I confess to having a restless night last nigh. Yesterday I have checked the date when I took the photos of my maiden voyage in the inflatable boat. You may remember it was in Loch Etive and was the start of this Blog. The date embedded in the exif data for those photos was 10th April 2010. I didn’t sleep well as today was 10th of April again, exactly one year later.
I wasn’t sure if I had spent enough time rehearsing the drill getting my new rigid boat on and off its trailer. I also knew it would be a totally different kettle of fish launching and retrieving it on a beach. I wasn’t sure if I had put enough thought into it.
I got up at 6 am and saw the weather was still good. There was not a breath of wind and the sky looked clear. I rushed to the bathroom and broke wind before grabbed a quick breakfast, packed the boat, packed a lunch and was off. During the one and a half hour drive, I kept thinking of all the things that I had forgotten. It was a last minute decision to head for Loch Fyne and rehearse a launch and retrieve on the beach. I wasn't really ready yet.
The tide was full out when I arrived at my chosen spot near St Catherines. At least it would be good practise dragging the boat to the water and the tide could only be further in for the retrieval.
I lowered the boat down the steep slope leading to the shore by wrapping a rope round the car tow hitch. A gentle push to start her and she went down under her own gravity, restrained by the rope.
Surprisingly it was then quite easy pushing her on all four wheels down to the waters edge
I returned and brought the engine down on the sack trolley, then put the inflatable roller boat at the rear of the rigid boat. The idea was to slide the boat off its trailer and run it into the water on the roller boat, thus keeping the trailer wheel bearings out of the briny.
It worked a treat and moments later she was afloat. The hardest part of the launch was dragging the empty trailer back up the beach but it was bearable :-D
My new chest waders only got wet below the knees when I attached the engine to the transom. A quick photo and I was now ready for the maiden journey over to Inverary, before attempting the dreaded recovery :-o