I’m told the rangers who enforce the Queensland maritime regulations, or as one chap put it, the Outboard Nazis, enjoy their work far too much. I’m told the fines for infractions are horrendous. As my informant said, “Why do I need bloody flares on board when I’m fishing just over there and I could ask people on the esplanade for help?”
Logic notwithstanding, I could not put to sea, it seems, without flares because the “smooth waters” proviso in the requirements for small craft regulations table is deemed by the ONs not to exist. Even if the sea is smooth now, it might not be later. Determining whether or not this is really so might involve going to court rather than just paying any fine imposed. I have no desire to find out. So I had to wait until I had flares. Ironically, I could not get any for a while because they were out of stock, and new stock could not be transported due to all the bushfires. Yesterday I received a call to advise me that my flares had arrived at BCF Caboolture. I went in today to pick them up. Also ironically, the weather for the last few days has been stormy with heavy rain and wind.
My weather app tells me thunderstorms will continue until the weekend. So. Now I’m at last fully equipped with everything from paddles and bailer to flares and V-sheet, sidelights, stern light and anchor light, charts and compass, I cannot put to sea.
On the plus side, I’m now a little less on the plus side. After my swimming shorts and I split, I have been unable to go swimming. While I was in Caboolture I dropped in to Lowe’s to buy more. I was delighted to find they had something suitable in my size, and doubly delighted that size is actually four sizes smaller than the last pair. Almost 20 cm less in the waist. The elation was short-lived, however, because I looked in the mirror – something I generally avoid doing – and saw I still have a lot to lose.
Nonetheless I celebrated by stopping in at Beefy’s on the way home for one of their super pies as a late brunch. I’ll work it off in the pool tomorrow, thunderstorm or no. Besides. I had only chicken soup for dinner.