Stories and Traveltips

ID #1245

Ski-Boating and Scuba Diving, Phalaborwa-Style Lowveld Limpopo Province.

Phalaborwa is a rough and ready town on the western border of the Kruger National Park. Many of its citizens are passionate about huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’. Occasionally however their passion overrides their good judgement.

One such citizen decided that he would indulge his passion by going deep-sea fishing off the Mozambique coast nearby. He bought a ski-boat with all of the necessary safety gear as well as two large outboard motors. Prudently, he decided to test out the equipment before leaving on holiday.  A few weeks before his scheduled departure, he and some friends towed the boat to the dam on the Olifants River. After launching the boat, they roared about with an impressive turn of speed. He was thrilled with the boat’s performance until, suddenly, tragedy struck -- both outboard motors fell into the water and disappeared. They had forgotten to tighten the bolts holding the motors to the transom!

Disconsolate, they rowed the boat back to shore, realizing that their holiday plans were well and truly “scuppered”. But they put their heads together and came up with a plan to remedy the situation – he would buy scuba gear and they would fish the motors out of the dam.

Such a plan is not without merit. But he ignored two important realities. Firstly, scuba diving takes training and a degree of expertise. Perhaps more importantly, the dam on the Olifants River contains giant crocodiles.

Anxious to retrieve his motors and, hence, his holiday, he paid scant attention to such niceties. Off he went to buy the very latest scuba gear, after which they rushed back to Phalaborwa. They towed the boat to the dam and rowed to the spot where the motors had fallen off. Donning the scuba gear, they dropped into the water where, because of lack of suitable training and preparation, they promptly started drowning. Thrashing about in the water, they attracted the attention of the crocodiles. Realized the error of their ways, they retreated to the safety of the boat in the nick of time.

When last I heard, the scuba gear and ski-boat, sans motors, were lying untouched in his garage.

Moral of the story – avoid going to sea with inexperienced skippers, irrespective of how enthusiastic or passionate they might be. You too could end up drowning amongst giant crocodiles in the Olifants River. Alan McIver NFSki

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Last update: 2014-03-28 08:02
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.4

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