While most of Middle England blames the government for the winter storms (and complains that someone else should foot the bill for repairs to their lavish flood plain properties), I prefer to think they should either get their own lives in order or else shut the hell up and face the consequences. And I extend the same perfectly unsympathetic advice to leisure boaters.
Time and again, we see ill-prepared skippers putting themselves in harm’s way and being rescued by dedicated professionals whom they do nothing to fund. I personally take great pride in ensuring that I am always over-prepared when I put to sea - and yet while we all know there is lots of vital safety gear every sage boater needs, there are also some fun and funky gadgets that we convince ourselves are just as important. Take this rather excellent new drop camera for instance...
It can record high-quality illuminated video at depths of up to 60 metres and relay it to the surface where it is displayed on a portable monitor. Plainly, that makes it brilliant fun – but it also makes it useful for inspecting your underwater gear, particularly on larger vessels. If you want to check the seabed for an anchorage, it is also ideal, and for keen divers and fishermen, it’s a very cool means of gaining first-hand footage without getting wet or investing in a multi-million pound submarine.
The camera is housed in a waterproof submersible case with a hydrodynamic fin and an adjustable weight to control the viewing angle and to cope with rough conditions. It can operate in temperatures from minus ten to plus 50 degrees Centigrade and the nine white LEDs provide illumination of objects up to six metres away when visibility is poor. The kit includes the camera, 60-metre cable, remote control, monitor, instruction manual and case, plus a rechargeable battery for between four and eight hours operation.
Okay, so I admit. It’s not completely vital, but if you’re a gadget-addicted skipper, it looks like good fun – and if you’re a responsibility-shunning Middle Englander with a flooded living room, you can use it to search for your self-respect. How’s that for £300 well spent...
Do you own a Spymaster drop camera or a Spymaster Mini-Submarine: Scuba Scooter Fun? What about the M1 Personal Transporter: Winter’s must-buy gadget? Get in touch on the comments and give an honest review!