Sunday, November 27, 2016

Shipping 28 tons to Canada

We had a great week in Mexico cruising around La Paz and the next move was to ship the Anna to the Northwest.  We got two quotes almost immediately at the Seattle Boat show from the vendors on site and we went with Seven Star.  They were slightly more money but they had a great operation and were excellent to deal with.  The rep whipped out the brochure showing them lifting a new 160 ft Italian minesweeper onto their freighter using the onboard cranes, so I figured they could handle Anna.
The Seven Star ship, Tramper, was to pull into the outer harbor area and someone had to take our boat to the ship at the appointed time and so they could hoist her aboard.  We hired the broker, Shelly from La Paz Yacht Sales, to ferry her out and hand over the TIP and other government forms, bill of sale, and who knows what else to get Anna out of Mexico.  Here she is about to be lifted. 
The ship sailed around May 6th and it arrived in Victoria about 12 days later on the same weekend we had already bought tickets for U2 in Vancouver  BC.  Lots of borders, logistics, a great U2 show, and one seaplane ride to Victoria later, we literally flew in watching Anna being offloaded from our Kenmore Air seats!  That was priceless.
This was amazing, and the next thing we knew we were going through customs on the Kenmore dock telling the agent in Victoria that we're here to pick up our boat, to which he replied, "I just inspected those last night--go get it!"  Because we were the first boat offloaded, a local off duty whale watch captain came to get us from the customs dock and delivered us alongside Anna, alongside mv Tramper, and then waved goodbye as we climbed on.  The boat was in decent shape but we did have some wind damage and chaffing on the mainsail cover lazy jacks.  I should have removed the sail entirely.... Unfortunately, the deck hands did some aggressive power washing and actually took off some deck paint with the high pressure water.  We got them to admit they did it, and hoped they would make good on a repair claim, which they did very nicely. 
After getting the genoa back on the furler and reattaching the backstay, we remembered most of what you need to do to run the boat again, and we left Victoria for Friday Harbor in perfect weather.  The amazing thing about the boat leaving Mexico and arriving in Canada was the lack of anyone caring about our bill of sale, taxes, or looking into all the gear, food, medicine, and who knows what else on board.    I shouldn't complain!  At Friday Harbor the customs officer was a little more particular, but really just wanted to see the CG Documentation which we had, and wanted $27 for the sticker, but mostly she did not want Jan to step onto the dock until we cleared-- strict on that one!  We were  officially in the US!  Our broker, Swiftsure, had another boat on the Tramper clearing at Friday Harbor, and they were not so lucky.  US customs did not like the fact that this boat was still for sale, and they had some explaining to do, but eventually got through.  We felt like pro's though, with our international boat dealings, and celebrated on land with a burger and a beer.  Its truly amazing when things go as planned.
We left Friday harbor with a clear skies and a fair tide Sunday morning and motored toward Seattle in a flat calm.  The end gets interesting though, finishing through the ship canal into Lake Union.  After having successfully navigated 80 miles of Puget Sound we faced 3 draw bridges, the locks, and finally entering a tight fairway and a narrow slip.  Our friends Lori and Terry Brady were at the slip to help us dock and they were needed, if you know what I mean.  Here's their picture, probably certain we would crash.  After docking without too much drama, we felt the best mix of relief and happiness.  We have this great boat that we bought in Mexico 3 months earlier, sailed on in La Paz for a week, then shipped to Canada, and now we're tied up looking at the Seattle skyline.  Somehow it all feels like way more than just buying a boat- OK--I'll just say it, Anna is part of the family. Its ok to cry a little as you read that last line...





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