Monthly Archives: January 2019

Our Ship Finally Came In!

If you haven’t been checking our HH55 Ticket to Ride Facebook page, you might not know that after seeing the container ship holding TTR anchored in the harbor for 7 days, our sailboat was finally unloaded!  The process of unloading a sailboat and setting it up again has been very interesting! Well, I have found it interesting, but it is my home, so that could add to the appeal.

First, I must tell you that the week Ticket to Ride was delivered, L.A. was experiencing more rain than usual. In fact they received almost as much rain that week as they usually receive in a whole year!!!

This was not perfect weather, but we were so happy that TTR was arriving, it didn’t bother us a bit during the off loading process.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0597.JPGChris Bailet, Gino Morrelli, Frank, Mary Grace, Mark Womble, Scott Gray

Chris Bailet, HH commissioning skipper, Gino Morrelli and Mark Womble of M&M and Scott Gray of Rigging Projects and Frank and I arrived at the port bright and early wearing our foul weather gear. We were escorted to the container ship immediately.  TTR was in the hold of the APL Sentosa which was in the process of being unloaded by cranes.

 

(Video of a crane unloading a container.)

I was amazed at how huge and fast and organized the process of offloading the containers actually occurs. But when you consider that the APL Sentosa can carry 13,892 containers, they better load and unload quickly.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0602.JPGMidway up the stacked containers – the photo doesn’t really capture it.

We climbed ladders and gangways in the Sentosa until we were about midway up the height of the stacked containers where the ships’ bosun met us and unlocked the doors where TTR was secured.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0608.JPG TTR was snuggly wrapped and strapped down inside a locker all to herself.

Our first step was to unwrap the lower half of the shrink wrap protecting Ticket to Ride so the U.S. Customs officers could board and inspect her. We were not allowed to board TTR until Customs gave us the all clear.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0614.JPGSeeing “Ticket to Ride” written on the stern for the first time.

Once TTR was inspected, the crane operator removed the three sections of roof covering Ticket to Ride.  Chris Bailet, commissioning captain for HH Catamarans, had wisely directed us to leave the top of the shrink wrap on the boat until the container tops were lifted.  The noise of that process was deafening and dirt and rust rained down on the boat. I was super happy Chris had told us to wait to unwrap the boat!

After the roof was gone, we unwrapped the remainder of the protective plastic and unstrapped TTR from the Sentosa.  The crane hooked into the HH shipping cradle and began rising to tighten the straps while Chris verified that TTR was properly balanced before actually lifting her out of the ship.

frame-29-01-2019-07-43-54Shrink wrap off and ready to lift.

Chris had just signaled the ‘go ahead’ to lift TTR when suddenly the electricity to the whole port of L.A. went out!

How could that even happen?

Mort, the foreman from the port, told me that almost anytime it rains they experiences ‘brown outs.’    Seriously?!

We were surprised and disappointed the electricity had gone out but we were really, really glad the outage happened before TTR was lifted!!!  Can you imagine the stress of having your boat suspended 100 feet above ground and having the electricity go out?!

About 30 minutes later the electricity was restored, the crane was recalibrated and the lifting process began again. While we waited for the electricity to be restored, the wind and rain settled down which made hoisting Ticket to Ride a good bit safer.

TTR was gently lifted out of the confines of the ship and hoisted over the side of the Sentosa above the concrete loading area of the port.

 

(Video of TTR being moved sideways above the port loading road.)

The crane move sideways, parallel to the Sentosa until it was aft of the container ship and across from an area of the dock open to the water.

img_7152Gino Morrelli, Mary Grace and Frank.

Since TTR was still strapped to the shipping cradle, she had to be lowed to the peer and unstrapped so she could float free when the platform was in the water. Chris removed straps and once more verified the balance of the boat on the cradle while Frank and I took pictures and celebrated that TTR was finally here in the States and almost in the water.

i5cbtnrxqykudb1u9v97xa_thumb_d991Finally entering the water!

We watched as Ticket to Ride was lifted one last time and moved toward the water, then we scrambled over to the Towboat USA boat which ferried us the few meters over to TTR while she was still slightly suspended in the water on the cradle.

Chris made short work of starting the engines and making sure all was well aboard before asking the crane operator to release TTR to the water.

img_5644 2Chris piloting TTR away from the port of L.A.

Amazingly, after TTR’s 7,035 mile trip on the Sentosa, she was in perfect condition and the engines started up without a hitch.

The rain had included a good bit of wind and kicked up the sea state, even behind the breakwater it was quite rough as we motored to the Alamitos Bay Marina.  But HH did an excellent job of securing the mast and boom and they didn’t budge a bit even with the steep waves.

frame-29-01-2019-08-02-29Waves breaking over the breakwater.

If you look beyond the TowBoat, you can see the spray of the waves pounding against the breakwater.  The swells were pretty big where there were breaks in the sea walls but even with the slippery shipping rudders, Chris handled TTR without any difficulty.

Needless to say all of us exhaled a sigh of relief after Ticket to Ride was off the ship, back in the water and safely at the dock.

Next up would be swapping out the shipping rudders for our spade rudders, stepping the mast and tuning the rigging. BUT California had another surprise in store for us…. the shipyard won’t operate the cranes in the rain so we actually had to wait four days before we could begin that process.  Which I will share in the next blog.

