|Taking our Iban friends for a fast ride on Sungai Tulai, Sarawak|
|Arriving For School On Sungai Tulai - Children From The Longhouse Rumah Lidam|
On the rivers in Sarawak (Borneo) it worked incredibly hard for years, and I do remember 12 children (and more) being delivered to "school" on Crystal Blues on most days, for weeks on end.
We patched it when necessary, had canvas covers made in Thailand to protect the tubes, and it served us faithfully for 14 years. Hats off and congratulations to Caribe.
This year it started to need more frequent care, and we found ourselves applying frequent patches - the Hypalon fabric was failing at last. Contemplating a new dinghy was daunting.
|New Dinghy Ready For Work|
While the Caribe weighed 75 kg, we found a Highfield of the same size that weighed only 46kg. It was the right color, and exactly the same dimensions as the Caribe (within 1cm in all directions).
The Highfield dinghy has hypalon tubes the same (large) size as our old Caribe, but is has a very lightweight aluminum hull, so we can easily pick it up and man handle it. Cholamark in Phuket supplied the dinghy and also provided custom made Sunbrella covers to help protect the tubes from UV damage.
|The Admiral With Our New Transport|
Today we're celebrating after completing the fitout yesterday, bolting on new Beachmaster retractable dinghy wheels. We tested them this afternoon on the softer sand here at Nongsa Point, and we were able to haul the unit well up the beach with minimal effort.
So we're mobile again, and I can't help wondering if the Highfield will last 14 years - it has a lot of work ahead of it, and when when I remember the Caribe, it has a lot to live up to.