It was all action stations and off we headed. It was only a couple of miles from our anchorage to the loading point, and Stormvogel followed us around to take some photos, and then take us back to Ao Po Marina once she was loaded.
It was quite stressful although we were well prepared. Robbie had quite a few things to do that he couldn’t do until we were secured and engine turned off, such as disconnecting batteries and the 12 and 24 volt power, turning off all the electronics, locking away the navigation laptop and a few other things.
We came alongside the ship, but had to change the fenders and come along their Port side not the Starboard side (yes this brings back memories of the last time we were alongside a container ship in the Coral Sea!) the Loadmaster jumped on Southern Star and then a few other Sevenstar staff. We already had fenders out and ropes ready and it didn’t take too long and they had the straps connected and under the boat. We offloaded ourselves and our luggage on the RIB with Chris from Sevenstar and then sat off to watch the lift.
It actually took them about 4 goes as the straps were not in the right place and the bow was very low, with the stern way out of the water. Finally they got it right and up she went. We felt very happy with the lift and especially with the position on the ship, we are right behind the bridge, which is quite protected and well away from the exhaust stack which emits dirty black soot.
Chris dropped us over to Stormvogel where Peter and Heidi had cold sparkling wine and beer, fresh sweet pineapple and chocolate ready for us! Yum, very nice. I booked our flights to London and got a flight at midnight tonight. We will go to the Nai Yang Beach Resort for a shower, a short rest and then off to the airport. Peter and Heidi took us back to Ao Po Marina, where they will berth for a couple of days until it is their turn to load Stormvogel onto the M.V. Lena. We will meet them again in Istanbul.
It is a relief to be finally loaded!