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  • tackbaldwin


There are days when no amount of reality is going to get you through. 'Gut feeling, 'Blind faith' or just a bullying 'Stiff upper lip'...Sometimes in our case Devilment !

We had a water job, not exclusively but usually dead body discovery and we required a camera plus safety boat. At the time we used Rhibs and knowing that these weren't going to be suitable, acquired a Dory from a fisherman in Brixham. Note to self expand on that story another time. The Dory was on it's 2nd job having made a sterling voyage with tracking shots galore, of 'Duck, duck..Goose' fame.. Uneventful ride from storage to base our convoy was on it's final couple of clicks to location. I should explain this involved a dual carriageway and then some considerable off roading, we would go in convoy post breakfast as the LT always needed his flask of tea. Meh, no sooner had we left and bounced our way over a few of the infamous pot holes, the inevitable graunching and even louder protestations from the driver yelling "The wheel has rolled off the otherside of the road" ! He pulled up sharp and sat behind the wheel of the 'Bongo' not wanting to look. I unashamedly digress here, merely to say if you've never driven a 'Bongo' or had the pleasure of a hot cuppa, out of the rain at 04:00hr...'Foe Fum' I got out to find the bearing was nothing more than rusty dust & I never did find the hub cap. I picked the wheel up and shoved it back on what was left, yeh not much. I took a beat and got back in the cab, told the driver to carry on & faced forward expectantly. I'm not going to embarrass him with the blubbering rubbish that exuded from his gaping face, and explained we had somewhere to be adding that the wheel wouldn't fall off, just drive.

We did make it, to the drivers palpable relief and we lugged the Dory to launch as the wheel wasn't going to behave further. The trouble is you do think your day is going to be on easy street afterward, oh no. We had merely delayed the Universe with its' plan as the engine stalled soon after launch, basically all my positivity had been spent and I had no credits left. We got the shot eventually, just remember though...Never challenge worse.

Just like the driver you want to ask me why I said the wheel would stay on. In the beat at the wheel before I stood back up, my mind flashed through all the options in a millisecond and put simply, it had to.

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