Ski-less and alone . . . A tale of romance and adventure on the high seas of the South Coast (By contributing Editor Mike G.)
A howling nor-easter awaited as a socially distant cluster of intrepid ski paddlers made their way beyond the heads of Ulladulla Harbour en route to the southerly port of Lake Tabourie.
As they scooped and swayed ever eastward toward the continental shelf, the bravest among them – a fellow called Chris, veered his vessel to the right hoping to catch and slide the swell. With his comrades beside him he rode the waves, glancing over his shoulder for the next herd of white horses to carry him onwards to his beloved partner, Sue waiting on the shores of the mystical romantic south coast lake.
Suddenly, without warning, Chris and his ski were thrust high into the air by a rogue bombora. Crashing back into the briny, his leg rope (with expensive GPS enabled watch and very expensive ski attached) parted company with his body.
He was alone, ski-less and drifting in the angry sea miles from shore.
His paddler mates and his surf ski were gone, blissfully riding and sliding their way southwards. With only his faith in his ocean swimming ability and his love of Sue to sustain him, Chris pressed the location device on his life jacket – flares and signals rang out.
In far off Nowra, a Navy helicopter was dispatched in haste.
Meanwhile Chris floated about watching for signs of dangerous sea life, reflecting on the meaning of life, and occasionally thinking about swimming the forty or so kilometres back to shore (actually, this needs a fact check!). His reverie was disturbed some 30 minutes later by the sound of rotors overhead, and the sight of a rope (with rescuer attached) descending upon him.
Shortly after, Chris was hooked up, embraced, and ascending above the swell to the swinging, hovering refuge of the Navy chopper. When asked where he’d like to be dropped off, Chris answered ‘Milton please’. The helipad at Milton was cleared for landing, and the ambulance was ready and waiting to lead the cavalcade and await the media frenzy at Milton Hospital. Chris, his body littered with all sorts of devices to monitor his bodily functions, calmly disembarked and rang Sue who was waiting patiently down at Lake Tabourie.
‘You’re where?’ asked Sue feeling somewhat inconvenienced. ‘We are supposed to meeting everyone at the Milton-Ulladulla Bowlo for dinner, now we are going to be late’. Needless to say, both Sue and Chris made it to dinner – and we were all very pleased and relieved that this tale of romance and adventure ended happily.
Chris was lost and then found – safe and sound. A tale of adventure and romance, which is – well – not all fake news!
Ed. Note: Chris is now at unbackable odds to take out the 2021 Mollymook Ocean Swimming – Golden Flipper Award