This photo reminds me of a couple of memorable holidays I spent camping beside the River Murray. I think the first instance we were camped somewhere near Swan Reach and it was only my brothers, Dad and me. We had great fun out in the boat fishing and trying to catch yabbies. The weather was lovely and sunny, perfect for wearing shorts while sitting in the boat. Growing up I don’t ever remember people having any sunscreen though I did see some people smothering themselves with oil when we were at the beach. The result for me was by the end of the day my thighs were badly sunburnt. Dad put butter on my legs and it melted immediately, I’m not sure of the logic behind it but he wasn’t alone in thinking it was a good solution. It did nothing to soothe me but I had to try and sleep through at least another night before we headed home. Eventually the burns became scabs, it was the worst sunburn I ever had.
Another time it was just Dad, Mike and me camping out. We had the small bondwood boat which seemed to weigh a ton when it had to be manhandled into the water but we had some fun with it once it was launched. There was no motor at the time so Mike rowed it until he had the bright idea that we should use a tarp and an oar to make a sail. Somehow we managed to get the oar up and the tarp attached. It was great until the “sail” really filled with air and we couldn’t control it. The River Murray is notorious for hidden snags and deep holes which create whirlpools sucking unsuspecting swimmers under. I was terrified that we were going to end up in the water (Of course we didn’t have life jackets!) but luckily eventually Mike managed to regain control and sheepishly rowed us back to camp.
My worst experience with that boat deserves a post all to itself so that will have to come later!