Monday, 6 July 2015

R.I.P. Dora the Explorer.

July 5 2015
When we arrived back in Oz after nearly three years sailing in South East Asia and Europe, we had visions of just getting by with our motor bike for transport but soon decided we really did need to buy a cheap car. Karen found us a 1998 Ford Explorer on a Facebook garage sale page for just $2k. Quickly christened "Dora" for obvious reasons she has been an integral part of the family for almost two years now. Not only has she transported us all over the place, she has been a fantastic shed on wheels as we have done all the work getting “Our Dreamtime” ready to cruise and our rental property sold.

 At different times, she’s been loaded up with anchors and chain, full wardrobes of sails, outboard motors, pallet loads of line, all sorts of assorted parts and provisions and towed trailer load after trailer of ‘stuff’. In fact her back seats have rarely been in the up position as she was normally to packed to allow that luxury.  In all that time she just kept on keeping on and never required anything more than two new tyres.

Dora’s version of air conditioning may have been to wind the windows down, her armrests may have been replaced with unique pine versions hand made by the old farmer who owned her previously and she may have been a bit noisy but she really has provided outstanding return on investment through her loyal service to us. Karen became quite fond of Dora and despite the fact that in our pre-cruising days we have owned a number of ‘nice’ cars including Porsche, Nissan Z car, Range Rover and HSV Commodore, came to describe her as the best car we have ever had.

Then last Friday, just weeks before we are due head off cruising the Great Barrier Reef and Dora was due to be given a well earned rest she broke her heart. A loud noise indicated a problem which was followed by a fairly rapid loss of power. Karen was fortunately able to will her to keep going a short distance longer and made it into a nearby  shopping centre car park where she was left for the night.

Starting up the engine the next morning revealed absolutely ZERO oil pressure and awful noises under the bonnet. No doubt about it. Dora’s condition was terminal. It took quite a while to actually empty everything out that she was carrying and cart it back to the marina in a small hire car. The next task was where in hell to put it all on the boat.
Sadly she’s headed for the wrecking yard where she’ll be an automotive version of an organ donor and hopefully parts of her will live on in others.

Thank you Dora for your awesome service. We would of loved it if you’d just kept going for another four weeks and why couldn't you blow up just before we filled your fuel tank with $100 worth of fuel instead of just after.
All is forgiven though. We'll miss you.

Dora's final parking spot. So sad!

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