Now SeaBelow is loaded onto the freight ship to go to Southampton and I am bound to London with a three day stop over in New York!
The loading time and date had been moving all the time. On Friday they said she would be loaded on Saturday at 3:15 pm but to be confirmed at the end of the day. At the end of the day I got the information that it would be Sunday afternoon and I would get the exact time later. On Saturday they said Monday 10:00 am and that is pretty sure. Call on Sunday evening for confirmation.
On Sunday morning, I thought I would have a full day to do the rest of the prepartion, I was urged to get up by first a horn and then a voice, that sounded familiar, shouting „SeaBelow“. So I rushed onto deck and saw the Hans Kortmann, who I had been telephoning all the time about the loading time and day in an aluminium motor boat with some other men on board. He said „We need you now to load your boat“. I replied „But you said Monday morning“. „Yes“ he said, „but we had to swap times because another boat did not make it in time“. I answered „Ok, I can be there in half an hour“. He was happy with that.The funny thing is that just before he arrived, I had been contemplating whether I had understood it correctly that it was Monday and not Sunday? I thought I should better call him to be sure. But then he showed up in person. After he had left I checked my phone and saw 10 missed calls and 3 text messages from him asking me to be at the ship at 11 am and to call him back as soon as possible. I had not heared the phone because I turned of the sound for not to be disturbed during the night and I had not yet turned the sound back on again because I was not expecting any calls at night.
So without breakfeast I got SeaBelow ready for the 1,5 mile sail to the freight ship. I had to get the sun cover down, the dinghy up on deck and the wind steering off the stern.
Arriving at the ship I was quite right on time as the crane was still occupied with loading another boat.
But then it was on me and I came alongside the big ship, higher than my mast. Straps to moore the boat with were thrown onto my deck and I attached them to my cleats. Then three men of the loading crew came onto deck and started placing the lifting belts while I detached the back stay (Achterstag) so that the spreader of the crane could get close enough to the middle of the boat.
A diver made sure that the lifting belts are in the right position and from now it was almost the same routine as when we take the boats out by crane in my home port.
On deck of the ship they first lowered the SeaBelow so far down that she stood on her keel, then the webbings (Zurrgurt) were attached and tightened and only then they placed the supports under the hull. The supports were later welded to the deck and also the keel was secured by logs of wood that were held in place by welded-on pieces of steel.
After the loading crew was finished I could go onto the boat and finalise the work to make her ready for the journey. I deflated and packed the dinghy, took the sprayhood off, secured the boom, put the backstay back on, cleaned the bilge, packed the rest of my things, did the dishes, collected the trash. After 3 hours I was ready and left the boat, handed the key over to the loadmaster and went ashore to the Crown Bay Marina from where I called Manfred the sail maker to pick me up because he had offered that I could stay at his place until my flight.