Monday, June 21, 2021

The Ship Is Here

The Chipolbrok Star arrived in Port Everglades sometime while I was sleeping last night. If all goes as presently scheduled, Intermezzo will be loaded onto the ship's deck around 3:00 pm tomorrow. At last.

I was tracking the ship's voyage from Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania via MarineTraffic and when the ship got close to the inlet to Port Everglades I decided to get on my bike and watch enter the inlet.

It's only about a five minute ride from where Intermezzo is docked to where there is access to a beach near the mouth of the inlet. It was a blazing hot and super humid afternoon with thunderstorms brewing off in the distance to the west. I rode along peaceful high-end residential streets to the beach and then set out on foot across the burning sand of the beach to where I could scan the horizon for ships. 

Guided my the MarinTraffic display on my phone, I located the Chipolbrok Star off the the northeast, about five nautical miles away. The ship was making just over 6 knots, so I figured in a little less than an hour I could snap of photo of the ship entering the inlet.  I found some shade and sat down to wait.

The ship drew nearer, but it seemed to have slowed down. Sure enough, the ship's speed shown on my phone had decreased to four knots. Then three. Then two. Then the ship stopped.

I thought, "Are you kidding me?" Then then the ship started moving again, picking up speed. I thought, "Okay, probably just picking up a harbor pilot." The ship traveled a short distance, then slowed down and stopped, again. And then it dropped its anchor. I could see the ship clearly, just a mile off the beach sitting low on its waterline. They must have loaded a lot of heavy bulk cargo in Fairless Hills.

My Waiting For the Ship drama was clearly not over. Obviously the ship wasn't going to enter the inlet anytime soon, so I head off to get a cold beer and call it a day.

The drama has also continued in terms of the scheduled loading time tomorrow. First it was 11 am, then it was 1:30 pm, now it's 3 pm. Par for the course. But I'll be happy as long as I load sometime tomorrow.

I've buttoned up the boat, we're ready to load. The cabins are secured, the sails and canvas stowed, the freezer defrosted and perishables disposed of, hatches secured and covered, seacocks closed. All that's left to do is shut down power and cover up the instruments once Intermezzo is loaded.

It's finally happening.