The launch, which started on time at 8:00AM, didn't complete until 4:00PM, mostly because we were the last of 4 boats unloaded.
Below is Tanglewood on deck of the BBC Kimberley, She is below and to the left of the crane hook with everything below the pilot house obscured by a container.
|Tanglewood on deck|
Rather than use the ship's crane, they used a large dock-side crane, I think because of our boat's position on the ship.
|Slings attached, ready to lift|
Up she goes. At this point we had to scramble a bit because it became apparent that they were going to launch her off the bow of the ship, right where we couldn't see it.
|Up she goes|
Once up in the air, you can see the cradle that the boat has lived in since it came out of the mold over a year ago. For transport, they just weld the cradle to the deck of the ship, then on arrival grind off the welds to cut her free.
|In the air with cradle visible|
Run, run to the end of the pier in hopes of getting a view of the actual splash. It was tough because this NOAA ship was on another pier between us and the Kimberley, but we were just able to peek enough around the bow to see the launch.
|Heading towards the water|
Contact. This is the boat's first encounter with the ocean. She has been afloat before, but only in an isolated test tank at the yard. This is her first time in a real ocean. The initial dip is just enough to get the PAE crew on-board and check for leaks. Then she is lowered the rest of the way.
Interestingly, they actually start the main engine to confirm it works while the boat is still on the freighter's deck. I guess if you are going to get surprised, it's better to have it happen on deck rather than once the boat is in the water.
|First contact with the ocean|
|Backing out of the cradle|
|Underway for the first time|
Off to get some fuel and water, and head out to Dana Point. We will head up there tomorrow, giving PAE the morning to clean up the boat before we get in their way.
|Off she goes|
And finally, this picture says it all. It's a bit grainy because I had to zoom way in on it, but you can see two of the guys giving the Thumbs-up to the assist-boat indicating all is OK. My sentiments exactly.