• How I Used Up One of My ‘Lives’

How I Used Up One of My ‘Lives’; A Paddlers Account of a Stormy Saturday

Saturday, 13 November

Yesterday I used up one of my ‘lives’ ….

We had a training outrigger training camp up at Mooloolaba this weekend and some of us crazy, wave chasing, loving the wind on your back paddlers planned a one-way paddle from either Pt Arkwright or Mooloolaba to Moffat beach in the afternoon.

We had checked the weather and storm radar, sure storms down south nothing up Sunshine Coast so off we went.

Hope and I were on an OC2 (2 person outrigger), the waves were fantastic, we were just having fun UNTIL in the distance a flash. Grey clouds rolled along the land as flashes out to sea continued there was another storm cell out there.

It looked like we would get past the storm cell that was out to sea but then the cell on land turned and headed for us.

Thunder so loud it made my stomach and heart jump out of my body. The lightening was flashing non-stop. We turned for shore. Heading to Curramundi Lifeguard tower in the distance, we could see the lifeguards quad bike lights as he raced up and down the beach packing up.


But THEN the heavens opened up and the wind nearly blew us both off the canoe. We stopped paddling now and braced ourselves, we couldn’t see past the end of the craft and for a few minutes, both Hope and I had the same quiet thought.

‘If we get hit by lightning will it be a quick death’

I was vocally and repeatedly asking the man upstairs to get us safely to shore and to do so for our friends and our partners who were also out.

Once we could see again we noticed that we had been moved some 500mtrs further south (see map). We came in. Ran up the beach and sheltered under a footbridge until the lightning passed and we could think clearly.


We had paddlers scattered along the coast at Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Kawana and us at Curramundi. We had our various land crew come rescue us and spoke of our various experiences out there over dinner at Dicky Beach Surf Club.

I must say that I ‘nearly’ had a glass of wine BUT didn’t.

I enjoyed a nice steak, veggies and mineral water before finally getting home to Hope’s place for a shower and bed. It was the best feeling, being alive, having everyone safe and lying next to my Danny.

I do hope you and yours are safe. It looks to be a bad storm season in SQ and we all need to be mindful of what mother nature can throw at us unexpectedly.

Robyn Saultry

Outrigger Canoeist
Triathlete and World Level Masters Swimmer
SMG Technologies Ambassador

Robyn Saultry is a known Outrigger Canoeing, Triathlete and Masters swimming champion. She extensive knowledge in the gymnasium and aerobics domain, Robyn has leveraged her own expertise to champion the fitness space as a professional athlete, mentor and coach.


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