Mouse Pad was to be returned to the US by cargo ship. A simple and short 16 day trip top loaded to the ship. She was due to arrive at the Los Angeles docks on the 17th October, 2000... a day I will never forget.
I contracted a company out of Auckland who was to prep Mouse Pad, build a cradle out of an old container, and get Mouse Pad onto the ship. Their fee also included the actual shipping costs. All in all about US$14,000.00 My nephew Paul was kind enough to get Mouse Pad out of her dock on Gulf Harbor and take her to the Auckland boat year where the transportation company would un-mast and prep Mouse Pad for her journey.
That whole part of the exercise went well enough and without any major issues that I can remember.
The next step was to get Mouse Pad off-loaded from the ship and to the boat yard in San Pedro to have the mast re-stepped and generally prepped for sea again.
One thing the transportation company failed to inform me of was that their fee did NOT include the off loading of Mouse Pad at the docks here... a fee of about US$4,000.00
The people at the Los Angeles dock were extremely co-operative and I owe them a big thanks you for all their help.
Because there was a huge fee to place Mouse Pad on the actual dock, but no fee if it was swung over the side and put directly into the water... that was our plan.
Plan A - Jerry, Kevin, and myself would use Jerry's power boat to get us from Marina del Rey to the Los Angeles dockland where we would wait just off the ship for Mouse Pad to be lowered over the side. I would then board Mouse Pad and wait for the mast to be craned down to me and I would temporarily tie it to the decking. we would then motor over to the San Pedro Boat yard where Mouse Pad would get her mast reset and other small tasks done to make her seaworthy again.
Well needles to say all good plans... get screwed up!!! Jerry's power boats engine overheated off Point Vicente and we had to call Vassal Assist to get a tow. This made us late for the small window we had to receive Mouse Pad in the water.
That never happed, but the time we got towed back to MdR and docked Mouse Pad had been off-loaded onto the dockland.
Plan B - I made some extremely quick phone calls with a lot of help from the boat yard, the dock people again. I managed to find a company with a low-buy trailer who got quick permits to make the run from the docks to the boat yard... a distance of about 1.25 miles. Whew! Everything was back on track, albeit late.
Jerry and I were waiting anxiously at the San Pedro Boat Yard for Mouse Pad to show up. The loading and trip was expected to take about 2 hours in total. The manager from the trucking company was waiting with us. Well after 4 hours I stopped thinking that it was paperwork hold up but something more serious... the trucking manager told us to wait at the boat yard and he would get in his car and go see what the hold up was! Another hour later he turned up with a sad look on his face and told us the bad news... the truck hit a bridge and the boat was badly damaged.
About 20 minutes later the truck arrived and I was thankful that the damage was not worse than he had led me to believe. Jerry took one look at our beloved Mouse Pad and fell to her knees in tears. She couldn't stand to look at Mouse Pad so she went back into the boat yard to sit down and proceeded to cry.
For some unknown reason I always knew in my heart that Mouse Pad would not let me down and that she was going to be okay. I climbed up on her to start taking stock of the actual damages. As bad as it looked and as much damage as was visible it was mostly superficial in nature... stanchions were ripped out of the desk leaving huge holes, they were bent and broken, the bow pulpit was completely destroyed, and the list went on.
The manager of the trucking company had already called his insurance company and there rep arrived soon after to asses the damage. Upon review of their permits and sizing they determined that the young kid they sent to the docks to measure the cargo miss-measured the height by almost 14 inches. Just enough to not make it under a bridge. The truck drive should actually be thanked as he saw that the bridge looked low and slowed down. But it only take going 10mph with a heavy load like that and damage is sure to happen.
The trucking company manager repeatedly said that it was their fault the their insurance would cover everything. The insurance company rep. went along with that and said that he was going to authorize the San Pedro Boat Yard to start work as quickly as possible.
Mouse Pad was fixed up and the work completed including a new mast etc. So what should have been about a 3-4 hour trip to the yard ended up taking almost 6 month to get fully repaired and for me to motor out of San Pedro and get Mouse Pad back to Marine del Rey.
I took a lot of pictures of course for the insurance purpose but also for Mouse Pad's history. Too many to put into this page so I have put them all together as a slide show on the next page. There was a lot of damage but fortunately non to the structure of Mouse Pad.
Mouse Pad still sails the Southern California waters.
Created by the Skipper of Mouse Pad.
Copyright © 1995-2015 Phillip J. Seaman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 5th March, 2015 .