Good grief, December already?..

Good grief, December already? Well no, obviously, because thanks to the ingrained madness of monthly magazine publishing your December issue is being put to bed in October, to be ready for you on November 1. But you get what I mean: December already. The season, at least up here at latitude 51?N, is grinding inexorably to a close, bedding is coming off boats as dehumidifiers go on, and travel hoists are hard at work as marina berths empty and marina hard-standing fills up.

What to do if the boat?s laid up? Well, there?s always the winter boat shows. Even the biggest and best of these can be neatly divided into those which are worth escaping to for the weather, and those which are worth visiting because the host city alone is worth the trip. So if you missed Genoa and Fort Lauderdale in October, make sure you escape for a few days to Barcelona (November), Paris (December), New York and Dusseldorf (January) or Miami (February). Flights are ridiculously cheap, and the boat shows provide a
ready-made excuse to indulge yourself with a bit of urgent window shopping.

And then of course you could always go boating. Other people?s boats, even if you have to pay to use them, often provide a welcome change from one?s own, especially if they?re based somewhere pleasant like the Caribbean. The big trouble with chartering, of course, is that it makes you question the sanity of owning your own boat, and that way lies madness. Don?t go there. Or do, but make sure you come back ? we?d hate to lose you.