I usually write my articles after an adventure or incident that I was involved in – from the salty side of the story. This one is different. Twice in recent months I’ve been the one left ashore and the lessons I learned have given me a better appreciation of what goes on when things go wrong at sea and how those ashore are impacted.
“Am I going to die Dad, am I going to die?” This is what my partner’s 10-year-old daughter kept asking him as he carried her on his back as fast as he could over the rocks to the nearby dinghy. She had just been attacked by a two and a half metre salt water crocodile and he was trying to get her back to our cat Hard Yakka which was anchored two kilometres down the Sale river. This near disaster happened in October 2005 in the remote Kimberley area of Doubtful Bay. I had got off the boat in Broome and flew home to Ireland for my sister’s wedding. Ric, my partner, and his two kids Simon and Chantal, along with a friend Peter from Switzerland were sailing from Broome to Port Douglas hoping to be there by December 25. (I was flying back on Christmas Day).