Martin Loewenstein – Boy Scouts and a Barbel Supper

Hi Pete, here goes.

It was one of the early Umko’s  around 1987/88 I think. I was paddling with Marlene And Jenny with Doug Retief starting at Hella Hella.We were at the overnight stop at St Elmo’s and Charlie had specifically instructed that everyone had to sleep in the main tent. Needless to say Marlene and Jenny decided with so few women paddling they weren’t sleeping with everyone in the big tent, so put up a small pup tent behind the marquee. No one even noticed, except Charlie who threw his toys right out the cot. Here were two females who up to recently had only been allowed to do the Dusi and they were now flouting his Umko rules . . eish.


At St Elmo’s a local scout troop had been deployed to help out with lunch duties. I was standing with Marlene and Jenny at the counter getting soup and rolls when one of the scouts accidently poured hot soup onto my hand. I pulled my hand away and shouted out a loud “FU-UCK!”.  The scoutmaster freaked out telling me not to swear in front of women. I tried to tell him it was an instinctive reaction to the hot soup, but he said if I carried on talking back to him he would ban me from supper. So taking up the challenge I told him to stick his supper and I would get my own. I had brought along a handline  and some hooks and a sinker, so found a cricket and baited up and threw into the fast flowing water. After only a short while I got a bite and had the twins holding on to me while I pulled in a big barbel. Marlene snuck into the kitchen at suppertime, made friends with the cook and fried up my barbel for supper which was delicious. In hindsight I suppose I could have handled it differently but I had to prove something . . haha.


Pete, me and Derek Howe did get pissed the night before and he could hardly walk back to his tent. Next morning  he was still under the weather,  got into the canoe and we rolled right over…..I can give you the full story but he didn’t throw up.  Its just a light story…if you need it.

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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