My 2013 Boating Plan
Assuming that the Mayan’s are wrong and that our world continues past December 20th, I’ve got my New Year’s boating resolutions all worked out. This year I’m keeping a short, tight list to make sure I git ‘er done.
1. Check out areas outside my local area. It’s interesting for me to see the same area in different seasons and under different conditions, but truth be told my boating gets sloppy. I know where areas run foul, I know how the current sweeps across the bars and where the waters stack up, and I seldom look at a GPS or a depth finder. This year I want to resharpen my navigation and my boating skills by trailering my boat to a new area. I’m really cranked up to study charts, to find new ramps and harbors, and to learning about the tidal variations.
2. Spend more time boating with my family and friends. With active kids in high school and increased work demands, we didn’t get out on the water in 2012 as planned. Something always got in the way. Fail to plan, plan to fail goes the adage, and we’re going to restructure our schedules. We picked an April 1st splash date for our seasonal sea trial and we’ll take it from there. Everyone has a weekend in place to invite friends which brings me to my next point.
3. Introduce one new person to boating. Our kids are at the point where it’s time for them to start running the boat. Bringing along some friends who don’t spend much time on the water will be fun, and hopefully these experiences will light a fire and create new boaters.
4. Learn to sail. I’ve always wanted to learn to sail, and this is the year. I want to see the ocean from a different perspective, and I’ve always envied the freedom that comes with sailing. Some days the wind blows hard, other days not so much, but this is the year to fulfill a dream.
5. Study the environment. I spend a lot of time learning how fish interact with bait, current, wind, and weather, but not so much with boating. I know that an incoming tide combined with an offshore wind jacks up the mouths of a harbor, but I want to become more reliant on my skills as opposed to my machinery. I’ll see if I can predict the weather more accurately than the weatherman. That won’t be hard to do, right?
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Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits. When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters. His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.