All good things must come to an end…..
After waiting over three weeks at North Palm Beach Marina, the ship designated by our shipping company to carry His Idea from Florida to British Columbia finally arrived. This was a longer wait than we anticipated, however the Captain used this time to work on boat projects, and the Admiral visited Vancouver for a couple of weeks to start catching up on things at home.
Planning for the shipping of our vessel began last year. We chose Sevenstar Yacht Transport, a subsidiary of a large Dutch marine transportation business, after investigating and getting quotes from three companies. Arranging transportation by ship is a fairly detailed process that involves considerable expense, significant documentation, special insurance, customs brokerage, and proper vessel preparation. That said, it was an excellent choice for us to get His Idea home.
Loading day was June 7th. After a short trip down Lake Worth we were alongside the ‘Thorco Isadora’, a modestly sized general cargo freighter of the Maersk Line. Loading moved quickly once the crew was ready for us, so we were on the tender and out of sight before His Idea was hoisted aboard and secured on deck. It would be a number of weeks before we would see her again, and we hoped for good care of our prized possession!
Fast forward one month to July 10th. After approximately 6000 miles of ocean travel, including transit through the Panama Canal, Thorco Isadora was berthed at the Chemainus, B.C. lumber terminal, and ready to unload His Idea into Pacific waters. We were very happy when we heard from our customs broker that His Idea had been cleared for discharge by Canada Customs. Our vessel was one of seven boats to be offloaded at Chemainus – the largest was 72 feet – and we took possession by mid-afternoon. The boat’s engines started up fine and we made it to our berth at nearby Chemainus Marina under our own power. Other vessels were not so fortunate, as some had to be towed to the marina by the tender.
While in Palm Beach we had arranged for shrink wrapping of the deck house and installed polyetheylene covering on the decks to protect His Idea from the elements during the trip. This was a good thing, as she arrived covered in bird droppings, large grease spots (we assume from the deck cranes), and what looked like hardened cement dust. Even with this protection it took us quite a few hours of scrubbing to get her ‘ship shape’.
Excited to get His Idea to her new home, we departed the next day. Although the weather was much cooler than we were used to in the Caribbean – jeans and jackets, my word! – we had a lovely cruise via the Gulf Islands, Active Pass and across Georgia Strait to Point Roberts Marina.
Final Words About this Journey
What a marvelous adventure we have had: four seasons of cruising; 18 months of live-aboard lifestyle; three diverse countries; almost 10,000 miles of ocean, lake and river exploration over an area too big to calculate; remote anchorages, small town docks & big city marinas; so many interesting people to meet and befriend along the way.
Our decision to end our travels in the east and return to cruising in the west was made with a mixture of regret and anticipation. We’ll lament the places we didn’t get to – and no doubt, some days, the warmer weather – however our dreamy memories will be a good tonic for that. And we have the west coast of North America to get excited about – the Gulf and San Juan Islands, Desolation Sound, the Broughton Archipelago, and (hopefully) the Inside Passage, Haida Gwai and Alaska too.
If you’ve followed our travels, we thank you for that, and hope you enjoyed reading the blog as much as we enjoyed writing it.
For those of you who may be dreaming of a similar adventure, don’t wait too long. It’s never too early to start planning, and when your day comes, go do it!
John & Ria
Postscript – the Final Stats (2012 – 2015)
- Statute miles traveled – 9429
- Hours of motoring – 936
- Diesel fuel used (including generator) – 11829 litres (2602 imperial gallons)
- Average MPG – 3.8 (not including generator; 3.6 MPG including generator)
- Average fuel cost – $1.19/litre
- Average fuel cost per mile – $1.39 (not including generator)
- Average daily moorage cost – approximately $35/day
- Extremes of latitude and longitude
- E : 69.33 degrees West (Grande Bergeronnes, Quebec, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, east of Quebec City)
- N: 48.26 degrees North (Chicoutimi, Quebec, at the western end of the Saguenay fiord),
- W: 90.38 degrees West (Valley City, Illinois, on the Illinois River, north of St Louis)
- S: 23.33 degrees North (Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas).