Miranda Merron: To the USA...by ship

Miranda Merron: To the USA...by ship

Sunday March 18 2012 Author: Miranda Merron Location: none selected

It has been a while since we sent any news. Not because there was nothing going on, but our unscheduled return to New Zealand and all that that entailed has kept us rather busy.

And as the 2012 race programme has yet to be finalised, we haven't been able to announce on which adventures Campagne de France will be embarking.

The time we have spent in New Zealand and the people we have met did much to lessen the disappointment of retiring from leg 3 of the GOR. We had signed up to compete in the GOR for the competition, and also to visit other countries and cultures. Our unexpected change of programme fulfilled the latter.

The priority in NZ was to find the best way to get Campagne de France back to the Atlantic Ocean. If the Fields had opted to get to Punta del Este, we would have delivered our boats there together, without any course constraints. However, their decision to retire from the race combined with the fact that it was getting late in the season to round Cape Horn meant that this option was not retained. This left the option of sailing Campagne de France to the States via the Panama Canal, or putting her on a ship to preserve equipment and sails in order to be in the best possible condition for the 2012 racing season.

Thanks to ANL, the New Zealand office of CMA/CGM, we were able to pursue the shipping option within an acceptable budget. And so Campagne de France was booked on to the ? CMA-CGM Utrillo ? in Tauranga, destination Savannah on the east coast of the United States.

The next rather urgent step was to sort out an affordable cradle for Campagne de France, and eventually the idea of using an old 20 ft container with the roof cut out and splashes bolted on top was born. It happens to be the ideal size for a Class40.

It all sounds simple, but there was much to organise and not much time. A lot of people helped us prepare for shipping. Steve Clark from Pachoud arranged the splashes based on Halvard?s drawings, Colin built them (and got up at 3 am last Sunday to help with loading on the ship), Mike McCormick arranged the mast packing materials and moved Campagne de France?s mast around Tauranga and into the port. The Port of Tauranga answered the many questions we had. Jan and Marie at Dean Freight dealt with the incomprehensible paperwork. Tony and the team at Bridge Marina helped out in numerous ways. A big thank you to everyone else involved, especially Bryce who let us move into his home in Tauranga, and Simon Gundry for services to Campagne de France (the list is very long!).

Campagne de France was loaded onto CMA/CGM UTRILLO in Tauranga last Sunday. All went well and it was a huge relief once the boat had been lashed down to her cradle on the aft deck, where she is well protected on both sides by containers. The Port of Tauranga did a fine job, as did sailors Lily and Otto who also kindly got up in the early hours to help with the boat (and of course loading took rather longer than anticipated, and it was raining...).

And so Campagne de France will be once again on the Atlantic Ocean at the end of March/ early April. As for us, the opportunity to travel on the Utrillo came up at the last minute, so we too are now mid-Pacific on our way to Panama! The round the world voyage continues, albeit not along the route we had originally planned, but by sea all the same.

A bientot

Halvard & Miranda - South Pacific Ocean on board the Utrillo

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