Sunday, February 15, 2015

First voyage ... sort of.

Careful strapping down!
We checked the weather forecast: clear, hot, with the possibility of thunderstorms near our destination. At four in the morning we were off, heading south. Some miscommunication with the truck driver lost us an hour, but we loaded the mast and other cutoffs, then went to the scrapyard where she was moored. In fact, chained: wheels can be stolen off unattended trailers!

Inches to spare at the tollgate
Highveld thunderstorm
Strapping her down took another half hour, and then we were on the road! At first we took it slow, gauging every sway and swing from the following car, but as he gained confidence the truck driver added some speed. After about 80 kilometers we stopped to remove the tarp, it served no purpose and distracted us. A few kilometers further a few traffic cops were checking their speed camera, and belatedly pointed the driver to the weigh bridge. He gaily waved back at them and we continued on our way.

The day was a scorcher: in the high thirties Celsius. We cooled down as best we could, and later it became cooler, with some clouds developing.

Our first toll gate had a bypass, but at the second one we carefully slid through, with inches to spare on each side. Entering Johannesburg we heard radio reports of thunderstoms and even hail. We did get some raindrops, but managed to thread through the columns of rain. Nearing our destination we went down a last long hill, bane of many heavy loads, but we had no problem! And then we were at the factory, where she will be moored for the next few months until the welding, painting and interior is complete.

A nerve wracking first voyage, but a successful one. Let us hope the rest will go as well as this one.

A safe arrival

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Roll out!

Getting ready
After a hard day in very hot weather we have the boat and trailer out of the building yard, and parked in a safe place waiting for the truck.

I had my doubts, and after a start with seven people with eight ideas of which way to turn and what to do first, we managed to get her moving. I must admit to a small crisis when the wheels on the trailer started turning!

The Land Cruiser hauled her out with little drama, and we never resorted to the winch or other heroic measures. Instead the horde of bystanders were roped in to help push, pull, swear, and in general assist.

Cruising out
The corner I feared we cleared with one or maybe two inches to spare, and then it was downhill, in more ways than one - the handbrake did not really wok so you would notice it!

There was a last slap at the building yard as we left, this baby is long and as I turned into the street she swung her tail out and bashed the gate....

All together now, one inch to the left...
The tow hook on the Cruiser is too low, so she towed nose down, putting a lot of weight on the front axle, but she towed so sweetly I was tempted to tow her the whole 350 kilometers.... Respect of the law, and the newly reconditioned gearbox in the Cruiser prevailed, so we made her as secure as we could and left her to wait for the truck, which is due next Thursday.

Thanks for the help, Rean!

Grinding down a possible point of friction

And there she goes! Still a lot of work, but she is on the road!