Having visited wild crocodiles at Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, just a couple of months ago, I was riveted by a news item in this morning's paper: Kayaker trapped by croc. You can read it in any New Zealand paper, I find, but is it true or is it not? That, indeed, is the Question...
The fact that the fellow is known only as "Brian" is suspicious in itself, but it's certainly a story worth reading, and talking about, and filming. And here is how it goes:
This intrepid (or imaginative) Brian first got himself into hot water via a trip on a yacht, whose owner was jailed in the Northern Territory, leaving his passenger stranded for two months.
After hitching a lift with a solo yachtsman from the Territory to Western Australia, he decided to explore the coast by kayak. So, the cooperative yachtsman dropped Brian and his little kayak on Governor Island, which is on the northern West Australian coast near Kalumburu, which is between Derby and Kununurra (look up google).
Brian had thought he would be well supplied, having 160 litres of water, some flour and dry stores, but he quickly realized that he had underestimated his needs. The solution seemed simple, as a form of civilization beckoned just four kilometres away, so Brian got into his kayak, and started to paddle.
And a huge crocodile popped up in his path.
Apparently the croc is a local identity. He has been there for more years than anyone can remember, and he is correspondingly enormous. And while he might have been hungry, he was also patient. So he was willing to wait until Brian weakened from starvation and dehydration. What he was not willing to do was let Brian paddle his kayak away.
And that was two weeks ago.
On Saturday, local Don MacLeod spotted a light on the island.
"I went across and Brian came out looking a bit distraught.
"He came down the beach, he had no hat on and no shirt on.
"He was relieved and shocked, and thankful someone had come along because he was running out of
options pretty quickly.
"He is a very, very lucky man.''
Not so fortunate was one frustrated and very hungry crocodile.