The Ever so Slightly Mad Roundabout


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No doubt you've googled "melbourne" and "collingwood", and arrived here by mistake. First off, yes, I have the same name, and yes, I'm in the same city, but this website has absolutely nothing to do with the pies. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's continue.........

Right, You've landed in my world. I am Frank Collingwood, youngest son of John and Pat, brother of Chris, Gerard, Pete and Teri, father of Chris, Jason and Marc. Now a resident of Melbourne (Australia, not Florida), but previously of Auckland (NZ), Frankfurt a.M. (Germany), Stone Cross (UK), Stevenage (UK), London (UK, not Ontario), Johannesburg (SA), Durban (SA), Pietermaritzburg (SA) and Bulawayo (Rhodesia). My two favourite passtimes are scuba diving and flying, with flying taking the front seat at the moment.

I moved here permanently in Jan 2004, after seperating from my ex-wife. I wasn't new to Melbourne though, having been over since May of the previous year, flying back to NZ for weekends. Now to confuse some more.......I'm not a sheepshagger, and was only in NZ because the company I was working for in Germany went bust. I'm not German either, but was in Frankfurt because my skills were needed there, and the UK Telecoms industry was a bit wobbly. But.......I'm not British either (Well, I am, we'll get to that later), having arrived in the UK as a backpacker from Seth Efrika just over 10 years ago. I'm not South African either, having been born in a little country called Rhodesia.

"Where?", I hear you ask

Rhodesia. A country which doesn't exist anymore. So, seeing as the only passport I have is British, and the place which really played the major part in forming me as I am today was England, I consider myself to be English. Simple.

Update: I've been back in Auckland since Jan 2005, it was just all too hard being so far away from the boys. I'm enjoying the contact with them and look forward to the weekends I have them.

UPDATE 17/10/2006: Some spammer scumbag has been sending out spam with forged headers showing the sender as being from the domain.


Now that I've got that off my chest, if you are receiving spam that seems to come from an address on my domain, please check very carefully the IP address where it actually originated from, that is where you will find the culprit, and where you need to complain. If you don't know how to read email headers, just google it, there's plenty of information out there on the web.

::: Sunday December 03, 2006 :::

First Launch

Well, today was the first time the boat went in the water.

We backed it down the boat ramp, after making sure that all the tie down straps, safety chains, etc. were removed (Also remembered to fit the bung to the drain hole too!), slackened off the winch.....and it wouldn’t move. I wedged myself between the bow of the boat and the back of the Pajero.....and it still wouldn't move. Some helpful boaties came over from their boat, and the three of us pushed, and it finally moved.

Lesson No. 1 - grease the rollers on the trailer, and keep them greased

Great, it's in the water now, Delia (Our friend) has hold of the rope attached to the bow, and is making sure the boat does not run away. All fine and well, but we are on the leeward side of the ramp finger, so the stern starts swinging across. Lou, who is on the boat, grabs some more rope, and we get it attached to the stern, and pull it in.

Lesson No. 2 - either launch on the windward side, or have two people holding on, one at the bow, the other at the stern.

Everything is now looking good, I take the Paj and trailer off and go and park, and hop on the boat. We turn on the radio and GPS, get a final weather report, lower the engine, start it up, and we're ready to go. We cast off the rope, I put the engine into reverse, and......nothing happens. Reverse will not engage. By this stage, we have swung across the ramps, and are now against the windward finger, having done a complete 180 degree swing. I fiddle with the engine controls, but while it quite happily goes into forward, it will not engage reverse. After a while we give up, eat our sandwiches, and drink out ginger beer, still tied up to the boat ramp fingers.

Lesson No. 3 - Never, never, trust outboard mechanics, when they say your engine is fine.

Now we have to turn the boat around to retrieve it. I eventually decide the only way is to tie a rope to the stern, on the side away from the finger, and take it forward and around the bow of the boat. Lots of elbow grease against the wind, but it works. I go and fetch the Paj and the trailer, back it down the ramp, and we get the boat out.

Lesson No. 4 - We need an electric winch on the trailer, the boat is heavy.

We then go home, and put everything away again.

Good things:
We learned how to launch the boat without too much fuss
We learned how to retrieve the boat without too much fuss
We discovered the reverse is broken before we left the marina
The boat does not leak (Bilge was bone dry)
The motor is much quiter when the propellor hub is in the water
The Pajero was an excellent choice, it tows the boat perfectly

Bad things:
The water at Westhaven Marina stinks
The motor is broken

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