Trip Leader: Michael & Marion Gilbert
When: 15th December 2013
|The Crew, highest point Lancelin Dunes|
Participants: Tony Farrugia, Flora Munro, Peter Fry, Kim & Gail Graieg, Murray Hudson, Rick Lazar, Rick & Debra Marshall, Peter & Tanya Nicol, Jon & Kath Standen, Michael Tingey, Mel Marchall. Visitors: Fraser McNab, Peter Dabovich.
After making the trip up to Lancelin we met at 9.30 at the Bakery just in time for an explanation of Murray’s newly introduced “money wheel” and then a timely reminder from Richard on the virtues of correct tyre pressures for the conditions. We were to expect very soft sand apparently. After a well- co-ordinated radio check we all headed off to the air down point en route to the beach. 1/3rd of the height of the tyre was duly removed – along with one of our valve cores leaving us with some airing back up to do! I remain to be convinced by core removal tools…
Heading out and driving along the beach we were treated to spectacular views with calm blue ocean and the pristine sand. We had a brief pause for photos, but had to move on before everyone dived into the water. It took a lot of persuasion to wrestle the youngest Standen off the beach, I think he thought that we were due to settle in for a mornings paddling!
We climbed off the beach as conditions were too soft further North, and a couple of troublesome soft sandy dunes followed where disaster was narrowly avoided. A tricky uphill climb with a turn at the top defeated Tony, thankfully recovery tracks and some shoveling were enough to get him moving again. A short while later a steep soft dune proved the match for many, us included. After two failed attempts we were sent back to air down some more and think about “Momentum”. Third time lucky and with passengers spectating, we cleared the dune. On cresting we could see that Peter Dabovich’s Pajero was well stuck and in a somewhat precarious situation. Thankfully the recovery skills of Richard and Troy came to the fore along with strength in numbers for sand moving. Due the steep angle a snatch strap recovery wasn’t possible but by levelling the wheels with a lot of shoveling an anchor strap was attached to a second vehicle and used to straighten the Pajero so it could eventually reverse out of the situation, huge sigh of relief all round!
We then stopped for lunch before finding a steep dune descent and splitting into two groups, lead by Perter Nicol & Murray for some dune exploring fun. Peter proved a capable leader as he trail blazed around the dunes. The groups joined back up and carried on to the high point of the dunes and an impromptu display of Troy’s new FJ cruiser and it’s crawl function, capable of pulling itself out from being bogged as well as reversing downhill at 1km/h.
We then found that Michael Tingey’s recently purchased Pajero had suffered a split in its radiator hose. As ever, the club came good and the situation was saved by a spare hose carried by the Nicol’s, and Richards spanner wielding.
An eventful but fun day was had by all. The confidence gained was huge, as well as the knowledge imparted by all the members. Certainly a case of the team working well on more than one occasion! Many thanks to the trip leader Michael and 2IC Peter Nicol, as well as everyone for the experience, knowledge and humor that made for a fantastic and successful day!
Kath, Jon and Jacob Standen