Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I described a trip to sea yesterday to a writer acquaintance as a 'rent-an-epic'.

She asked what that was.

I had assumed it was common parlance, but then maybe it only is to those of us who... rent out epics. It's a sequence of disasters that seem to accompany some people, usually on some expedition. They get lonely without them, and bring them along to stop the malaise and boredom of safe, comfortable successful well-run ventures. Really they only do it for our benefit.

And as someone who is frequently accused of being a rent-an-epic, that is my story and I'm sticking to it. We were beach launching into quite a good size shore break yesterday. Now done well on a calm day, you choose a 'gutter' a deep channel which has steep drop off, reverse the trailer into it. The other boatman pushes the boat clear, swings her bow into the sea, and you drive out, come back on foot, and jump in, the other feller pushes the boat out a bit, you get the motors running, and he jumps on and off you go. On a less good day you watch for a series of low swells, time coming back so you can slam on brakes just as it reaches about 1/3 the tail of the trailer. The boat slides off onto the deeper water, and you -driver get the hell out while the other boatman/men get the boat turned around before the next wave, and with luck a good bit further out before it breaks. If it's really nasty the boatman jumps on and takes it out beyond the break, and will come back or make the driver swim. If they don't turn it fast enough waves break over the stern and the boat gets swamped. If it is broadside on it can roll, which is about the worst... well, bar the scenario yesterday. The driver stopped too soon, and the water was too shallow. So the boat didn't come off, and instead of driving forward, and trying again... the driver backed into the wave, and then braked too late, except to get the ute stuck, the trailer to swivel a bit and the boat to come half off. Now the worst case is the boat can broadside, dragging the ute, and rolling and wrecking the lot. So it's a hasty unhitch - and the twist jams it a bit, the driver's hand is crushed against bin - no bones broken... and we get the trailer off - but too late as the next wave is over the back - I turn the now heavy boat while driver runs to try ute. I push the bow through the next wave, jump up, get the motors down, one outboard running - other won't start, gun it anyway, and get beyond the break. Anchor. get ready to swim in, try to haul the trailer out and use the boat winch to free the ute -as the tide is rising and water is at door height... driver has called his mat -who lives about 3km away - and is the only person for about 15 miles ... He luckily is in 4x4 and can detour fast. A snatch strap and the ute is out of the water, and a snatch strap and the trailer is rescued undamaged. I have emptied some water (but we need to run on the plane for about 5 minutes to get it all out,) and I manage to come and fetch the driver without rolling the boat (she turned very sluggishly and did half broadside, because I am on one motor and she's heavy. Anyway - I get her out beyond the breakers and we fiddle with the second motor and get it going.

It was a bouncy, rainy day, we got wet to the skin, only got about 16 fish - bad for us. I lost an entire rig to a shark, and the recovery was... interesting. A lot of winch and snatch-strap, but no near disasters.

But I was pretty tired. And then at 3 AM there was a noise like a pig being strangled by an angry bag-pipe from the kitchen. I ran to the rescue... lots of soft fur, no dead cats...

A possum, we think had come in via the kitty door, and met a cat. Both were not pleased, by the looks of it.

But that was the end of sleep.

And that's a Freer rent-an-epic day.

Come and visit. We have cheap rates for friends...


  1. I laugh, but it is in part because you are too far away to smack me for it (^_~).

    1. oh, and I was looking at travel times for you little isle, and saw that they give some 7+ hours to drive from the north of the island to Lady Barron for the 72K/45miles. Google can't even figure out a route. But I'm guessing a Full dress touring bike isn't well suited to the environs there ... or my 730 pound Sport Tourer.