We left our house in Leeds at the end of April, and spent 3 nights in a hotel in Leeds city centre. We had a lovely leaving party at the Adelphi hotel in Leeds, then we went to my (Jen`s) Mum and Dad`s on the Wirral where we have been for the last couple of weeks. The lovely weather meant that we were able to unpack absolutely everything from the landy and repack slowly and methodically. Well, Gav does the methodical bit as I am a bit haphazard! We also cleaned out the water tank and replaced the water pump which pumps water from our tank through the water filter. We only realised this had stopped working when we were cleaning out the water tank, and were pleased to find a replacement at a local caravan shop. There were also a few other bits and pieces to finish off, such as wiring up the raptor dash and fitting a marine fan in lieu of air conditioning!
Friday 13th arrived, and thank goodness did not live up to its unlucky reputation! I drove the landy to Peterborough and Gav followed in his car. Malcolm had stressed the importance to us of leaving only a thimble full of fuel in the tank for shipping. We took this rather literally and I ran out of diesel on a country lane. We had anticipated this and Gav had some in a jerry can. We spent the night before the 13th at Bobs and then followed him into Nene ( well loosely followed as Bob drives like a racing car driver!!) As soon as we entered the huge Nene premises and land, we saw the Hamburg Sud shipping container. This sent me a little giddy and I ended up driving a little manically around Nene`s grounds laughing and having a little cry too! Once Gav and Bob managed to stop me, I pulled up and Bob and his team at Nene got straight to work. They removed the rooftent and awning and popped it onto a forklift to take it to the container. That was wrapped up and strapped in. Then it was Ruby`s turn. There is a ramp at Nene against which the trucks back the container. Bob and Steve then backed Ruby onto a trailer and using a transit van, manoeuvred her towards the mouth of the container. The lovely truck driver, Chris, said he had not seen it done like that before and took some photos! All in all it took them about an hour to pack her in and strap her down, whilst we watched on slightly nervously! Bob and Steve were brilliant and we waved her off just after 10am. It really felt like the start of the trip!
Over the next few days we traveled almost the length of the country visiting relatives and saying our see you laters. On Monday we followed Ruby`s progress as her ship set sail in the evening. We then became obsessed by trying to catch a glimpse of the ship on port web cams! Malcolm, our agent, has been sorting out the paperwork with the Columbian agent all week and we have just found out that the bills of lading are due with us tomorrow by special delivery. This is the last chance we have to get them as we leave first thing on Monday morning. Without them we do not get Ruby back so I will guard them with my life! We have also been regaled by people telling us about horror stories of containers falling or being pushed overboard. If the title of my next blog is " 20,000 leagues under the sea" you will know what has happened!!
So we fly from Manchester to New York on Monday morning, spend a couple of days there before heading to Columbia next Wednesday. Ruby is due on the 31st May so we hope to see her there!