Going back a few years, I think it was about 1986/7 or thereabouts and we were living in Maryborough. I had my own business and was working very long hours and consequently had’t had my kayak in the water for a number of years. When it was suggested at Rotary one night that we should have a day kayaking on the Mary River I got excited. There had been recent rain and the rapids up Tiaro way were ideal for tackling.
From memory, I think Garth you may have had a hand in organizing this, is that right?

Anyway, I went home waxing lyrical to Shirl re the plans and said that if I worked longer the day before, I should be able to finish early and get out there in time. “That would be Ok wouldn’t it? What do you think?” Being a model husband, I always ask permission!

Shirl said “what days?” I told her. She said “what’s the date?” Women! what does it matter? Anyway, I said that I thought it was the 9th and 10th of February. There was silence for a few moments and then she said ” So you’re proposing to work longer on the 9th February so you can go paddling on the 10th of FEBRUARY?”

I said yeah, that should be OK hey? She said ” so your proposing to work longer on the 9th, my birthday, so you can paddle on the 10th which just happens to be our wedding anniversary?”

Bummer! I screwed up. But given I couldn’t get deeper in the you know what, I thought I may as well go.

Well, it was a great day. We’d put in above the race and whizz down through the rocks and when we hit the end would trudge back through the bush carrying the kayak, to do it all over again. I don’t know how many times but do know that by the time I finished I was completely knackered.

I will never forget the day, (Shirl will see to that!) and I’ve paid a heavy price. But boy, it was worth it!

Bob running the same stretch of water – Image by Garth P.

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