Heavy showers and storms were forecast for the day – not a good start. The older Z cars with slow acting wipers, no power steering or air conditioning (for demisting) were going to have a tough day! Ray rang Les who had eaten a “venomous” pizza the following evening and had been up all night with stomach pains – but he bravely was going to make the effort to go on the rather lengthy excursion. Robyn’s phone – which was going to be the main line of communication for the North Shore Zedders catching up with the convoy on Pennant Hills Rd had failed to charge overnight and an emergency charge on the morning of the excursion put the phone in the “dubious” category.
With everything going wrong Ray was not exactly at his pristine best when it came to concentration on the morning. As he, Robyn & Courtney descended one of the steep sixty degree hills near his home which necessitates having your foot on the brake all the way down to avoid exceeding the speed limit – he forgot to brake all the way down. With the 50kms/hr speed limit and a friendly Police Officer perched on the other side of the hill – it was a no brainer. Ray’s morning was nicely rounded off by a $449.00 fine & four points for his malicious disregard of law and order. This day was going to be perfect.
The arrival at the Crossroads Hotel meeting point was also not entirely encouraging four cars and a handful of members. However, there were a number of North Shore and other members who were going to join the convoy further along the route – on the ubiquitous Pennant Hills Rd. Now, if only Robyn’s phone didn’t die through lack of electrical energy!
All the Zedders negotiated the M7 turnoff from the Camden Valley Way without losses – a plus and a glint of hope for the day. Finally, the M2 hove into view. Then the flurry of phone calls started. With the heavy traffic and a lot of confusion there was going to be some communication and strategic issues. Messages came through for the convoy to stop on Sparks Rd to wait for Terry. The Zedders pulled over. As Andrew inspected his windscreen wipers – one of them fell off. There was then an urgent search for any available tools to carry out a meaningful repair as storm clouds were still threatening to create more havoc. The Smiths moved forward like a professional surgical team to deal with the errant wiper. After a few minutes of surgical intensity and professionalism by the Smiths – Andrew was able to reconnect the wiper.
On further observation – it was noted that Terry and his wife were now part of the convoy. The convoy moved off again to meet up with John who was waiting round the next bend on Sparks Rd. The rest of the journey to the Norah Head Lighthouse was uneventful. As the Zedders were beginning the pre arranged tour by the Norah Head Lighthouse guide – Richard Handley arrived and was welcomed by members. Well, in spite of the dramas there had been a very good response to the excursion by members – nine vehicles and sixteen members in total.
The guide provided an interesting historical background to the lighthouse and then moved inside the lighthouse – the group inspected the “stack” where the original candle was lit which transmitted light up to the top of the lighthouse where lenses increased the intensity of the light. The next objective was to mount the numerous steps to the top of the lighthouse. Here the group inspected the mechanical gears which rotated the light and the reflective lenses.
Along the way the group stepped off at various levels to move to the open air balconies to observe the views – which were quite spectacular. However, the winds at different levels of the lighthouse were extremely strong and at the top of the lighthouse the force of the wind was so great that the Zedders could only remain outside for a few minutes. The last flight of steps to the top of the lighthouse were extremely narrow and most members found it necessary to walk sideways up the stairs.
The group descended back to the base of the lighthouse after a very interesting and informative tour. Richard suggested a quick trip to Soldiers Beach before lunch and the Zedders mounted their trusty machines and headed off. On arrival at Soldiers Beach there was a large display of VW vehicles from beetles, Kharmann Ghias to Kombi Vans. The Zedders spoke for a few minutes to the owners/exhibitors to gain more information about the vehicles. The Zedders then headed to the Norah Head Sports and Bowling Club for lunch. The group had an extensive menu of Australian and Chinese meals to choose from – rounded off by better than average coffee.
Apart from the inclement weather and a few unfortunate problems, the excursion was successful in attracting an excellent number of members who enjoyed a very interesting and informative tour of the Norah Head Lighthouse as well as the ever present good humour and friendship that is typical of the Z Car group.