Murray River Paddle Exposed [42]

The NSWSKC Internet Discussion Group was as quiet as a mouse – nothing was stirring, not even the OSD’s mouth… Chris Halliday broke the silence and proffered the following vital question.

“Is everyone still getting over the Murray River? There has been a total silence for the last week or so!”

And as everyone knows, any message on the NSWSKC Internet Discussion Group that poses a question naturally requires a useless response from our very own Flotsam & Jetsam reporter, Mark ‘Fishkiller’ Pearson.

“I, like many others, am waiting to hear what happened. I did hear rumours that there was some sort of mutiny and the group split into two.

“Then, apparently, David Winkworth and Arunas Pilka couldn’t keep up and were left behind. Hopefully the real story will soon emerge…”

Then came forth probably the only reliable piece of information, from respected member Michael Culhane.

“The true story, which may yet be written up, includes Norm Sanders ramming the stern of my Pittarak double with his boat, rendering the rudder useless (comments pointing out the redundant word in this statement are unnecessary).”

Naturally, this prompted the OSD to gush forward several paragraphs.

“Untrue! Untrue! I was merely in my usual position, surfing the massive wake of the P Double when the aforementioned craft swerved erratically (as was it’s wont) and attacked the bow of my pristine wooden hull with a jagged rudder horn. Fortunately, the paint was strong and my boat suffered no damage.

“As regards the mutiny – well there were several, some more serious than others. Dave and Arunas did indeed deem themselves (temporarily) out of the trip by staying an extra day in the thrilling metropolis of Tocumwal sampling the delicious forbidden delights of that fabled jewelled city and resting up for the challenging tasks ahead. The remainder of us, less exhausted by the previous two days paddling, pressed on.

“Dave and Arunas, now refreshed, rejoined the party after paddling some 85 km in a day. Dave, however, was not his usual helpful self, refusing to paddle 14 km upstream to retrieve a camera left on a beach by some fellow Bega area residents, forcing said residents to make the perilous voyage themselves.

“The mutinous actions of Dave and Arunas were nothing, however, compared to the situation which occurred at Barmah when the party split into two openly warring groups: The “Piss-Pots” and the “Wowsers”. The PP’s set up their tents on the doorsteps of the pub while we Wowsers maintained the continuity of our wilderness experience by camping in a delightful glade 1 km upstream (I personally desperately needed the rest because of the situation which had occurred on the previous night when two hoons across the river had played non-stop Country & Western music (?) on their 100 watt CD until 0247 hours when it mercifully started to rain).

“How addicted the unfortunate PP’s were to their pernicious habit is indicated by the fact that Arunas camped with the Wowsers! This split caused wounds which never really healed and were only exacerbated (great word, Huh?) by the events which occurred later at Echuca, of which I find it painful to speak.”

Rob Gardner appropriately responded;

“Well that’s the somewhat wordy title for the story but we’re all still waiting for the tale itself…”

And still, the patient subscribers of the NSWSKC Internet Discussion Group await factual data on the Murray River trip. And they wait… and they wait…

Michael Culhane again offered sensible advice to hopefully wrap up the saga;

“These stories are best told by somebody who was not present at the time the events occurred – that way they are not restrained by the knowledge of the facts. Over to you Fishkiller…”

Naturally, Fishkiller assured us that all would be well.

“I hope to have it have it finished by the weekend. Under the working title of “They Squealed Like Pigs”, its a shocking tale of a group of innocent suburban paddlers who are preyed upon by Deliverance-type rednecks in the remote inland wilderness…”

The OSD was quick to rebut.

“My Post Traumatic Stress Counsellor has advised me not to discuss the events at Echuca. Suffice to say that the sight of Dave and Arunas doing a ‘full monty’ on the bar of the Shamrock Hotel will stay with me forever (especially the climax where they threw their socks into the crowd of swooning Echucan women).”

Dave spluttered and rebutted.

“But Norm, but Norm, the ladies weren’t Echuca natives – they were visiting lady bowlers there for the Ladies Bowls Championships. I think there were only six of them. And besides, the ladies weren’t swooning – they were drunk. And most hurtful of all – our socks were clean!”

As always, our investigation continues…