The Recovery Position

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June 10th 2015
Published: June 10th 2015
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Ian and Nancy's car filled with water, here it is draining
The Recovery Position

No, I have not done anything stupid and hurt myself again, but I can officially say "I am off the crutches", so it is back to standing on my own two feet, still a bit dodgy but I am getting there.

I wondered if I am a glutton for punishment but after a short working week and what felt like a tough week we have a Friday night trip planned with out with our 4 wheel drive club friends. Friday night is usually our night to fall in a crumpled heap, but not tonight. Andy picks me up straight after work and we head out to the Parkerville Hotel, oddly enough in Parkerville.

It was quiet when we went in, so we ordered our meal and a drink, soon we were joined by Trev and Peta, we sat outside on the big bench tables and gradually everyone turned up, I think we had about 10 vehicles in all. The objective is to have a night drive along the Mundaring Power Lines track. I need to say at this point - please do not attempt this at night if you
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The first very rutted climb on the power line track, its awesome in the day time and very tough at night
are not an experienced 4 wheel driver and definitely on your own.

We all had a hearty meal and good conversation but the serious side to the evening commenced when Trev called us to order and gave us a briefing in the carpark, the order of vehicles was read out along with safety guidelines and as always our tail end charlie (tec) is nominated. The Tec remains in behind the group at all times and remains in radio contact with the trip leader to ensure that instructions are adhered to and any stragglers are not left behind.

Andy and I are sitting behind the trip leader, partly because we are not doing anything extreme tonight, I am taking photos and not really up for running around too much, I don't want to tempt fate and as this was were I fell over just under a couple of weeks ago.

We drove up to Sawyers Valley and found the exit to the head of the track, a short way in we pulled up and deflated our tyre pressures for the change in terrain. The first challenge for me and Andy was to
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Night time on the Mundaring Powerline track
pick a route up the very bumpy and rocky bit, a couple of weeks ago this is where we lost our mud flaps, we struggled to get any kind of grip on this terrain and slipped all over the place, we ended up deploying diff lockers again and that was the only way were were going to get through, even then it was still going to be tricky. Still, at least we don't have any mud flaps to lose this time.

I warned the others over the UHF that it would take us a while, but once we made it through the going was really easy. We listened to the chatter amongst the vehicles behind us and whilst some made it through with ease, others struggled as much as we did and one of our group had a Toyota Prado shorty, she also had quite a bit of trouble getting through so some had to walk the course the pick the appropriate route. We were told that we did have two wheels off the ground at one stage.

The conditions tonight were perfect, the moon was full, there was barely a cloud in the
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All gathering at the start, waiting for our driver briefing
sky and the recent rain had made no difference to the track conditions with the exceptions of the puddles that had grown slightly larger. We could not have asked for a better evening.

Now, as we were bobbing along following the trip lead, we heard our tec advise that a small Suzuki with a couple of young lads, had dropped in behind us, they seemed to be having some difficulty so had to be helped through and found themselves under the wing of our group.

We got to the next difficult bit, a hill with some pretty deep ruts and last time we were here you could see the 4 wheel drive at the bottom that obviously didn't make it. Tonight it is dark and was not so prevalent. Trev took the lead up, Andy and I took the sissy track to get to the top, I just wanted to take photos tonight so at the top we found a safe spot and waited. Trev and a couple of the others were out with handhelds and guided people through the track, some picking more difficult routes than others. We held our breath at times
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Slowly making our way
when people were stuck in what looked like precarious positions, but sometimes with grace and sometimes without we all made it to the top.

But again our tec advised that the Suzuki had problems, they had come out without any prior experience, no compressor, no recovery gear, no idea how to use it if they did and they had a valve problem, one needed to be replaced and they did not have any spares, fortunately one of us was able to help.

It transpires that they saw a clip on You Tube and thought it looked like fun so they would give it a try, thus me telling you earlier, this is not recommended, they had no radio contact and were not travelling with anyone and this so easily could have gone wrong for them. A polite but stern talking to made them realise how crazy they were and accepted our offer to keep them in the group and guide them back through to the bitumen safely.

Last time we did this track Trev took a dip in a puddle, it was fairly deep and we thought he was stuck, but
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Night time on the Mundaring Powerline track
with a little manoeuvring he got out. Well this time he pulled up to one side of it and radioed out to the group to let them know if anyone wanted to do it advising them that it was deep last time he tried and had no idea because we have had rain this week.

Andy and I bypassed the puddle and pulled up on the other side along with Trev, we noticed that one of our group with a Nissan Patrol decided to take a punt at it so we were all poised, I was ready with the camera, as the Nissan started to take a nose dive into the deep water a tidal wave of water surged towards were we were standing so we all made haste to stand back.

He levelled out a bit and advanced but unfortunately that was it, the Nissan went no further. Now one of the things that is advisable before you take your vehicle for a dip is to put the snatch strap on before you enter the water, otherwise when you get stuck the last thing you want to do is to open the door
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The more lights the better
and let the water in then go for a dive to attach the snatch strap to the recovery point under the vehicle.

So the driver having done this sort of thing before was prepared, and the snatch strap lay across the bonnet, the next thing we see the driver half out of the drivers side window, grabbed the snatch and somehow between him and his navigator they managed to get the snatch strap across to the bank where Andy and Trev were waiting to receive it.

By now Trev had his shoes off and was paddling in the muddy water, personally I do think most Western Australians are in denial about the winter here, but I really think it is a bit cold to go paddling.

Trev hooks up the snatch strap to his Landcruiser and with Peta at the controls, we all stand back to a safe distance and soon Peta has the Nissan out on dry land and in the "Nissan Recovery Position" (sorry a little Toyota/Nissan rivalry joke).

We all stood back and watched the water dripping out from every orifice of the Nissan and then the passenger opened the door and a huge tidal wave of water swept out of the truck causing us all to run back further. Upon closer inspection we could see how much of the muddy water swamped the interior and looked like a huge clean up job.

Of course the jokes came thick and fast, although we felt sorry for our friend, but he has been through all of this before, most people who drive through rivers and huge puddles stand a fair chance of getting water in at some point in their life. Fortunately (I don't want to tempt fate) for all the rivers we have driven through, we have been lucky not to suffer the same fate.

We drove until about 10.45 and for us we had an hour to drive home so we called it a day when we reached the bitumen, along with a few others we all proceeded to reinflate our tyres (grab a quick cup of coffee from the flask) and say goodbye to the others that were staying for the next section.

The guys in the Suzuki, thanked everyone for their assistance, we
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In to deep, Ian and Nancy stuck in the water
gave them details of our club and recommended that they join our club and get some training and experience under their belt. They had a great night and went on their merry way.

I think they appreciated our assistance and they certainly enjoyed themselves once they joined in with us.

Andy and I hit the road and in no time hit the Great Western Highway back toward Perth. It had been a long week and a fun night but bed was beckoning.

We passed the Suzuki on the way, they were driving very slowly as their tyres were low and you cannot drive too fast with tyres that are not inflated properly. We acknowledged each other and finally arriving at home we fell into bed at around midnight.

Bliss, we can have a lie in, in the morning.


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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Attaching the snatch strap, for a recovery
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Good ole Trev, he got in the water to connect the snatch strap
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And we are ready to snatch
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Ian and Nancy were very practical about his situation, Nancy said, oh we will just take the carpets out and power wash them

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