This was THE day! The day the truck would arrive, to transport my 3 years of work to the water. I’d been dreaming of this moment for a long time…
Now she was hanging from the roof, cradles removed, waiting for the truck. Soon, Tokyo Express would be in here element, where she would be moving for the rest of her life.
It took about 3 hours to load the boat onto the truck. The two hulls sat on planks of wood that were chained down, across the trailer, with some foam between. It didn’t look much, but then again, the boat only weighed 2.5 tonnes.
After loading onto the truck and inching the boat out of the shed, we encountered a problem. The truck got bogged. After some rain a few days before, he lost traction on the soft ground. One tractor from the neighbour was not enough, but luckily a second tractor had been left parked, after spreading gravel a few days before. I got it started and the two tractors together did the job…
The sun sets early in Queensland, any time of year and the twilight is also short. We didn’t have much time left, after getting the boat un bogged and up onto the track, to make it out to the bitumen road. This track was only 500m long, but it was a tight squeeze all the way.
After the drama of getting bogged, we still managed to make the long slow drive up the 500m track, to get to the main road before it was dark. The police escort to the river had been arranged for 5 am the next morning, so 4 of us slept the night aboard the boat, on the back of the truck.
We needed a double police escort from here into the Noosa River, some 30 km (19 miles) away.
At around 8 am on this beautiful sunny Queensland winter’s morning, TE floated for the first time.
I was so busy on this day I didn’t even take notice of the stranger with the camera, asking me questions. But when I picked up Saturday morning’s paper, I was on the front page!