Home' Afloat : AFLOAT November 2014 Contents 58 AFLOAT.com.au November 2014
with Captain Chaos
Up the creek without a paddle
Thai Barbecued Chicken
1 kg bite-size chicken pieces
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon raw sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Combine all ingredients and marinade the chicken pieces for one
hour but best left overnight. BBQ on hot coals and ser ve with a
spicy Thai sauce.
Ihave just returned from a camping trip over the range. It was
very dry but I managed to find a river where the dam upstream
was releasing huge amounts of water. This meant the river was
banking and travelling fast.
However, there was a large deeper stretch where the water
was much stiller. Here I spotted four kayaks being paddled. These
plastic one man kayaks are getting very popular. I have noticed
quite a few fishermen using them in the estuaries. They seem a
great way for people to get out on the water.
After I had set up camp, I hunted the not too few black snakes
away from the site. Fortunately my dog Delhi is so used to pythons
around my house that she doesn’t chase snakes. This is a bit of a
godsend as many small dogs get bitten when trying to grab them.
Calling her, I set off along the bank of the river to take in the
abundant bird life. I had been walking for about an hour when I
thought I saw a platypus over near the far bank. I found a shady
spot to sit, hoping to watch its movements.
The river was running quite fast here and looking downstream
I could see the huge trunk of a gum tree dividing the river into
two very fast rapids. The gum tree was obviously not lying on the
bed of the river because I could see water churning under it which
meant the trunk was being held up by some branches.
I was just about to move on when a red double-kayak came
around the bend. Paddling was a man and young girl ... both, I
was happy to note, were wearing life jackets as they didn’t look
like they knew much about canoeing.
I suddenly realised they hadn’t seen the rapids ahead and they
were heading straight for the massive log in the middle.
“Hey, you guys! Look out for the rapids!” I yelled hoping to
catch their attention. But my warning came too late. They were
caught in the fast flowing current.
The girl on the front was trying to steer around the log. She
got it turned but only in time to strike the log side on. The kayak
rose up the side of the log and then to my horror turned over. The
man was trapped against the log by the kayak; but I couldn’t see
the girl any where.
Delhi took off barking down past the rapids. I jumped in and
was trying to make my way to the man when he struggled free and
made his way to the far bank. I still couldn’t see the girl. I was hoping
she hadn’t got caught up under the log. I got out on to the tree
trunk and felt around with my feet but couldn’t find her. The only
thing I could think was she must have been carried downstream.
I quickly made my way to the bank and started trotting down the
edge of the river scanning the rapids as I went.
I suddenly heard barking up ahead and through the trees I
could see Delhi standing in the water wagging her tail. I then
spotted the girl. She was staggering out of the rapids with her
paddle still in her hand.
Out of the blue someone screamed “Yahoo!”
I looked back up the river in time to see this crazy looking
woman careering down the rapids with a small white dog riding
the front of a kayak. It was when the dog saw Delhi that disaster
struck. The mutt leaped into the air pushing the kayak sideways
and capsizing it.
The woman had the sense to keep hold of the kayak and drag
it up onto the bank. The young girl let out a yell.
“I nearly drowned. I was so frightened!” she quavered.
The woman gave her a big hug just as the bloke came through
the trees dragging his kayak.
“ Thanks for all your help, mate,” the man said. “I was a bit
winded when I got to the bank.”
“No worries. I ’m glad it turned out alright in the end. How are
you getting back? ”
“My wife will be here soon with the four wheel drive. Can we
give you a lift? ”
“No. It’s OK. I think I’ll walk back. I’ll see you later.” I called
Delhi and headed back to the camp where I had some chicken
pieces marinading. h
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