25 February 2008

Sailing up the Pacific Highway

On 25th February 2008 I became the proud owner of Little Dragon.

Full of nervous anticipation I tried to help Brian Stringer, the vendor, hook Little Dragon up to my Subaru Forrester. The last photo was shows me on my way.

Brian had cared for her well and made sure that she was securely attached before I left for the long drive home. Whilst it was obvious to me that he was a novice sailor I didn't pretend that I was anything other than a novice at trailing a boat.

So thank you Brian and I wish you and your wife well with your new motor boat.

I had around 800 km to drive up the most dangerous highway in Australia - and I hadn't a clue how to reverse. Well, I knew the theory but had never tried to put it into practice. Why is it that almost all Australian men just seem to be able to noncholantly and effortlessly back trailers down absurdly narrow ramps?

First stop was at a garage where I found I needed one new wheel bearing and second stop was at a tyre shop to replace both the trailer tyres. I wasn't taking any chances on the highway with dodgy tyres.

Then, very gingerly, I pulled out onto the highway for the long drive. To my amazement all went well, she followed me without a single wobble. So I just set cruise control on 80 km and headed north. I managed to make it as far as my old friend Helen Mower and Phil's place at Nambuca Heads for the night. Thanks to both of you. I really needed that glass of wine on arrival. It had been a long day.

The next day was easier as I had more confidence in trailing (at least while going forward). I reached Ballina by early afternoon and decided that to stop at the tip. No, I did not want to get rid of Little Dragon, but to weigh her.

She weighed in at 920 kg which was a great relief as it was easily within the official towing capacity of my Subaru Forrester.

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