After waiting what felt like a very long time for the delivery of TTR, Frank and I are excited to feel like this dream is really coming to fruition. We couldn’t wait to move on board, so we spent that very first night on Ticket to Ride and have been here every night since.

We are thrilled to be back on a floating home and hear the sounds of water at night as we drift off to sleep.

Once more we must express our sincere gratitude to the many people who have and are helping us with TTR.  Hats off to HH Catamarans for building our very special home with excellent quality and high standards. AND for understanding the need for and providing the help of the commissioning team.  A huge thank  you to Morrelli and Melvin for designing such a great catamaran and incorporating the modifications we wanted so TTR would suit our needs very well. Innumerable thanks to Chris Ballet and Lauren Battaile as they spearhead the commissioning and  teach us to make this cat purr – or roar!   

Thanks so much for stopping by to read our blog. We welcome your comments. For more regular information, please visit our FB page.

 

 

 

Stiiiil Waiiiiting!

I would love this post to be about the arrival of HH55 Ticket to Ride, but it is about delay instead.

ttr   I wish that was the California coast in the background, but…

Unfortunately this photo is not TTR with Los Angeles in the background. This is from our time sailing in Xiamen, China.

We have been tracking the container ship carrying TTR as it crossed the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.  We were excited to see it getting close to LA and knew the ship was arriving around January 7th.

But close is all we are at the moment.

ship 2So close and yet so far….

This is a screen shot showing the location of the container ship carrying TTR.  The ship arrived on January 7th, but the port is backed up and the vessel is anchored just outside of the unloading docks.

Yesterday we were told “our” container ship would dock on Friday and the contents would be unloaded on Monday, January 14th. About a week later than expected, but we had an expected date.

This morning we received notice that although the contents of the ship had been released, Customs has pulled back on that decision and wants to inspect the ship. I have no idea why this decision has been made. I only know that it means TTR will not be unloaded Monday.

Our agent has assured us that all the paperwork is in order and has been turned into the authorities.  We have done all we can to make the delivery go smoothly.

We no longer have an off load date.

So now we just wait. And we wait. And wait.

Thanks for reading our blog. We hope to have better news soon. Please look to our Facebook page for more up to date information.

 

 

Foraging For Coconuts

ttr

While sailing Florida and the Caribbean, we often saw scads of coconuts just begging to be harvested.  This picture is from a successful trip Frank, Clayton and Captain made during the Christmas Holidays in 2016.

Clearly they were all pleased! We sure miss you Cappy girl!

Thanks for revisiting a memory with us. Reviewing pictures is a fun way to spend a little time while we wait for the DELAYED delivery of our new boat, Ticket to Ride! Thank you for stopping by.

Ticket To Ride Is Arriving! Yippee!

Version 2Sailing TTR in China

Needless to say we have been impatiently awaiting the delivery of our new HH55 Catamaran.  We signed a contract in early September 2017 and waiting for Ticket to Ride to arrive has been a challenge.

ttr -2Let It Be floating in the Bahamian water.

That isn’t to say we have not enjoyed ourselves while TTR was under construction! We absolutely loved our last sailboat, Let It Be, and the exploring we did on her.

watson falls, or-1Watson Falls, Oregon

Having a chance to drive around the U.S. and see so much of this country has been really eye opening and we have seen amazingly beautiful places.

ttr -1Crater Lake, Oregon. And yes, that blue is the actual color of the water in certain light!

However, we do miss living on the water and we are super excited to move on board TTR.

Based on what we heard today, the container ship carrying Ticket to Ride will arrive in Los Angeles on January 8th!

davTTR wrapped and ready to be loaded on the container ship.

Once the ship arrives in Los Angeles, TTR will be unloaded onto a dock where we will dispense with the shrink wrap currently protecting her.  After the shrink wrap is removed, TTR will be lowered into the water and we will motor away to our temporary marina in Long Beach.

The mast will remain on the coach roof while we motor to the marina.  Stepping the mast requires a crane which we were able to schedule for Friday.

HYM employs the services of a young captain, Chris, who will help us commission TTR and make her ready for sailing and life aboard.  Chris has been involved with the commissioning of all of the HH55 cats and has experience commissioning and racing the HH66.  So in addition to making sure everything is functioning properly on TTR, we are counting on Chris to teach us a few tricks and secrets about handling the HH55.

nalaRacing the HH66 Nala. (Photo from HH Catamarans)

Although the HH55 is built to fly a hull like in the picture above, that is not of interest to me, and I will not be asking Chris for advice on this maneuver! (Yet.)

In addition to Chris’s proficiency, experts from Rigging Projects and Pochon Electronics will be on hand to set the rigging properly and get all the systems up and running.

Fortunately for us, Morrelli and Melvin office in Newport Beach which is only a stones throw away from Long Beach. That means we will have additional support and knowledge from M&M, who designed the HH catamarans.

We will certainly offer greater detail about what is happening on TTR as things progress and I have time to write about the experience of taking delivery of our HH55.  But for now, getting TTR ready will keep us busy for the next little while!

What a fun way to begin 2019!

Check out our FB page if you would like to see more frequent posts about TTR.

Thanks for reading our blog. And thank you for hanging out on land with us while we were between boats. We look forward to getting our sea legs back and sharing our cruising lifestyle once again!

 

 

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