Long time fellow Woody Boater Phil Andrews reports in from around the world on the much awaited arrival of the Blue Arabian we have been sharing so much here on Woody Boater. Its amazing to see all this happen, but when good people come together anything is possible! Here is the story from Phil that came in around 10PM last night. Phew, we here were on pins and needles, and are so happy this all came together.
Hi Matt – well after 3 years of long distance love the prototype 1956 Blue Grey Arabian has arrived in her new home.
She was loaded by Seth and the team at Katz’s Marina on the 1st November 2016 and trucked to Andover and out to Port New York. Then from New York to Wellington New Zealand via the Panama Canal.
A distance of over ten thousand miles over 78 days at a cost of USD$10,700.00.
Her arrival was complicated by the recent earthquakes New Zealand has been experiencing which have damaged the Wellington area to such an extent that the container port is out of action.
Therefore the container with the Blue Grey in it was off loaded in the Port of Napier, a four hour drive north of Wellington. The container was then trucked to Wellington at additional expense to me.
She arrived in Wellington at the shipping agents depot, The Moving Company, on Tuesday 16th January. I’d asked to be there when the container was opened but the NZ Ministry of Primary Industry pounced on it and insisted that it had to be fumigated to kill any hitch hiking insects so I wasn’t able to see in the container till the following day.
I got the call to come and unload the boat at midday Wednesday and this is the first glimpse I had of the boat.
Seth and the boys had done a good job of strapping her down and thank goodness she hadn’t moved after all the container had been through.
Next job was to get her out. A relatively straight forward exercise apart from one of the trailer tires having gone flat on the journey.
Next we pulled and pushed her into the depot where we then had to wait for further inspection by yet more quarantine officers. Every time these guys turn up its another NZD$500 bucks.
The following day I got the call that she was finally released.
I felt a strange mix of anxiety and excitement driving over to get her. All sorts of crazy thoughts were going through my head like, she’s made it this far I sure hope I can get her home without a problem.
The trailer she is on will be junked as she will get a brand new custom made trailer very shortly. Consequently I had to tow her home on a squeaky rattly crap trailer hoping like mad the wheels would stay on.
Fortunately it’s less than 2 k’s to my home and I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally parked her in my drive and turned off the truck.
Our 5 year old daughter Isabella was the first to get behind the wheel and her expression says it all.
Under her new cover for her first night out under the stars. The engineers are coming to measure her up for her new trailer in the morning.
Finding this boat, having her restored, seeing her for the first time in New Jersey and finally meeting Matt and Seth and Jara and Allen and Bob and the gang has been truly a wonderful adventure.
It has been a time I will never forget. At the center of making this possible is Matt and WoodyBoater.com.
Thanks to all of you in WoodyBoater-land who played a part in this story. I have met many of you now and count you among my friends.