Trip Leader: Rick and Lester
When: 22nd February 2004
Location: White Hills Beach
Participants: 7 Club members and 14 visitors.
Sunday February 22nd and the sky was blue, the weather pleasantly warm and a sea breeze strong enough to deter the fish from biting. This was not a fishing trip, however, 21 vehicles assembled at The Jolly Frog on the Dawesville Cut at 10 am with the plan to practise beach driving skills. There were 7 Club members and 14 visitors.
Rick and Lester as Trip Leaders briefed the drivers and their passengers about the day’s plan. When they felt assured that everyone was familiar with the Convoy procedure and the circulated Duty of Care statement, Lester lead the convoy with Rick as Tail-end Charlie South to White Hills Road.
White Hills Road becomes a limestone track as it enters the Yalgorup National Park. The name Yalgorup is derived from two Noongar words: yalgor meaning swamp or lake and up a suffix meaning a place. There are 10 lakes within the Park and many species of duck and other waterbirds find a paradise in the lake system.
Reference; Wild Places Quiet Places CALM revised 1999 publication page 54
While letting down the tyres before entering the dune area behind the beach, we were warned about the many dugite snakes found in the area and at times seen on the beach. This was a significant deterrent to any exploration of the dense heathland along the ridges and troughs between. No snakes were sighted. Signs along the track and dunes told us the apparent successful re-vegetation program of the dunes was done by local Coast Care volunteers. Just before we headed down to the beach, one unnamed person suggested Swati’s RAV4 would make a good filler for any potholes but “she shouldn’t worry as if she was bogged, four men could just lift it out “.
Cresting the sand dune before coming down onto the beach, we had great panoramic views along the coastline. Swati’s sister, Chez, was so excited by this and Swati’s driving skill she gasped startling Swati who put her foot on the brake and bogged the RAV4. Wes and three other sturdy men picked up a corner each and lifted it and its occupants bodily setting them onto some more solid ground.
Ravi said “Don’t worry Mum because you are first to get bogged, don’t be embarrassed”, but she was. I think we were all amazed at Swati’s skill in getting the RAV4, which doesn’t have low range gearing, along the beach with so few dramas.
A group photo was taken when all vehicles assembled on the beach. There were 14 Pajeros, 2 Challengers and 2 Nissan Patrols and 1 RAV4, Jeep and Toyota 4runner. After this Lester led the charge towards Preston Beach where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch before tackling the lessons of the day.
The snatching practice was coordinated by Rick with the help of other Club members. Visitors were encouraged to practise their skill in and knowledge of snatch points and procedure. Some of us were armchair enthusiasts. Tony gave a talk about the merits of UHF radio and how to communicate effectively on the radio. The children meanwhile swam, built sea walls or in Cameron’s case, made a sea pond and caught small fish to live in it.
There were other 4WD enthusiast’s enjoying the beach, some were fishing, others swam or flew a kite. At 3pm after pumping up the tyres in the Preston Beach car park, we spoke to the 4WD Club of WA (32 vehicles). They were also getting ready for the home run after completing a beach clean up.
Full marks everyone especially Rick, Lester and Tony for an enjoyable day.