Everyone thinks that boating is this breezy thing you do in a twill jacket, with a picnic basket and a fishing line and a laugh or two when your friend (who is literally a mole) tumbles out into the river. I mean, everyone who’s never gone boating thinks that. Anyone who’s so much as clapped eyes on a boat knows that there’s a bit more to it. It’s quite technical, I’ll have you know, especially when you’re out on the open water and not moseying down a quiet stream in the English countryside.
Sure, things were different back in the day, when boats didn’t come with all the paraphernalia they’re kitted out with today. No one was losing sleep about the positioning of their fishing rod holders or snapper racks. Melbourne fishing enthusiasts of the present day would be pretty lost on an old-school vessel; that much is undeniable. But that just goes to show that, even when the equipment was simpler, boating has never been a simple undertaking.
If anything, it was more complicated in the past because people had to rely more heavily on their wits and senses. Certainly, it pays to invest in up-to-date marine welding. Melbourne has its share of experts in this area; you just need to dig around a bit. We’re not exactly the boat capital of the world, after all, but we are on a port, so there’s a long standing tradition in place.
My point is, don’t assume that we boat-heads are just kicking back and puttering around. Even if we are doing that, we’re constantly taking in information and calibrating our course to avoid getting swept out to sea. It can happen all too easily, you know, and the consequences can be dire. But that’s just what you sign up for when you take up this pursuit – the risk, the swashbuckling adventure, the living on the knife blade of life. The ocean is a cruel mistress, but we are devoted to her.