Editorial [44]

By Andrew Eddy

Another brilliant idea… why don’t I pop up to the Hawkesbury River for a quick, no fuss paddle with no need for any of my usual paddling accessories.

Deliriously dreaming of crystal clear waters and pristine unspoiled paddling grounds, I set off without any of my usual accompaniments… no PFD, no sprayskirt, no spare paddle, no tow ropes, no pumps, pipes, bags or gizmos, no compass, no GPS, no sea sock, no flotation bags, no sponges, no spares, flares, cares or wares, and I toodle off, aimlessly paddling in mind-boggling patterns as I meander my way upstream.

Blissfully unaware that this stretch of water is jet ski heaven, I have foolishly set off without my usual barrage of obscure and nasty weaponry, and am now prone to the senseless droning and continual wake hopping menaces that have suddenly appeared before me. In my vulnerable state I seek refuge amongst the reeds and old car tyres that is home to four-and-a-half million ducks and I mull over several possibilities as I sit invisibly in my reed-green kayak with matching stealth mode apparel.

I move on quietly, searching the putrid, farm-pump infested banks for some item that I can fashion into a new-fangled, ultra-devious, anti jet ski fink device that will rid the world of this plague menace and perhaps afford me more kayaking time as the world-wide orders flood in.

I spy a mound of obscure supplies guarded by rogue cows and I head towards them, eyeing off lengths of fencing wire and used car parts that I can fashion into a jet ski dissection apparatus.

I make careful, silent strokes towards to the bank, moving between submerged logs, floating car parts and overhanging willows to avoid detection by the jet skiers, and I almost make it to the shore before I spot the pitchfork wieldin’, ‘baccy chewin’, bib ‘n’ brace wearin’ farmer who clumps over towards me with an evil look in his eye.

Visions of Deliverance flood my mind and I quickly back-paddle and take refuge behind a wading cow, valiantly defending my grass green cordura deck that is attracting the eye of this wandering bovine.

A none too subtle MOOOOOOO! gives away my position, and I suddenly find myself the focus of attention for several fire-breathing, smoke bellowing, wilderness churning bohemoths. I execute several evasive manoeuvres as I duck in and out of wildlife colonies, slide under low-hanging branches and whizz in and out the maze of pipes that feed the pumps on the banks above.

Alas my attempts at subterfuge are without success, and I end up surrounded by gurgling, polluting drones. Considering one last ditch attempt at freedom, I assume the pose of the defeated paddler and I lay my paddle at my side, hopefully lulling one or more of these fiends into a false sense of security so that I can take one or two with me as I end up a mass of torn cordura and twisted aluminium on the bottom of the river.

Vini, vidi, vici… they came, they saw, they conquered… I was eventually overcome, crushed and submerged like so many of the logs that had threatened to pierce my fragile kayak skin on the pathetically short upstream jaunt, and so I made a hasty retreat to the safety of pounding waves, cursed winds and the good old Manly Ferry, my trusted nemesis and archfiend…

But hang on a minute… ignore my ramblings and relax with another fine issue of NSW Sea Kayaker!

Then get out there, paddle to your heart’s content, and death to all jet-skiers… or as they say in the classics – happy yakking…