cheap, they have a life and
they rule our lives. They are one thing
boatowners never budget for. Maintenance
free is the way to go, but every three or
four or five years you may need a whole
Despite the wear and tear of having
brought up sub 10-year-olds aboard, our
boat is still in remarkably good condition.
It helps that we use it more than most folk,
spend more time aboard that most folk,
and spend a motza keeping it all working
(having written that, something new is
bound to now give up the ghost).
As the passing of my father reminded
me this year, life is finite. He chose an
alternative lifestyle living off the fat of
the land, which was his local NSW lake.
He extended his life with an intake high
in local fish, crustaceans and especially
oysters. As time ticks by, you start to think
about what it is that floats your boat and
to make more time for the important stuff.
This brings us back to our boat.
Financially, any old accountant would
say this Riviera 42 of ours is the worst
investment we’ve made. Socially,
experientially, mentally, spiritually, from
a lifestyle perspective, it’s a very high
yielding investment. I’d go so far as to
say it essential to Sydney living. All these
waterways and no boat. You’re kidding me!
So while the boatless hit the highway,
we’ll be on the road less travelled. I’ll tune
the radio in the flying bridge to a Central
Coast station, forget shaving, pretty much
live in swimmers and tee shirts, and cruise
from Gosford to Newport, Cape Three
Points to Cowan Creek, wherever the wind
blows us, depending on Mother Nature.
There are fish to be caught and, as my
late father taught me, if you kill it you will
have to eat it. Flathead, whiting bream,
jewfish, blue swimmer crabs, maybe a
big muddy. Squid are part of the mix, too,
and the kids don’t mind eating yellowtail
caught around the boat. Offshore, kingfish
and snapper, bonito and tailor are on the
menu. Out wide, it could be a mahi mahi
or tagged marlin.
Onboard, your rhythms are certainly
ruled by Mother Nature. Days start at
dawn and end not long after sundown. The
morning is for active pursuits like fishing
and diving, swimming and paddling; the
midday heat is for avoiding, sleeping and
reading, craft and creating, sometimes bait
collecting; while the afternoon sees us set
off for shore again before doing dinner and
strumming the guitars.
If things go pear-shaped, Pittwater is
just down the road and we can be home in
under an hour. But while we’re close, we’re
lost in the depths of our boating holiday
that will carry us from Broken Bay and the
Hawkesbury all the way to the freshwater
Colo River if we’re so inclined.
The important thing is we’ll be doing
what we want to do. The kids will be
connecting with nature, collecting shells,
driftwood and dried urchins; fishing,
eating and releasing; swimming, diving
and paddling; photographing, drawing and
writing; exploring, climbing and hiking.
And all of it from our moveable floating
home. It could just as easily be a tent
ashore and your trailerboat.
Anyway, quick as that and the year has
gone. Time and tide wait for no one. Make
the very best use of now. Merry Christmas,
Happy New Year, Happy Holidays and see
you out there. It’s time to connect. h
A bucket of Hawkesbury Holiday blue
Hawkesbury flathead fillets at holiday time.
Smiths Creek is one of the coveted quiet
anchorages for Hawkesbury Holidays.
Pumping pippies with the nippers at
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