NOT MANY mums could calmly describe the times their sons were shot at.
But these tales fail to fluster Donna Kalch, whose son Mark Kalch was named one of the world's 50 most adventurous men by New York based Men's Journal.
Since 2007 Mackay born and bred Mr Kalch has been on a mission: to paddle the longest seven rivers on seven continents from source to sea.
So far, he has conquered South America's Amazon, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in America and the Volga River in Russia.
And when he was "tired of paddling", he walked the length of Iran.
"As a little kid he was quite quiet and shy," Mrs Kalch said.
"But I think it (the adventurous spirit) came from his father. He had every edition that ever came out of National Geographic."
While Mrs Kalch was worried when her son first announced his plan to paddle the Amazon River with a friend, he had always been capable and had "a lot of common sense".
"I first said, 'What about the piranhas?' " she said.
"And he said, 'That will be the least of our worries'.
"He was right; the guerrillas in that part of the world are very dangerous.
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"They were shot at, I don't know if they were warning shots or if they were trying to hit them.
"I think I first read about it on a blog post. It was a really good article, but really scary."
When he decided on a hike through Iran, Mrs Kalch was again reassured by her son's calm spirit.
"I can't dwell on things or else I'd be a nervous wreck all the time," she said.
"He went through all the right channels and said the people were lovely.
"You would think it would be all desert, but he said it was beautiful, there was snow and mountains."
She was just as surprised when Mr Kalch spoke to her by Skype from the banks of Russia's Volga River, as he worked on his suntan.
"Skyping him from so far was incredible," she said.
"I would have expected it to be cold in Russia, but it was really hot and summery."
With the Murray-Darling River, Asia's Yangtze River, the Nile in Africa and the Onyx in Antarctica still on the itinerary, Mrs Kalch has learnt to cope with her son's antics.
"I don't think about the Nile, it's full of crocodiles and hippos," she said.
Mark Kalch was unavailable for comment, as he was out of range somewhere in Argentina.
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RATHER than sailing the seven seas, Lewis Pugh was hell-bent on swimming them, and last year he became the first person to do it.
That's the kind of competition Mackay's Mark Kalch was up against before being named one of the world's 50 most adventurous men by Men's Journal this year.
Extreme adventurers like Felix Baumgartner who base jumped from the stratosphere, pioneer of big wave surfing Laird Hamilton and Kenton Cool who climbed to the summit of Mt Everest twice in one week, also made the cut.
But crazy feats were just part of the job for storm chaser Geoff Mackley, shark conservationist Greg Skomal and Hollywood director James Cameron.
BY THE time Mark Kalch completes his seven continents, seven rivers project he will have paddled more than 33,000km.
But while the Onyx River in Antarctica contributes only 40km to that total, it is set to be one of the more challenging, believes Mark's mum Donna Kalch.
"The tricky part with the Onyx from what I can understand is that it is frozen most of the year," she said.
"What do you do if you get all the way down there and it is frozen?
"The planning is the worst part of that trip."
If the river is running however, paddling 40km should be a walk in the park for Mark after conquering the 6437km of Amazon and with the 6853km Nile on the itinerary.
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