Containers Hit NYC
Containers Hit NYC
Containers Nedlands Perth
Containers Nedlands Perth
Containers to Perth #2
Containers to Perth #2
Containers to Perth #3
Containers to Perth #3
Containers to Perth #4
Containers to Perth #4
David Price, Carpark HHSC, Wednesday, 24 January 2007

This freight-forwarding business leaves a lot to be desired....

8:43:42 AM Wednesday, 24 January 2007  Where are the containers? Good question. You'd think the answer would be fairly straight forward, wouldn't you? Well, it is and it isn't.

You may recall we had to change from the containers that we arrived in
Perth with to two other 40ft containers, the original ones apparently staying in Perth. These were swapped over the day we were to pack them again to return home to Sydney. Sure enough, they delivered the others whilst we were on the water for the last race of the series.

Just off the water, and there was the last truck leaving Nedlands compound, with the containers placed where they could fit them in. One of the drivers intimated the containers were not the same dimensions as the first lot as he went out the gate. My thoughts were - "you're kidding aren't you? A quick whip around with the tape and it was confirmed that these ones where about an inch bigger in width. Great news when you consider we (the team) needed to pack the boats then and there with the frames made for the previous containers. We needed to pack the boats after the last race and before the presentation starting at 7pm, allowing for time to get back to the accommodation, freshen up, change and return to the club. Of course it was nice and warm too inside these newly opened containers. When I opened each container, I noticed the doors were somewhat difficult to unlatch. I did not think any more of it at the time other than they must be older and therefore more difficult for some reason.

Anyway - back to the problem of making the racks bigger. There I am imagining our hired little 3 door hatch at the timber yard with 3m lengths sticking out the passenger window through to the rear hatch and out the back, then the hardware for saws, bolts, screws etc and all whilst the team are waiting to get going back at the club. After a few good ideas bandied around, the team improvised and "located" various items that we used to stretch what we had come over with.


I left the team to finish up as I had other presidential type matters to be done before I could return to the presentation at 7pm. I managed to get back at 7:45pm but no-one missed me.


You know what it's like at a club after a large regatta - very quiet and desolate after the circus has left town. Lionel and I arranged to meet back there at 11am on his way to the airport to return to Sydney - I had left another day up the sleeve to handle any last minute dramas - just to be on the safe side.


40+degC and both container doors are not shut. No probs, just close 'em up and padlock them as before. Slam, slam, one more big slam but no luck here! Then we come to realise the containers are on an angle each, meaning the doors are skewed and the doors are not able to be closed fully. How do you twist/raise up a 40ft, fully loaded container just to get the doors shut without a massive high-ab truck? We both looked at each other and pondered if they could go back somehow with doors not shut, or maybe we could rely on the truck drivers' assistance when they arrived on Monday 15th Jan to take them away for rail transport back to Sydney - maybe we could ring for one truck to return by the time I was to leave the next day to help lift/sort them out? You can imagine Lionel's face when I returned some minutes later after fossicking around the club yards with a large, thick, heavy steel beam. "You've got to be joking" I reckon was the look. Some more fossicking for some sturdy fulcrum items and there we both were on the end of this beam, which we had manoeuvred just under one corner at the door end. The first attempt didn't budge it! More leverage I thought so another plate under the existing pivot and a quick reposition and we were away again. Yahoo, we had it raised ever so slightly so we knew it could be done.


As it was well over 40deg, we needed to work fast with both Lionel and I were losing weight rapidly when we really needed all the weight we could get. With both our sons Harry and Alex also joined with us on the beam, we had a winner and all we need to do was figure out now was how one of us could get back toward the doors on the beam to shut the doors when they were level. Determination and luck got us there in the end. Locks on and we both retreated to the cars for some aircon restoration, Lionel going to the airport and myself back to bed.




12:30pm Monday 15th Jan - location: Sydney or rather Terrigal in transit to drop Olivia off at a friends house for "a holiday without boats or sailing", (Note - we arrived back from Perth exactly 12 hours ago), someone, a Rob or a Bob maybe, from Patrick telephoned me to say there had been a train derailment. I went cold all of a sudden. "What does that mean mate - what's happened to the boats, where are they - talk". As it turned out, another train on the line somewhere in the middle of whoop whoop had had a nasty and therefore our train was going to be late - not sure how late leaving, but he would keep me informed the moment he knew. I explained to him, as I had done to everyone else who had been involved from the start, that these boats were needed asap in Sydney as the State Titles were only a couple of weeks away - you can't have a regatta without boats I kept informing them in the hope they could do something about it.


He rang again that afternoon and said the line was worse than they thought, that train was cancelled so our boats would probably only get back to Sydney on the 24th or 25th and was that going to be a problem? As I was originally informed back in Perth that the arrival time would be the 25th so I replied it would suit us - in the back of my mind I quizzed they would be back sooner than originally stated after a delay of almost a week, how does that work? Lionel had arranged through a myriad of people associated with the Harbour Trust, the Army, the Hunters Hill Sailing Club, Hunters Hill Council and Noakes Shipyards to have these containers accommodated for the day at HHSC.


Now, my Bob or Rob from Patricks has disappeared, so have a number of the original Toll personnel who were handling our transport so well up to this most recent dilemma.


Lionel and I have spent the past week tracking down our containers - phone call and emails abundant. Lionel was told they would be delivered on Wednesday 24th and taken away the same day. Emails and texts have been sent to all of us to arrange to unload and take their boats away on the day without any options. Many people are still away so arrangements are in place for their boats to be looked after - many have arranged to take the day off to help unload - a number having to travel from Belmont to collect etc. But - here we are at 7am on the morning of the day of drop-off/collection and no-one from the container people can verify what is happening.

BREAKING NEWS - Just had a call frm Geoff of Patricks to say he has one container from the train from Perth at the rail yards - what do we wont to do with it? I asked him where the other one was and he said that the second traing from Perth was cancelled due to the floods in South Australia. He didn't know where the other one was!

3:04:19 PM - All's well that ends well I suppose. The other container was found on a train that arrived just before lunch. They are being dropped off at 8am tomorrow (Thursday 25th) and collect same day. Everyone has been notified and all will be there to unpack within the time constraints, so here's hoping no other "Act of GOD" will interupt what has turned out to be an eventful adverture for these boats/families and their containers.

David Price


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