Sunday, 12 June 2011

Summertime and the living is easy

By way of a distraction from the seasonal English weather. (I have just done a 250 mile round trip with limited visibility due to spray on the motorway) Humming the famous lullaby from Gershwin's "Summertime" from the Porgy and Bess musical to myself. Here we are, in early summer with Swallows and Swifts skimming the water surface. "Summertime and the living is easy" so go the words to this lullaby. I suppose that after the long bleak winter, followed by a very good spring, summer is truly easy (if a bit wet) living at the moment. Now is the time to enjoy every moment of time spent afloat. A time to cruise in the rain and relax to dry out whenever and wherever you like. Or so I thought!

I had a conversation with a boating friend where the subject of life on the river and the meaning of time was discussed. We explored many aspects of what living life on water meant to both of us. Whilst we were in broad agreement about most things, we were quite polarised about just one aspect.

I am an early riser, even though I have reached retirement, I am still normally up early. I happened to say that I thought, one of the best times to cruise would be in the early morning. For me the life afloat would be governed by the rising and setting of the Sun, not by the clock. I love the early morning, especially those with a little nip to the cold fresh air. No matter what the season of the year, spring, summer, autumn or winter. Early morning is always the best part of the day.

So he asked what time did I mean by early. I said no particular time, maybe a hour after sunrise. He was almost apoplectic into his pint. He said "The sunrise is about 5 am at this time of the year. So you would want to be underway with the boat by six am?" I said "if I was moving that day yes I would, and I would enjoy the best part of the day." "Oh, you will be popular with the late sleepers" he said. I added, "I would also like to do some twilight cruising on a summer evenings as well. Whilst watching the bats and other nocturnal wildlife." He said "That's a much better idea, I would be happy to do that myself."

So, this got me into cogitating mode again.

There is a sunrise and sunset calculator to be found here (click link) a quick check shows that say for the twelfth of June this year the Sun would rise at 4:44am and it would set at 9:16pm. So lets say that I was to be underway by 6am. Would that be a problem, certainly not for me.

The conundrum is "Should I let the thoughts of someone who chooses to sleep later than me, rule my enjoyment." Not only that "Should I even take into consideration their opinion." The other aspect is "Am I being anti-social by having the odd early morning cruise." Should the canals and rivers be a live and let live place.

Now, I am talking of moving in daylight, so I don't feel that I am presenting a danger or going outside the terms of my insurance. I am not talking of moving early everyday. I am not aware of any time constraints set by BW on boat movements. I have moved early in the morning before, when trying to catch a tide. I have had other boats pass me early in the morning when moored. I never thought for one moment that their early start was impinging on me in any way. 

I know and understand the issues with portable generators or engines running early or late for hours on end. I am talking about the short period in time for me to gently cruise past moored boats. I can't make my mind up, does my friend even have a valid point! Am I a considerate boater or an inconsiderate one. Is it a minor inconvenience or a real problem.


1 comment:

  1. There is no finer time to cruise than dawn, you have the world to yourself and the wildlife is still visible. Also you can have the pick of the moorings as you are ready to stop for the day when everyone else is still moving. I vote for early moves, but don't tell everyone, they'll all be doing it.


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