After months of planning and waiting, our boat has finally arrived to the Pacific North West. It’s hard to believe she is finally here. The Nassau Clipper has been anchored off Vancouver Island for the past three days waiting on a berth in Victoria to come available. We anxiously rode our bikes out to Ogden Point to get our first glimpse of Idyll Time. The ship is anchored about five miles offshore. Our little boat is not visible as she is tucked in amongst the others. Even though we can’t see her, It is comforting to know that Idyll Time is close by.
Our day of unloading finally arrives. The disappointing news is that we are one of the last to unload. The good news is we can go aboard the ship early and get Idyll Time ready for departure. The two other Krogen owners join us as we make our way to the ship terminal. Security has our names on the cleared list, and we are soon through the gates. It is very strange just being able to climb aboard the freighter with no escort. We weave through the maze of boats with their shipping straps spiderwebbed in every which direction. We are soon aboard Idyll Time. She looks amazingly good. Everything inside is just as we left it almost a month ago. The outside is somewhat dirty but not as bad as we had expected. Within a few minutes she awoken from her deep sleep ( battery bank reconnected) and we have power aboard.
For the next few hours we watch as the boat in front of us is lifted off the ship. They have some difficulty lifting it which delays our offloading by a few hours. Finally the crew decides to shorten the height of the slings and they are able to lift the boat off. Our turn next. The crew begins the process of releasing the yellow shipping straps from the welded pad eyes.
Because we were already aboard the Clipper Nassau, they let us stay on the ship while Idyll Time is offloaded. Normally we would be brought by tender to the boat once in the water. We have an up close and first hand view of the unloading process. This is probably not the best thing to see. It is a little nerve wracking to witness our boat as they maneuver her in the slings between Forever Exploring (Krogen 42) and the crane. Wendy and Leigh are aboard Forever Exploring and they too are holding their breath as Idyll Time passes within inches of their boat. With Idyll Time over the side of the ship, they pause her descent briefly for us to clamor over the ship railing and board her. She is soon in the water and the engine immediately springs to life with a turn of the key. Once the electronics are up and tested, the lines are thrown off and we are free to enter Victoria Harbor.
We have less than a half mile to travel to the Victoria inner harbor. It is a challenging few minutes of travel. The harbor is incredibly active even at 6:30 at night. The fast ferry from Seattle crosses just in front of us as we take note of the flashing white lights ahead. Good thing Susie did our homework and know what these lights mean. These lights flash white when a seaplane is on an immediate approach or landing. No sooner than we see these lights, a seaplane swoops down over the top of the fly bridge. Luckily we are in the correct traffic pattern. Several cute little Harbor taxis zip all around us as if to emphasize we are rookies amongst pros. It is a relief to finally reach the long dock of Victoria Wharf, our home for the evening. First Sea Bear and then Forever Exploring make their way to the dock. All three Krogens are now safely berthed in Victoria. Wow, it’s hard to believe we are finally here.
No time to relax as much work needs to be done. Jeff soon breaks out the hose and washes away the three weeks of accumulated sea salt while I start unpacking the inside areas. 1 AM finds us up on the fly bridge reassembling our canvas Bimini cover. It’s been a very long but good day. We will be underway tomorrow at first light for Sidney, B.C. where Idyll Time will spend a few weeks getting diesel heaters installed. Thanks for following our shipping adventure.