My Umko Marathon

There he goes, no lifejacket as was the way those days. . . another guy might be wearing full lifejacket and helmet but he’d be disqualified: wasn’t wearing his club colours! Such was ‘safety’ back when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron! I roared in 140th – looks like 152Continue reading “My Umko Marathon”

A Slice of Vrystaat

I was born in Harrismith in 1955, as was Mom Mary in 1928, and her Mom Annie in 1893. Annie thought “the queen” of that little island left of France was also the queen of South Africa (and for much of her life she was right!). To balance that, there’s this side of the family.Continue reading “A Slice of Vrystaat”

Slalom Handicap

Two Springbok paddlers were watching me intently as I nimbly maneuvered my boat through the water. As I got to the gate that they were judging I ducked into an eddy and rested on my paddle, getting my breath back and having a chuckle at how clumsily I had bashed through the last gate. AndContinue reading “Slalom Handicap”

Quadruply Certifiable

The Comrades Marathon’s Quadruple Green Number is awarded only to people who are certifiably crazy. The award – and membership of that exclusive club – means you have run the 89km Comrades ultra-marathon at least forty times! Holy shit!! 47 Medals RaceNo Name 403 Louis Massyn 916 Barry Holland 45 Medals RaceNo Name 183 DaveContinue reading “Quadruply Certifiable”

Mix Your Drinks, Add River Water

It was advice from my chairman and as a new, fairly young member, I trusted him implicitly. You add sherry to your beer, said Allie Peter with a knowing nod. When we got to the bottle store in Cradock he spotted me at the till with a dozen Black Labels and a bottle of OldContinue reading “Mix Your Drinks, Add River Water”

Serious, Focused Paddling

. . racing, in fact. I put my head down, leaned forward and reached for a blade-full of Umgeni water and pulled it back to behind my hip. This was not a characteristic action. I was not used to putting effort into my paddling, but this was serious: I had team-mates, and we were inContinue reading “Serious, Focused Paddling”

Up the Creek

I can’t really say I was born ‘up Shit Creek without a paddle,’ but I can say that mere days after I was born I was taken home to our house on a plot on the banks of Shit Creek. And that it would be ten years or so before I owned my first paddle.Continue reading “Up the Creek”

Jean-Prieur du Plessis, Texan

I contacted JP du Plessis wanting to know wassup!? Catch me up on your USA sojourn! He wrote: Good to hear from you. We’re living in Austin, Texas – since January 2016. We spent sixteen years in Mandeville, Lousiana – near New Orleans. We raised our kids there, and still have the house there. PriorContinue reading “Jean-Prieur du Plessis, Texan”

Kayak the Ocoee

We hired a Lincoln Continental Town Car in Atlanta and put roofracks on. Dave Jones, dentist and US paddling legend and coach, put us up for the night before we headed North. Chris Greeff, kayaking legend & trip organiser; Herve de Rauville, kayaking legend; Jurie the SABC cameraman, Steve Fourie, a friend of Chris’. AndContinue reading “Kayak the Ocoee”

A Rolling Selfie

I saw the above pic on the internets and it reminded me of an incident after a river outing. It’s apparently of an old fella who rolled and his wife is still inside, but they’re getting a picture already. I can believe that these days, everyone has a camera in their pocket, but my storyContinue reading “A Rolling Selfie”