Inthe middle of May 2016, everything was ready for the transportation of the boat from Liverpool to Neratovice. This time Anetka couldn’t come with me to Liverpool, as she was on business trip in Budapest, so I travelled alone.
The travel on the European motorways was quick, and I was in Dunkerque well ahead. My Nissan estate car allows to change the back seats in a bed, so I used the 3 hours that remained to the ferry departure for a good sleep.
The alarm clock woke me up right on time and a couple of minutes later my car was already parked in the ferry.
Despite the rules, I didn’t get off, but stayed and kept on sleeping. During our first travel to the UK with Anetka in the end of March, we crossed the Channel in the storm Katy. Such conditions made move even such a big ship and many passengers had to deal with the seasick.
Yet, this time the cruise was calm and I woke up after two hours in Dover, just before the ferry landed.
The road on the British motorways was as well very quick and after several hours I found myself at the door of my hotel. It was almost midnight, but I agreed with the owner that the keys will wait for me under a small bush against the entrance door. After some searching, I found an envelope with the keys and instructions and in another half an hour I was already sleeping.
In the morning I had the typical British breakfast and had a short walk on the seashore. The appointment with Derick was at 10 a. m. and he was as usually punctual.
This time the second owner of the boat, Andrew, arrived as well. We started to load different boat equipment stored in a small shad close to the boat. We needed as well to prepare the boat for the transportation – remove the handrails and all stuff that could make the loading more difficult.
We met as well a friend of Derick and Andrew, Steve, an expert on technologies and engines that helped to answer some of my questions. Actually, it was practical that Anetka couldn’t join me this time, as I was forced to speak English and after a couple of hours I was already able to say everything I needed and even more.
Before noon arrived the trailer from Cargonet and the boat was as well ready for the loading. So I wanted to see if the loading could be done immediately, against the original plans.
From the communication with the crane company it seems that it would be possible, but in the end they didn’t manage arrive on that day. The next day at 9 a. m. we were all ready on the place waiting for the arrival of the crane who was supposed to be there at that time. When the crane didn’t arrive even at 10 a. m., we all started to be a bit nervous, as it was necessary that the truck with the boat catches the booked ferry in Harwich.
We called the crane company and they promised soon arrival of the crane. Soon meant that it arrived only after 11 a. m.
Luckily, we could see that the guys don’t load a boat for the first time and that they are used to manipulate with ships – in a moment it was on the truck and we could start to tie it. Here I need to underline an excellent work of the drivers from Cargonet. They didn’t have much experience with boat transportation, but they managed to tie the boat to the trailer in such a way that it didn’t move during the whole way back not even for a millimeter.
After 5 hours of fixing of the boat, we could hit the road. I made a couple of pictures and videos of the boat from my car while driving behind the trailer before I overtook the truck and stopped on a motorway rest area to record the passing truck.
In a couple of minutes the trailer passed and I filmed the last planned shoot. I sat in my car and wanted to hit to Dover. The motorway was busy, so I pressed the accelerator hard so that I didn’t slow down other cars on the motorway.
Suddenly I heard a click and the car stayed without moving despite the engaged gear and disengaged clutch: rupture of half-axis.
The first task was to find a roadside assistance. I called Anetka, as she could communicate much easier and had access to internet as well.
We managed to find a roadside assistance company with their own repair shop and Anetka found as well a hotel in the nearby. In two hours, the car was already in front of the repair shop and I enjoyed my dinner and beer in the hotel. The hotel was actually a rebuilt medieval castle and the atmosphere inside was unbelievable. There was not only one beer after the dinner, so in the end I was happy to find the way to my room through the stone halls of the hotel.
On the following day at 10 a. m. I was already in the repair shop. We had small problem with the new half-axis, as there are not so many such cars in the world, but in the end we managed to find a company that could deliver the reconditioned part. Though it was more than 100 km away, in one hour and half, we had already two half-axis – they sent a right one as well as left one, as they were not sure if there is a difference in right and left driving system.
There was no difference and after an excellent work of the technicians and another hour, I was already back on the motorway. The rest of the way back to Prague was OK. I arrived to Litomerice (the seat of the Cargonet company) only half an hour after the truck with my boat.
It was Friday and the boat had to stay in Litomerice till Monday as such cargo cannot drive on motorway during weekends. On Monday morning we were already in front of the hall together with the crane of the ZSD Serviscompany that resides as well in the premises of Spolana.
My two friends Petr and Ondřej helped with the unloading of the boat. First the truck moved backwards into the hall and we unloaded the mast, than it went outside, staying in the axle of the rails leading in the hall.
We moved the boat about one meter in the air, the trailer moved away, we pushed under the boat our rail plateau and sat the boat on it. Now we needed just to push the plateau with the boat back in the hall and everything was ready.
I was really excited to see my own boat finally in the hall. At the same time I was looking forward for all the work that waited for us.