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Maryland to Florida – Day 25

  • Comments: 3
  • Posted on: April 25th, 2007

Crystal and Hugo drove to the Hyatt Hotel where the tender was to drop Kent and I after our boat was loaded. They found a nice outdoor bar at Pier 66 where Hugo was welcome and received much attention. It turned out they waited nearly 3 hours so it was just as well they were comfortable and had lots of people to talk to!

The PAC Athena was exactly where Kent expected it to be moored. It wasn’t difficult to find – it was that big mother of a freighter with 4 huge cranes and 8 boats already loaded. We had a 1500 hour loading time but we were a little early arriving as we surely did not want to miss our spot or be late or delayed after all our planning! Kent wasn’t given many details beforehand but was told someone on board would give us direction when we arrived.

We watched as the crane lifted a boat onto the deck with slings, there was a great deal of activity onboard and 2 other boats moored alongside the freighter so we stood off until we saw a man with a clipboard hailing us. He asked the make of the boat and the length, checked his list and said we’d be next after another boat which pulled up just before us.

While we were waiting I readied 2 lines – a bow line and stern line – and 3 fenders then pulled alongside the freighter. I threw the sternline up to the deckhand and Kent used the bowthruster to bring in the bow close enough for him to go forward and throw the bow line to another deckhand.

The man with the clipboard instructed us to shut down the engines, turn off the battery switches and leave the key in the door. He also asked about beer in the fridge – haha…

A SCUBA diver

was putting on his gear so we talked to him as he descended the ladder. Of course I asked what he was doing. He was going in the water to be sure the slings were positioned correctly and the boat was loading correctly. He had a very small tank on his hip and said most of his work was on the surface. Bossy me suggested he might take a look at our props when he was under the boat and Kent explained to him about our little bump in the mud. He said he’d see us later and disappeared. A few minutes later he was back, swimming on the surface toward the boat ahead of us, but called out everything looked good with the props. That made Kent feel much better!

So then we waited until about 1520 the tender came alongside to take us off and to Pier 66. We were a little disappointed to think we had to leave just before the boat was loaded and asked Julie the boat operator if she could wait so we could take photos. She checked with the man with the clipboard and he said no problem, there was no one else waiting right then for a ride, or in a hurry. Julie didn’t mind either as she is paid hourly and supplies the fuel – one less trip meant more money in her pocket.

As the crane lowered the slings, Julie pulled the tender out and away from the side of the freighter so we’d have a good view. Unfortunately the sun was in our eyes and in the camera lens. There was a bit of discussion as to how the workers could get onto the boat to move the slings and tie them down. 2 of the workers got together to move the rope ladder and watched in amusement as they didn’t work well together and had it tangled in no time. The diver in the water helped them and they got it in place. Julie mentioned it would have made a good Polack joke (she was Polish) and I suggested it would be a good blonde one too…

2 or 3 workers descended the ladder and adjusted the slings, strapping them into place. A man in blue overalls with a clipboard in hand climbed down the ladded – Julie said he was the surveyor. He wrote the name of the boat on his paper and walked along the side to get something – perhaps the model number, make – whatever, then tried to get up to the command bridge. Kent called to him the stairway hatch was locked from the top. He then went inside and we expected he’d go up to the command bridge through the pilot house. Kent worried he’d leave the screen open and we’d have a water leak. He never appeared on the command bridge so we were relieved he didn’t create a problem. He then opened the lazarette to check something… perhaps battery switches?

The crane started to lift the boat

but the diver said to lower it as something was not set to his satisfaction. The second lift was good – the boat was level and as it came out of the water we could see a few inches on the bottom of the rudder looked sanded to perfection from where it was dragged into the mud! The crane slowly lifted the boat and I videoed it all and Kent took lots of photos. My video of the actual lift is too long to post to You Tube – RATS!!! It’s 285 MB and You Tube allows only 100 MB per video, so I need to edit it into 3 parts, but I don’t know HOWWWWWWWWWWWW….. It’s excellent video if I do say so myself – so I will post it here once I attack this new learning curve :)

Julie then took us and 2 other couples to Pier 66. Crystal and Hugo were waiting with a Long Island Iced Tea and lots of new friends. We enjoyed a couple of drinks in the sun…. and I’ll tell you the rest later as Sean and Kaia just walked in the door!!!

3 Comments! What do you think? Leave a comment below...
  1. Travis said on April 25th, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Wow. That was really cool.

  2. Imma ( Alice) said on April 26th, 2007 at 12:21 am

    It must’ve been really neat to watch your boat being loaded like that. I hope the sun in the wrong place didn’t ruin the video and photos. I look forward to seeing them.

    Of course everyone likes Hugo. He’s a Boston Terrier and who in their right minds could resist a Boston Terrier? haha

    I’m happy that everything went well with the loading of the boat and it is now off on it’s ride to it’s new home.

  3. Drew said on April 26th, 2007 at 6:00 am

    That must have been exciting and nerve wracking to watch. I was reading and hoping that all would go well. Also nice manatee pictures.

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