The Boating King

Did I make a huge mistake by moving to Iceland? I thought this would be the adventure of a lifetime, but in the six months I have been here, I have only been miserable. Honestly, I don’t even remember why I moved from Melbourne in the first place. Iceland is cold, windy, extremely remote and, worst of all, doesn’t have a boating community like Melbourne does. I used to be the king of Port Phillip Bay. Everyone would bow before me and admit how awesome I was at boating. When I got went to a marine welder for boat catch installation, everyone in Melbourne’s boating community knew about it. People there talk, you see, and when the Marine King got a new boat catch, it was the talk of the town.

That’s probably the thing I miss most about Melbourne. Boats and boat welding projects were my entire life. I loved the fame of being the best boater in Melbourne, the trendsetting, the fancy dinner parties with others who love boats and welding. I wasn’t a welder myself, of course, but I took great interest in the practice, as it could be used to directly enhance my boat. Only a fool would be interested in boats but not pay attention to marine welding. Businesses in the Melbourne area took great interest in my boating career as well, you know. I had so many sponsors. So many sponsors that you wouldn’t even believe it if I told you.

Maybe I should go back home, to that beautiful bay of Port Phillip. I can hear the winds there calling my name. Why did I even leave? Oh, that’s right. I’m a highly wanted pirate that ravaged the coastal towns of Melbourne. Geelong, Rosebud, Brighton. They were all victims of my savage raids. In the end, I had to retire with my treasures, with the police close to hunting me down. Perhaps I will be able to return in a decade or so, but not now.

– The Boating King


Build Your Own Boat (or not)

marine welding MelbourneI could make my own boat, if I really wanted to. Now that I’m working less hours I need a way to fill my time. I know building a boat in your back garden is sort of a retired thing to do, but there’s no harm in getting in early on this stuff.

I mean, I basically grew up in Melbourne’s stainless steel marine welding industry, even if I never actually did any of it myself. My Dad was mad on his boats, and all his work buddies were either making bait boards or snapper racks or, ya know, making the frames of massive cruise ships. I used to get dragged along on fishing trips…or rather, I let myself get dragged along because I knew if I stayed Mum would give me a list of jobs a mile long, and I’d rather be bored on a fishing trip than busy and industrious. Getting stuff done? Nobody has time for that foolishness.

So yeah, I’ve heard all the talk. I know how to fix a fishing rod holder. I know the best way to reel in a really big trout. And I guess if I ever wanted to do a bit of marine welding- dabble, if you will- I have the perfect place to start. Though one thing I would need is the space. I could just stick it in the back garden, but then it’d rain, and the wood would get all…you know. Whatever it is that wood does when it rains. The metal might rust…nah, can’t just leave my boat-in-progress outside to rot. People I’ve seen on TV always seem to have a basement, but those are in short supply around here. Maybe I should dig a basement, and THEN make a boat.

Yep, perfect. I’ll be able to fill even more time. And while I’m at it, I might as well just build my own home, because that’s clearly where this is heading.

I don’t know that stuff. But I do know the basics of a plate alloy boat, and fishing rod holders, and…trout physics. Maybe I should just go fishing instead. It’d seriously be a lot less effort.



I Guess I Own a Boat Now

Melbourne anchor winchI’ve never owned a boat before. Now, all of a sudden I do, and I’ve come to realise that there’s a bit more to it than just pushing it out into the water, rowing for a bit and then tying it to the docks once you’re done. There was something about a sail? Anyway, this is a proper big thing with a motor and a cabin, so it’s way beyond my ability to keep running.

There was this uncle I had back in Albajeria, one I’d never met but heard about quite a bit. Apparently he was pretty pleased that I’d gone on to be a nurse when the rest of my siblings wanted to be businesspeople and make money. The downside? I’m frantically searching for outboard motor servicing in Melbourne somewhere, and I haven’t a clue where to start. Well, apart from the coastal areas, the docks, marinas and places where you’d find boats.

Uncle Byrav must have had a sense of humour, since he rewarded me for not chasing after money…with a massive investment that needs a whole lot of money. I was given an upkeep allowance, but boats are just a bit more complex than cars. I have to get a sailing license, proper gear, keep up with maintenance, pay for a place to keep it once it’s sailed over from Albajeria and probably more things. The list goes on, and on, and on, and I’ve never owned a boat so I just wouldn’t know most of it.

Will the allowance be enough for Melbourne’s anchor winch expenses? Doesn’t matter at this stage. What actually matters is that I don’t know if I’ll even have time to sail. There’s a kid on the way, work keeps me snowed under and I don’t know that many people into sailing. So yeah, great gift, Uncle Byrav. Maybe I’ll just sell it once it gets here. See what you think of that.