It always amazes me how tired I get when I spend a day out on the water. I often tell my family and guests to keep slip, slop, slapping throughout the day as I find the effects of the sun to be magnified several times over when out on the water. And I am constantly amazed at how happy, healthy and relaxed my parents have been in the 10 years since they retired and made their ‘grey change’ move to the beach.

To all of these things, my mother would say: “It must be the salt air.”

Well, there are now a couple more items I can add to the list of things which are clearly impacted on by the effects of the salt air.

Firstly, I really enjoyed reading all your replies to my invitation to provide feedback about the National Marine Safety Committee’s discussion paper and request for submissions on future regulation of PFDs. All of them were spirited, many raised some excellent points, and others; well let’s just say the writers must also have been affected by the salt air (or maybe it was a few jugs of rum and coke, and I dare say not much coke!).

Clearly, this issue has, and will continue to divide the boating community, as you will see from our special feedback feature To PFD or not to PFD on P122 of this edition.

The other good news on this is that in light of my feedback to NMSC CEO, Maurene Horder, she has agreed to extend the period in which they will receive submissions to be included in their investigation until December 8. So, please take the time to have your say. Go to www.nmsc.gov.au, or call (02) 9247 2124.

Secondly, Managing Editor, Chris Beattie and I were delighted to fish the 2006 Riviera Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic off Lizard Island in October as guests of Riviera. Joining us was our new mate and owner of Blue Water Boats & Sportsfishing magazine, David Gardiner (great bloke, and not a bad magazine either, just quietly). We stayed onboard Riviera’s magnificent flagship and mobile 51-foot FAD (Fish Attracting Device) – a claim, by the way, I am yet to be able to confirm from personal experience – Fascination II. You’ll see a full feature on this outstanding event in a coming issue of CM Magazine.

For the record, not enough fish were harmed in the making of this article, and the old Aussie-Kiwi rivalry is still well and truly alive. Chris and I both brought a good fish to the back of the boat (this is a strictly tag-and-release tournament) and whilst mine was much bigger than his, Chris at least claims the honour of achieving the Grand Slam (a black, blue and striped marlin) on board Fascination II in much the same way as he is going on about the All Blacks defeating the Wallabies 3-0 in the Bledisloe this year. As I keep telling him, talk to me when, and if, you ever manage to catch a really big fish, or beat us in a World Cup final.

I learnt a couple of important lessons as a result of my first big game fishing tournament. Firstly, seven days is a long time to spend trolling up and down the outer Great Barrier Reef to only tag two fish, and the whole experience can leave you quite tired and emotional – although I would do it again in a heartbeat. Next, it is all about the skipper and the crew. The bloke in the chair is just there to have his photo taken at the end; and you could do no better than Bob Jones and his crew and a 51’ enclosed flybridge Riviera. Finally; and again I put this down to the salt air, but suggest you take an each-way bet on the rum and coke being involved here, too: 3.00am really is too late to be singing Cold Chisel songs at full voice on the back of a boat in an anchorage we were sharing with 40-odd other boats full of tired and grumpy fishermen. Chris and I sincerely apologise to all concerned!

So my tip for safe boating this summer – go easy on the salt air…

Regards,


Mark Bradley
Publisher and CEO
Club Marine Limited

E-mail: ceo@clubmarine.com.au

 
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