January 23rd, 2021Kyle’s Rant
All the boats I have ever driven have never been mine. I was lucky enough to get a start as a 16-year-old with my dad on his fishing boat, gained my qualifications along the way and by some weird turn of fate, these qualifications have become perpetual.
That means I am legally allowed to captain commercial vessels up to 90 metres in length around most of Australia as long as I have a current first aid certificate. Forever thanks to a bureaucratic loophole.
I still do refine my skills from time to time, training the nouveau riche on their new toys down in Melbourne, parking the big gin palaces in tight spots but without the investment. Even if I could afford it on the grandiose wage I get here at TL HQ, I wouldn’t bother, as I have been around enough boat owners to know the actual cost of maintaining such rigs.
From time to time while living it up on the flybridge of someone else’s motor yacht along the lower reaches of the Yarra, I see the little charter dinghies bobbing around, filled to the brim with families out for a sunburnt day. As they look up longingly on my ride, I give a nonchalant wave in their general direction as if I actually own the vessel and am not being paid by the hour to be onboard. But recently with this pandemic things have been a little dry in my world of boat training and I haven’t been able to get my nautical fix at someone else’s expense, so I have committed an atrocity. I rented a dinghy. (Donna is also a boating snob and once remarked she wouldn’t climb aboard anything less than a 50-footer moored on a floating dock.)
So we negotiated the fare and the young man asked if I would be self-driving or required a skipper. I think I bored him to tears as I told him about my many adventures on the brine. He walked away with that look of “whatever, old man”.
Anyway, we climbed on board our tender and took off up river towards the gardens. It was electric drive and clipped along against the current at five knots, two boat snobs…but I must say, we had a blast. It is so peaceful up there once you say goodbye to the Southeast Freeway. The traffic roar gives way to nature and contemplation. It was a fabulous day and my boat snobbery has certainly been kicked to the kerb. I truly couldn’t recommend a punt up the Yarra in a small rental boat highly enough.
I love messing around in boats rant over…