Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dinghy delights

by Jen: ..The story that must be told.

Glenn often makes profound proclamations about the weather or events: eg: "You know Jen, the weather report was so utterly wrong about that southerly". Out of the blue on a calm day a massive southerly wind hit us; or "Jen, the one thing you'll never find in Tasmania is a mosquito". Crazy Lady was immediately bombarded by a swarm of extra large hybrid mozzies direct from the Amazon jungles. (There have never been any other reliable reports of mosquitoes in Tasmania). I am not saying any of this to be unkind, but weird things like this happen so so often that I wonder if Glenn especially attracts the of Leprechauns or Gremlins. "Gremlins on your shoulders" I'll hiss to try and stop him from talking his way into trouble. If I want an ordinary calm day I need to be on guard.

We love travelling in our inflatable dinghy. It is our car and carries our supplies to and from the shore. It has a nifty little Yamaha 3hp outboard motor that has never failed. We wanted to cross the Clarence river from Iluka to Yamba. We were enjoying the smooth ride when out of the blue Glenn let slip an unexpected proclamation: "This dinghy planes so well that you'll never get wet. I'm taking that shortcut over there, it's deeper". Immediately the dinghy came to a stop in the sandy shallows. The deeper channel had evaporated before our eyes and the engine cut out.

You'll never get wet Jen.
Our return trip was much later in the day. The tide was higher and rushing. We passed through the still channel of Yamba and over our previous 'short-cut' prior to the main river crossing. We were in no hurry and were just puttering along. Just then Glenn proclaimed "It's good that we're in no rush. We don't need to push this engine". He then accelerated and the engine instantly cut out. There was no trouble starting it again and again, but each time it was put into gear and accelerated it would stop. After some tricky manoeuvring away from the oyster encrusted rocks of an old rocky wharf we found that the dinghy could make headway while IDLING. Iluka was a long way off.
Just purchase: a few 'bags of rags' for engine maintenance.
We puttered along in the general direction. It was sunset when we reached the blind corner of the rock wall guarding Iluka Harbour. "Woo hoo, we made it! No worries!" Glenn shouted. That moment a commercial fishing boat charged out across our path and headed out to sea. It created a mountainous bow wave in the turbulent entry waters of the opening. The waves flung us about and then after smashing into the boulders next to us, savagely regurgitated onto us. We were very wet but safe. Remarkably the idling engine just kept idling. We finally reached the waiting Sea Trek III when everything went silent. Yes the engine did actually cut out right there and then!
Glenn spent the next day trying to fix the motor. I suggested that he should quietly and methodically look into possible obvious causes. A spark plug, and filter and carburettor were all adjusted and displayed to me. It became obvious that a mechanic was needed. We were able to source one in Southport. We waited all day and finally the phone call came. "Mr Love. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this motor".
I have to be a positive person to trust that the Gremlins/Leprechauns or whatever know when a game is just no fun anymore. Now if only I could stop Mr Effervescent from proclaiming his love of the cruising life so darn loudly.



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