Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to learn a new expression

Yesterday, our boat was loaded onto a freighter.

It was a process which was expected to take a half-hour. 

It took four hours.

In the words of one veteran loading professional, it was a dumpster fire.

Loading our Hans Christian 33 onto a freighter.

The only reward of yesterday's troubles and stress and headaches was hearing that word and finally being able to laugh.

The troubles spawned mostly from the failures of the shipping agent to be the logistics company they should be. In addition to a number of other flubs, their incompetence led to hiring a last-minute cradle builder who made a crappy piece of metal work. It didn't fit and it wasn't built strongly.

I had shouting words with the cradle-maker. He defended his glued popsicle-stick contraption to me, the port loading supervisor, the ship's loading supervisor, and the crane supervisor. None of us were convinced.

But as much of the problem, if not more, was because dock cranes are not designed to lift sailboats. Marina travel lifts have all kinds of ways to adjust the boat while in the straps to make the boat level. Dock cranes are designed to lift containers and that's it. So the crews (yes, multiple) spent hours trying to find a way to settled down a crooked boat into a ill-sized craddle.

After three hours, the ship's loading supervisor told me he was going to abort the process and put our boat back in the water. I gave him permission to do that.

But one way to fix a dumpster fire is to throw gas on it. Which is what they did. With pushing shoving, wedging, bouncing of our boat in the slings, poor Phoenix was strapped down to that deck like a patient in a straightjacket tied to a gurney.

I would have called off the operation, but then we would have lost the $29,000 we paid to these jokers.

I am depressed and frankly, beaten, by these last few months.

More later, but today we drive 12 hours back to Vermont. We are going north for my consolation prize after all this work: I need a root canal job done on the very same tooth it was done on last year.


judymac said...

That you could write this blog at all is a testament to your ability to rise above adversity. And you were even able to laugh.... "dumpster fire"....but I must say I have empathy for you.... then a 12 hour drive followed by a redo of a root canal.....I hope it will be by a different oral surgeon and you get plenty of good pain meds...

judymac said...

BTW, Phoenix looks pretty

HR said...

I came to check what was new and if you were still around. Glurg, guys, my stomach churns for you. Safe voyage to Phoenix. I'm looking forward to the entry where you're reunited and happily afloat.