A woman’s point of view

No husband was hurt during the writing of this article.

By Saltbush Sal


I’m a woman who always wanted to experience fishing. To be in a boat with my significant other, facing the perils of the ocean or estuary together in the search for the elusive big catch. Man and woman against nature. The primal urge to feed our family. How romantic, I always thought.

To fulfil my vision, my husband needed a means by which we could face the wild head on. So I bit the bullet and bought him a boat. My husband came home from work one afternoon and there it was. I had used my kitty to buy him a 4.2 m Hornet Trophy as a surprise. It was equipped with all the essentials, and in the middle of the boat I had sweetened the deal with an esky full of ice and his favourite beer.   I thought that at last the vision was within my grasp. He would be so happy that he wouldn’t be able to wait to take his wife fishing.  And I was right; he was deliriously happy, and couldn’t wait to go fishing… with his mates and the kids. Sigh.

However, after me nagging him nonstop and reminding him, oh so subtly (not), who bought him his ship, he came down from the shed one afternoon, and said ok the boat is in the shed ready to go; you can go fishing now. I ran down to the shed in delight and anticipation. There was the boat, surrounded in sand, with a fishing line perched on the side of the boat, with a line in a bucket of water. Ok, I think I deserved that. So I gave up.

A couple of years flew by, then out of the blue he asked me to go fishing with him. I was overjoyed and if you will permit me I will share with you my apprenticeship as a female first mate on a tinnie. I would learn boaty terms and protocols – and swear words that I have never heard before. I would learn that the captain of the boat is always right, and that body functions always seem to want to occur when the captain is in a particularly ‘hot’ fishing spot – hence the never heard before swear words.

I planned our adventure with care; what I would wear and what picnic lunch I was going to pack. I even bought a bottle of bubbly to have while on board.

At dawn we were up. Excitement filled the air, and we were off.

We got to the boat ramp loaded with carefully packed and prepared culinary delights, sunscreen, insect repellent and bait. Little did I know that this day would spark thoughts of mutiny and divorce?

On arrival at the boat ramp, I saw other woman scrambling out of their various vehicles, and dutifully trudging down to the bottom of the boat ramp to await the arrival of their vessel at the water’s edge on the boat ramp. They were all dressed in daggy old clothes. Nothing matched and there was no sex-appeal anywhere. What were these women thinking? A day on the water with our men folk could only mean romance and igniting flames of desire. That’s why they asked us to accompany them. To spend time with the women they love!

I was given my instructions to go down the ramp and wait while he backed the ute and trailer down, and hold onto the rope and boat while he then parked the ute.  On the way down the ramp I passed the crocodile and jellyfish warning sign. I stood stock still for a moment. A thought then flashed through my mind, was I invited only because his mates were busy and he needed somebody to stand in the crocodile and jellyfish infested waters holding on to the pointy end of the boat? This was the first hint of my romantic safari sinking.

I stood knee-deep in the water waiting for hubby to park the ute and trailer with a death grip on the boat rope like it was my only lifeline. I gazed around nervously listening for any movement in the water within 100 metres of me and was poised to run on water at any tiny splash. I was terrified that a croc was going to launch up out of the water and drag me into a death roll or a jellyfish was going to wrap his tentacles around me. I glanced up the ramp nervously, expecting to see my own Crocodile Dundee striding purposefully down to where I stood in the water to protect and save me, looking all rugged and handsome, bush knife in gritted teeth. But what I saw defied explanation. There he was, leaning on a ute yapping to a fellow angler. I digress here for a moment; why do men always scratch and shift their male furniture around when they are talking to another man? Is it a male posturing thing or just an itch?

Anyway, thoughts were fading fast of a wonderful day on the water with the love of my life, enjoying spending quality time in the outdoors, whispering words of love and adoration, exchanging knowing come-hither looks across the aluminium expanse. Isn’t that why I took extra care in choosing a particularly sexy body spray, fishing shirt tied seductively across my stomach to show off a new push up swimming bikini top (with extra push up to battle gravity), and my new shorts and hat, to match and enhance the ensemble.

After what seemed like forever, he finally finished his ‘important’ discussion – and scratch – and walked down the ramp past me and without a word got straight into the boat. I was still standing in the water, rope in hand and mouth agape, feeling like croc-fodder. The boat motor was started, and hubby shouted, obviously annoyed that I was still standing in the water, “Well get in. What are you doing?” How does a middle aged, exercise challenged, seductively dressed (or so I thought) woman get gracefully into a tinnie from a standing position in the water. Fortunately, at that precise moment something touched my foot, which tore a shriek from my body that sounded non-human, and I executed a somersault and half pike dive into the boat that would have got a 9.9 at any Olympic games. I looked up from my sprawled position, landing on the pointy end of the boat (I have yet to perfect the correct marine terms necessary for any first mate) to see my husband glaring at me. “Will you stop rocking the boat and sit up properly,” he grunted.

Well, at least I was in the boat, and on the water at last. I pulled my dignity, expectations and boobs (they had become dislodged from their gravity-defying position) together and decided these were only hiccups in the road to an adventure on the water.

We powered off up the creek. It wasn’t till much later that I realised the name of the creek started with an ‘s’ and finished with a ‘t’!

To be continued….