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  • Mark Parker

"Storm Boy" Summer 1988/89

One of the first real life stories in a school book dated 13 - 2 - 89 which most likely occurred at some point during the summer holidays.

When I was about 6 years old & throughout my childhood I had a habit of conning my father into doing dangerous shit. Basically,the story behind this little story is that I was a child - I was a keen swimmer & used to pester Dad to swim across the opening of Whyalla Marina every time we were there. Although, he always said no I was relentless in my determination to rise up to the challenge I'd set myself. Eventually one crystal calm day whilst Down there with Mum & Durc, I pestered Dad as usual & as it was a beautiful day & there wasn't much in the way of potential marine traffic Dad reluctantly gave in to helping fulfil his Sons dreams & desires. The plan was for us to swim from roughly point A to point be on the map below with Mum & my brother keeping an eye on us as we got started & walking around to meet us on the other side...

Needless to say, & inline with Dads hesitance to the idea & Whyalla's psychotic weather - as we got about mid way across the marina the weather turned with water going from crystal clear to huge violent swell & gale forced winds. I recall Mum screaming at me probably words of encouragement as her & Durc watched in horror as Dad did his best to stay afloat himself keeping with me & guiding me to the safest possible exit point in a desperate attempt to avoid us both being violently smashed to death against the breakwater. Obviously, he succeeded. Once we were out of the water I recall the wind being so strong that it was lifting the loose gravel off the asphalt & launching it like bullets that stung as they our bare skin as we rushed back to shelter. After we'd finally made shelter Dad was most likely too relieved that we were both still alive to be mad at me. Therefore, rather than point out that that was exactly why he didn't want to do it in the first place (which I think I kinda expected) - I remember being proud of what proved to be a feat far greater than I'd anticipated when Dad lovingly called me "Storm Boy" which happened to be one off my favourite movies as a child. This was just one of numerous occasions I nearly got us killed in the ocean.

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