At the start point of my river crossing in the Scottish countryside arranged by Land Rover, I seriously wondered if the Discovery (click here for the review) could save me if car and driver sank like a submarine. Speaking of ships, where is the safety speedboat manned by Royal Navy divers? And where is the ambulance on alert with its engine running? And where the hell is the hospital helicopter?
I’m a non-swimmer, so forgive my fears. Trying to calm my nerves, I turn on the radio and they’re playing Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet. They’re a Scottish pop band and all, but what bad timing.
It’s time to get wet, so I gingerly head down to the embankment, where yet another Land Rover 4×4 specialist (click here for SAF Land Rover story) is on hand to tell me what to do. It sounds simple enough: Dive in slowly and drive steadily towards that gentleman in wellingtons standing in the centre of the stream, who will guide me the rest of the way.
Indeed, it turns out to be as easy as ABCD (D for Discovery), although the flowing waves create the optical illusion that my vehicle is moving fast in the water even when we’re stationary or dead slow. It’s shallow near the banks, so I can still see the Disco’s wheels on the river bed, but they “disappear” in the deeper sections, along with much of the wheel arches.
As long as no water enters the dedicated engine air intake on the starboard-side fender, this vessel keeps steaming ahead. It’s majestic like the Titanic, but without the sea disaster drama.
Soon enough, I’m back on terra firma, and this non-swimmer’s heart rate returns to normal. So how many pounds sterling do I pay Mother Nature for this mother of all car washes?