On Sunday we got an email from the shipping co telling us we had to go through an induction course to have access to the wharf. Fortunately this could be done online and after sitting the exam at the end of the course, Charlie and I received a certificate that now enables us to enter the wharf any time for the next 12 months. On Monday we drove to Tauranga and checked in with the Port Authority guys. The ship had now been scheduled to arrive at 10am and Loopy Kiwi was due to be unloaded at slack tide at 3pm - provided clearance had been granted by MPI. However, we were now informed that she would be craned off the ship and straight into the water!!! Furthermore, we would not be allowed to be aboard when she was lifted off, and there was no way to get aboard from the ship. They said we would have to organize a "chase boat" to transport us to LK after refloating, which we hurriedly did via the marina where we had arranged to spend our first night. We also restated that she was immobile until the batteries were reconnected and were told that the stevedores would hold us in the slings until this was done, and we could get underway under our own steam.
So there we were, with everything well under control, and only a couple of hour to wait before we would be reunited with our beloved Loopy Kiwi. Charlie and I headed down to the marina and checked in to ensure the necessary arrangements were in place for our ride to LK when she hit the water. We then took a drive to the entrance of the harbor and there, right on time, was the CMA CMG MANET entering the harbor, with LK in plain sight on the deck. Unfortunately my camera chose this moment to run out of batteries, so while you see the ship coming in, you don't see LK!
But there she was...suspended a couple of hundred feet in the air and nothing could be done....so into the water she went. And she floated - so aboard we went and began to reconnect the batteries. Almost immediately, the stevedores (you know - those guys that were going to hold us in the slings until we got the engines going) began to whinge that they wanted to use the crane to unload containers. This is despite the fact that we had paid ten times the price of shipping a container from the USA to not be treated like one. Regardless of this, after 15 minutes, they lowered us completely into the water and basically let us go. Fortunately the marina RIB had hung around and he took us in tow around Tauranga harbour while we attached the rest of the batteries before firing up the engines (both started perfectly) and driving into the marina. BTW, by this time it was 5.15pm and, being winter in New Zealand, it was almost dark. After securing LK, we decided a celebration was in order and we dined in the restaurant at the marina, particularly since it was called "Phils Place"
The next day dawned beautiful. Loopy Kiwi was home, albeit covered in rust from the containers, soot from ships exhaust and grease from one of the cranes that a stevedore had managed to track right around the decks and across the carpet on the sundeck while securing the slings (in the wrong places). Still she had arrived intact...nothing broken or stolen, but I've got to say it felt strange having her over here instead of on the Loop. It was kind of weird to think that she had travelled almost 12000 nautical miles from Savannah, via Jamaica, the Panama Canal, Tahiti and even Australia since we had last spent a night on her. Charlie went home that day to bring Carolyn and Aunty Lyn down for the voyage to Auckland, our home Port. The weather forecast was looking very good for the long "Queens Birthday" weekend (not that we need long weekends to travel, us retired folk), and I will do a posting on that journey separately. In the meantime...take care y'all
|Home is the sailor home from the sea|