Bravehearts 19th Feb 2021

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Where to start ... only my 6th drive as an interm but I have already learnt that these ones are the ones where you and your car are tested to the limit, since Al Wagan, my 1st "high level full day drive" (as Booy described it when posting), I had been looking forward to the 2nd badly, to be honest, it could not come fast enough, the only thought in my mind all week.

I love everything about these drives, packing the car on Weds to be ready to leave as soon as work finishes on Thursday, camping the night before, the drive, spending the day in the company of friends with no other thought in my mind other than the next dune ...

We camped with the Advanced and in the morning they headed to clean the crests of Abu Tais with us moving one chain south to Um Al Oush.

Our convoy was light, "less is more" could not be more right, Booy leading with Shamsi floating around at the back, in between 6 intermediates(Johanna, KIMOz, Samer, Abu Jawad, Rooies and myself). Instructions were clear, 2nd tries to the back of the convoy, we want to stop as little as possible, recoveries "buddy system" with Marshall's supervision ... and there we went!!!. Soon after we started, when still in the small technical dunes of Abu Tais one of the interm started to have problems with his car, unfortunately nothing that could be done to resolve it and the car had to be left before entering the dunes and he joined as passenger of Shamsi, felt very sorry for him, I am sure he had spent the full week thinking about the drive like the rest of us and not getting the chance to test himself and the car felt so wrong.

Drive started as it ended, find a nice big dune, go hard, crest it, turn around go and crest it again from the other side, if while doing this another angle (normally harder) was found, go at it again. These drives are no joke, you are required to pay full attention the full day, that's probably why hooks you so badly, you do not feel tiredness, you forget about time, I swear I could carry on driving like this for hours, once the drive finishes you feel as tired as you have ever been, that night you are asleep before the head hits the pillow.

The day had a bit of everything, not only the driving but also pop-out, tire change (what a hard job that one was) and insane amounts of shoveling, most of them on top of a crest that would leave you out of breath just to reach up to. All of these in great company and fantastic team effort, always laughing, joking and smiling, true evidence that hard work can be fun.

We stopped for lunch ... well, we did not, message came loud and clear, we eat while we drive, so another added skill to the Offroarders curriculum, sandwiches in while waiting for a poor soul that had to go for a second try.

Personally I felt very comfortable during the full drive, the car was going really well and I was sharp and focus, it is difficult to explain how much skill and confidence these hard one day drives give you, it was only my second but all of the sudden you find yourself testing new things, pushing the car a bit harder, and always feeling safe. As a result I have developed a new addiction, climbing up and cresting is fun but flooring it and sidecresting on the way down is so so good!!!

Drive in the dunes finished, picked up the "abandoned" car and time to go west in the Shabka towards our exit point, 25psi and floor it, almost 30Km that went in seconds, I was following the cloud that I could only guess was Rooies car while listening to Shamsi's radio messages, 160, now touching 170 ...

I did not want for the day to finish and luckily Booy and Shamsi gave us the possibility to follow them in a little exploration mission, I said yes without hesitation, luckily I had followed the drive's instructions to the letter, I had gone with my brave heart and 70L of extra fuel. Few words here, maybe as newbies it is difficult to understand how much Marshalls do for the club, these guys, after a long day in the sand carried on driving to make sure that certain locations were suitable for drives to come ... we are so lucky to have them in our Club!!!

After flying West on 25psi tires we finished in the petrol station on the Hameem road, perfect place that always brings memories of Liwa.

Time to say thank you, the leading Marshall, Booy, once again an amazing drive lead with skill and accuracy, Shamsi for always being there, our guardian angel (other that when leading when he transforms ... killzonesmiley )

All this long report needs to finish in the only way possible, any chance a kind Marshall (or the one who is not Marshall but can post and lead trips) could take the intermediates back to the big dunes for another full day high level drive before it gets too hot???, please please please ...

See you on the sand soon.
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Hello everyone,

I was happy to see that we had people in our convoy with good shoveling techniques and gave them the chance to hone their skills even more :) Thanks everyone for the great team work.

Our plan was to drive from point A to point B and find all the big starfish dunes in between and tackle them from all angles. Interesting that from point A to B was only about 26km straight line, but it took us the full day to finish it - that shows the level of fun we had, going backwards and forwards to try every possible angle.

On the way out we crossed that amazing long flat area where we could experience high speed driving in a safe manner. I did not manage to break my previous record this time, but it was still fun to drive 4th redline :)

Thanks everyone who joined and especially @alshamsi_m for the amazing support and making sure everyone was safe at all times.

Until next time..



Blue FJ Cruiser, with an Atlas on the door
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Hi all,

what can I say about this drive...I HAD A BLAST! thumbsup

It was my first high level intermediate drive behind @Booy and he did a great job making sure we did not miss a single crest! cool

A big thank you to @alshamsi_m for keeping the convoy save and the nice extension at the end. grin

And special thanks to @David for the company at the campfire the evening before and during the drive in the front of the convoy. thumbsup

BR, Johanna

If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.
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I was really looking forward to the drive, first challenge was to get a seat, with limited numbers its was fastest fingers first.

We met at the meeting point & @Booy did the briefing, we were a small convoy which meant it would be nice & fast. @alshamsi_m was keeping an eye on us as we headed towards the big dunes. It was still early in the drive when we lost the first car, steering issues. We parked the jeep & continued into the big dunes.

The going was good with the "rule" that when you have a 2 try you fall in the back to keep things going. There was some tricky spots & at one point I thought I had a pop out, but the new rims did their thing & all was good thumbsup . @Booy suffered a pop out, but we all jumped in & before long we were flying over the dunes again.

The dunes were nice & big & @Booy made sure we hardly miss any crest thumbsup thumbsup . We had several recoviers which turned out to be shoveling recoveries (think we made advance level in shoveling that day). The reason for all the shoveling was that the dunes were to steep & pulling was not the best option.

We had a lot of fun, yes there was a few O sh*t moments for me, but it worked out well with no major issues.

The new suspension also worked hard & at one stage I took a big knock, the Patrol took it on the chin & kept going. I also "killed" 2 trees, not my fault, they just stood there, did not move ORLY . Luckily they were small & did not cause any major damage.

Overall it was an awesome day for me in the desert, thank you @Booy & @alshamsi_m for all the advice & taking care of us. Thank also to my inter buddies for making the day un forgetfull.

Till we meet in the sand again, stay safe.

Nobody Gets Left Behind
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