A day out on the water … that sounds like just what the doctor ordered!
Off the Big Fella goes to pick up our lovely little tinny named Vinny. She’s new to the family and a thing of beauty to be sure. 12ft long with a nice little fold up sun shade, a Yamaha motor (a good thing I’m told) and a flat blue carpet floor that stops us all from rolling into the middle. The BF will be a while cause Vinny The Tinny just needs a little bit of work done on her trailer before we take off, so I decide to make a special picnic to mark the ‘awspicious’ occasion! Boiled eggs, cooked chook, korma curry leftovers, sangas, choccy cake AND choccy slice … all nicely stored in a Coles cold bag with a couple of frozen bricks … mmmmm … fisher-person heaven!
The BF eventually returns with nephew and Vinny in tow and after much packing and re-packing we head off to the river to begin our new ‘boaty-folk’ life. The BF, 8yr old fishing loving nephew, 5yr old fishing virgin son, 9m old fluffy puppy and myself … all of us full of high expectations of high adventure on the high seas!
As soon as we got Vinny into the water and loaded up, PULL PULL PULL NAAAAAAAAAHHH, we headed off up river to find somewhere to eat … after all … it had taken all morning to get organised and by 1.30pm we were all feeling faint from hunger! 200m away we came across a sandy stretch of beach and pulled up and started munching. The curry went in a hurry, followed quickly by the vegemite sangas and the choccy treats. Whilst the kids and canine ran around the muddy beach the oldies kicked back and savoured the sea life … ahhhh it’s a hard life living in paradise. Beautiful warm sunny day, gentle breeze, middle of winter, plastic seats under our backsides and blue carpet under our feet … who could ask for more? “The yabby pump the yabby pump” came the cry from the shore. Off they went, plunging the pump deep into the waters edge, leaving big holes and piles of muddy sand all along the beach. “Horraaay we’ve found em!” was soon heard, followed by squeals and screams as the little yabbies wiggled and nipped trying to get away. The final haul was 4 skinny yabbies in a bucket, 2 wet happy kids and one extra wet happy puppy.
Now for the serious business of wetting a line. The BF is sitting in the back of the boat as I try and push her out into the river … hmmm … no that’s not going to work. I can push ok but can’t manage the leap in after she gets going. BF will have to use his extra long legs and do the pushing and leaping. As you can imagine I was most disappointed. SHOVE … off we go … hop hop hop … water rising up to parts that would rather stay dry … LEAP … madly rocking boat and madly holding on boaty-folk … phew! We made it and we’re off. Zooming across the river with only one thing on our minds, we spy a couple of boats over near some mangroves. If there’s more than one boat surely there’s a 50% chance one of them knows something! Too scared to throw the anchor in case its not tied on to anything (yes we know we should have checked that bit) we decided to drift with the outgoing tide. 5yr old gets his lure over the edge and wets his first line. 8yr old is just about the dunk his first prawn when we realise we’re getting a tad close to the bank. PULL PULL PULL NAAAAHHHHHHH off we go … pffffttttttttt … nothing. No more NAAAAAHHHHHH, only the sounds of water lapping and fish laughing. PULL PULL PULL and fifty more PULLS. Still nothing. Slowly we are drifting along towards one of the fishing boats. PULL PULL PULL … closer we go. They have their backs turned to us and I can see they are hunched up like they are expecting something to hit them on the head. PULL PULL PULL … lap lap lap … laugh laugh laugh … the cover is off now and both BF and myself are leaning over the motor … “is there spark is there spark?”. Two metres away the fishing boat is drifting by … we come down past their back bit (the stern in boaty-folk talk) and one of them finally turns his head and mutters “Wanna tow?”.
Well let me tell you, we were drifting in the right direction and so long as the tide didn’t change I was confident we could paddle ashore once we reached the boat ramp. The BF however had just about burst his poo-kacker-valve by this stage and was immensly relieved a paddle would now be off the agenda.
Rope flying backward and forward and before we knew it we were off. Our knights in shining armour and their Honda motor were putting in a mighty performance. Turned out they were very friendly and didn’t mind in the least when our Vinny scraped along their side taking off some paint … and when the time came to put us ashore, the way in which they looked certain to hit the oyster rocks only to glide effortlessly between them and onto the boat ramp was a thing of true beauty. It was only marred by the BF leaping out into the water to try and stop the impending collision … and the cruel laughter of those safe and dry on board Vinny.
Still determined to have fresh fish for dinner we decided to detour on our way home to the mouth of the river and try our luck there. Those yabbies were still scampering around the bucket and the prawns hadn’t gone too black … surely there was a fish out there that wouldn’t be able to resist that lot!?
8yr old and 5yr old run excitedly down to the beach. Fishing rods and bait at the ready. As we are getting organised I look up and just see 5yr old tipping the bucket out at the waters edge! “The yabbies” I yell! Seems 5yr old had decided they should go back to their families and not go swimming with the fish after all. Awww … very cute … except for the circling seagull that waits for 5yr old to turn his back and SWOOP … SWOOP … SWOOP … at least one yabby may have made it home for dinner!
Did we catch any fish? … no we didn’t. Did we have a fun and memorable day? … we certainly did!