The case of the invisible ship

This is not another story about collision courses, failed outboard engines or navigation in thick fog.

On a previous post, i mentioned a ship undergoing a refit across the lake, just a few yards from here.

Last week i wondered whether that vessel would be ready before we left here, and in which case if i would be able to see her going back on to the water.

Yesterday i went out paddle boarding and, checking close to the shipyard, noticed the vessel was indeed ready to go.

Today i monitored activity in the shipyard to be able to watch in case they put the vessel back to the water.

And then the phone rang. A piece of equipment that i had ordered a long time ago finally arrived at the chandlery. It was late afternoon and i went there to pick it up. When i was back, some 45 minutes later, ZAP – Alaska Mist was gone !!! I was here for more than a month, watched her refit evolve on a daily basis, and then missed the chance of seeing her on the water for a mere 45 minutes!

Whoa ... something is missing there
Whoa … something is missing there (the empty grey cradle on the left)

 

Anyway, my grief didn’t last too long as dinner was about to be served. But while eating, i couldn’t stop thinking of how quickly they had put her to the water, and what would be the whereabouts of Alaska Mist by now. And then i remembered – the AIS!

I switched the instruments on, and waited for the AIS to boot to check how far Alaska Mist had made within that last one or two hours. Had she made through the locks and on to the sea already? Probably charging forward toward the fishing grounds of Alaska.

The AIS finally booted, numerous vessels started to populate the screen. And there she was. Alaska Mist … just, erm, across the lake ?!?

There she is (upper left corner). A mere 1/4 mile from me. And still, her cradle appears to be empty ???
There she is (upper left corner). A mere 1/4 mile from me. And still, her cradle appears to be empty ???

 

I looked again, walked to the end of the dock to try to get a different perspective. Nothing. Nada. Curiosity took over, and a surveillance operation was immediately organized to clarify the mystery of the invisible Alaska Mist:

The paddle board was quickly deployed. I hopped on, camera on one hand, oar on the other. Man, i was on a mission!
The paddle board was quickly deployed. I hopped on, camera on one hand, paddle on the other. Man, i was on a mission!
It was already dusk. The board does not have navigation lights. Therefore it was I who would become invisible to traffic very soon! Had to move quickly.
It was already dusk (beautiful view, by the way). The board does not have navigation lights. Therefore it was I who would become invisible to water traffic very soon! Had to move quickly.
Paddled vigorously right toward the place that the AIS was pointing to ... hmmm, is that a blue vessel that I am seeing right behind that grey cradle?
Paddled vigorously right toward the place that the AIS was pointing to … hmmm, is that a blue vessel that I am seeing right behind that grey cradle (just under the orange crane)?
And there she was. The Alaska Mist. Sneaky ! She is probably being loaded with equipment and supplies before sailing away.
And there she was. The Alaska Mist. Sneaky ! She is probably being loaded with equipment and supplies before sailing away.

 

Case solved. The Alaska Mist had not turned invisible. And while i didn’t see her getting on the water, i was still able to see her afloat.

And most importantly, through this hide-and-seek game, i had concrete validation that the AIS really works.

Time to go back to Pesto for dessert.

 

—- EDIT 19/August (the day after), 1PM PST —

Well, interestingly enough, this morning as i was doing some maintenance to Pestos’s deck outside, i noticed some activity on the shipyard across the lake and rushed for the camera downstairs.

I may have missed Alaska Mist’s getting on the water yesterday, but was then awarded these views today:

 

– M/V Liberator being lifted out of the water, as per the sequence below:

19Aug14-00119Aug14-00219Aug14-00519Aug14-00819Aug14-011

 

– Followed by this comprehensive operation to move Stuff out, and slot that big baby in:

19Aug14-00319Aug14-01019Aug14-012

 

– And what about a full two-story boat house being tugged along the lake?

19Aug14-00619Aug14-007

 

– And finally this graceful beauty:

19Aug14-009

 

Missed some, got something else.

Fact is, it is really cool to be out here !  🙂

 

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