Welcome to River Time

Jan 19, 2016

With the Dinghy Derby looming, we decided to put the tinnies in for a cruise. Little-bro Harry took just-moved-from-the-city Daniel out in the racing Stacer, while Dad taught me how to drive the crusing Stessl. I’ve had my boat license for a while now, but I needed to get the hang of driving the tinny before I have to transport a boat load of visitors to the Derby in a few weeks. Harry wanted to show off the speed and agility of the racer to impress the new resident, and identify any tweaks required for the big race (very serious business!).

As always in the Winnall household, there were a few technical difficulties getting the boats from land to water (this time, outback-fixing of a trailer plug). Though there is an inevitable hold-up, it always adds to the adventure. We put the boats in at Kingston-On-Murray, a favourite riverfront of ours, just after 7pm. Its such a nice time to be on the water, and being able to do these kinds of trips last minute reminds me why I am so lucky to live here.  

We cruised about on the River for a bit until I got the hang of it, then we thought it best to compare the two vessels with a head to head (a pretty clear tortoise & hare situation). We lined them up near the bridge, and with a very official “yeah GO!” from Harry, we put them to the test. I’d like to say it was close, but the horsepower of the racing Stacer combined with the novice driver in the Stessl left us in the wake pretty quickly. Apparently the boat wasn’t 100% and only got to a mere 70kmph. I don’t know how these guys hold their nerves going through the River and creeks at speed during the racing, it’s pretty intense.

After the cruise on the River, we ran the boats though Chambers & Nockburra creeks (no, not at speed!). That time of night the creeks always flatten off completely to reveal perfect reflections at every twist and turn. It’s such a magical part of the Riverland. It also gave me some pretty good practice manoeuvring the boat with instructor-Dad at the front with a  paddle to push me off the bank when need be.  By the time we got to Lock 3 and back to the boat ramp, the sun was setting on what was a perfect end the weekend, and a sure-fire way to tire everyone out for a good night’s sleep!

Til next time…

Ella Winnall

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