I guess amputation must feel something like this. Delivering Geen to the Shippers was more emotional than I expected. Rather like waving your kid away onto the bus for their first day in school.
Terrible wind and rain overnight from storm Katie, the same rain that washed out our Chelsea Cruise plans, meant I had been awake most of the night before the five o’clock alarm. An eventful trip up, London was like it had just had a riot: fences torn down, rubbish and debris still flying around in the winds. At Clapham North, the police had cut a single lane path through a massive tree that had fallen on both footpaths and four lanes of road. At the bottom of the A11, I came very close to rear ending three cars that stopped suddenly to avoid a two foot deep flood blocking the way. Having fought off the worst nature could put in our path, it seemed rather mundane to get stuck on the motorway for half an hour while the police cordoned off a hazardous tanker that had broken down in a bad place.
Geen seems to have built up a resistance to departing for new continents. Before leaving for Africa, she blew off a load of water in a stroppy fit after the fan failed two miles from home. This time, before she shipped out to Asia, she climbed the side of the trailer like a spoilt pram escaper, only restrained by the winch cable. In the darkness she really looked like she was straining at the leash. When we finally got to Cars depot in Suffolk, Geen then didn’t want to get off the trailer. The winch jammed up, so, after a bit of lateral thinking, we got one of the wheel bars out, skidded Geen in reverse which turned her slightly on the trailer, this released the winch and she was gone.
Into strangers hands, a sort of 80 day parc ferme. We see her again 36 hours before the start. We can then add in all the fluids, foods, medicines, spare parts that weren’t ready in time or aren’t permitted to ship in the car and our personal kit.
We will also have to swap the existing front suspension units for the new springs we’ll hand carry to Beijing, bin the current spring spares and mount up the spare dampers. We’re going to be busy those first days in China. Usefully we’ll have a bit of time to tune in the mark six suspension before the first time trials.
Amazing to think they get three of these cars in one forty foot container, even then, with maybe 70 cars originating in the UK, it’s a lot of packing, organising and big metal boxes.
A last lingering look…we have no plan for what we do if the car doesn’t make it over to China, so it will be a major relief to be re-united on the 10th June.