So my plan was to do a Steenbras or grunter for Christmas day, and in all eagerness I set out early for the harbour to pick up the boat I had hired, to get me to all the channels along the Krom River in  St Francis Bay.

After puttering around in the canals for a while trying to find my way out of the maze of riverside homes, I finally made it out to the river mouth and proceeded at full throttle upstream to find a nice quiet place away from the throngs of speedboats to find and catch our lunch. There is a certain primordial satisfaction I think we all derive from actually catching our own supper instead of finding it on a store shelf. I found a nice sand bank that had a deep channel running just past it and beached the boat, dropped the anchor, popped a beer and began the big fish. Six beers and no bites later, I came to the conclusion that my perfect fishing spot was anything but that. Time to move on I thought, only to realise that in between the beers and the lack of fish, the tide had dropped. So much so that I was now in fact on dry land. After about an hour of exhaustive pulling, tugging and lots of cursing, I managed to free myself, promising not to do something that idiotic again. Little did I know I would very shortly break my own promise to myself, in spectacular fashion.

I had had enough, the fish weren’t biting. I was down to my last four beers and my food was all but gone. Time to pack it up. I hadn’t travelled but two kilometres when sputter sputter and then silence. Instinctively I lifted the seat to check my petrol and what do you know…I’m out of juice, 10kms upriver and no mobile coverage. To top this, I am adrift in the middle of a river and drifting towards a cliff face with no suitable prospect of mooring of any kind. I dropped the anchor to slow the boat down and popped a beer. After drifting a while some houses came into view, so I decided to try the cell again and Bobs your uncle it got signal. A few frantic phone calls and an hour later the river police arrived with a full tank of juice. Sheepishly I thanked then the only way I knew how. I gave them my last two remaining beers, and headed home. I can just imagine the talk around the local bar, needless to say I did not venture out for a drink that night. So after my trials and tribulations my mission was a failure, well not quite because there is a Smith family tradition of rolled Pork neck on the spit for Christmas lunch. Who felt like fish anyway.

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