Now I can divulge our secret plan. M and I have been planning to surprise my dad with a present for the past year to say thank-you for the various loans he’s thrown our way; before, during and at the end of our Hervey Bay adventure. My dad is a river junkie – he likes exploring the Murray and also Westernport Bay. He’s been dabbling with the idea of getting a trailer-sailer for the last 18 months or so. Every now and again he would email M a link to a boat he was interested in, and M, at my urging, would gently steer him away from it. We, selfishly, wanted to be the ones to get him a trailer-sailer. So, three days after we’d got back to Melbourne, we found the perfect boat in the Trading-Post.
Of course, looking good in the Trading-Post is one thing, being good in real life is another. We went to visit it last Saturday. It was better in real life. It was perfect. A Dennis TS500 – it had only ever had two owners. It came with new ropes and a 5HP Tohatsu. We knocked the price down a little bit and grabbed it. M has spent the last few days tweaking it to his exacto standards, and fixing up a few things here and there.
My dad’s name is Ray. I have had the name of the boat decided for months and months. It was to be called Hoo-Ray! It is an excellent vessel, and I am typing this post from the loungeroom in South Gippsland, having handed over Hoo-Ray! to her rightful owner (who is already plannning an enormous river trip). M was going to do the lettering of the name himself, but it turned out to be a very difficult task – we were saved by a woman called Susan, who printed it our on to sticky vinyl lettering in the font that I had wanted. It’s PERFECT. Pawfic.