Team Möbius continue to rack up the milestones and this week we hit the jackpot that inspired the riddle in the title of this post; What dance step rhymes with Cash (and LOTS of it!)
Hint: What just appeared underneath?
Bingo! “Big Bird” the 72 Wheel Yellow Boat Mover has arrived at Naval Yachts because ……………..
LAUNCH DAY HAS ARRIVED!!
Don’t worry if you have not yet solved the riddle as to what dance step rhymes with “Cash”, hang in there and all will be revealed and be clear by the end.
All the big shipyard doors are opened up full width and Big Bird slides under the all cleared out space (the “what’s missing?” hint above) below Möbius and the countdown to launch begins!
Captain Christine is up on Deck doing last minute prep and clean up and the Owner’s Rep is standing around as usual, getting up close and personal with Big Bird.
All the while Möbius is being her typical good natured and patient self as she awaits the her big moment to shine in the brilliant sunny day we were gifted with for the big launch.
You may recall from previous moves over the years, Big Bird has a series of swiveling hydraulic lift pads along both sides
So they are now being readied to lift our girl off her support stands and struts for one last time. Or so we thought at this stage of the “dance”, stay tuned for more on that.
The silicone InterSleek 1100SR bottom paint is quite soft and new so they cut up squares of carpeting
….. and slid them in between the hull and the wood lift pads to prevent the rough wood faces of the hydraulic lift pads from damaging this fresh paint.
With all the Lift Pads in position 20 hydraulic pistons easily lift Miss Möbius up off her perch and all the support stands underneath can finally be removed for good.
The Captain does one final check and packs her bag with cameras and champagne and is ready for the long and winding walk to the temporary new launch site that is much further away as you are about to see.
The BIG Day has finally arrived and Möbius takes her first step away from her home of the past 3 years at Naval Yachts and heads for her new home; Mother Ocean.
You can almost hear the shipyard and all the other boats saying “Good Luck Miss Möbius, we’ll miss you!” as she makes the turn onto the road that leads over to the inner harbour inside the Antalya Free Zone.
She graciously poses in front of the home she is about to leave as she heads out to make her own life at sea eXploring that Big Beautiful World of Water that awaits.
Oh, the places you will go Miss Möbius!!
Three of the pivotal people responsible for building Möbius join in the Big walk.
And Möbius’ adopted parents join the parade as well.
Rounding the first of several sharp corners is a piece of cake for Big Bird when you have 72 wheels that can all steer!
This massive construction of the whole inner harbour of the Free Zone which has ripped out all the launching facilities and necessitated that we take an overland route to Setur Marina and launch all the boats from the Free Zone shipyards there for the next few months.
In spite of this major disruption this major construction project of the whole Free Zone port is fascinating and you would probably enjoy watching THIS VIDEO ANIMATION which does a great job of showing how the whole new harbour facility works.
It would normally be quite a shock and surprise to see a ship floating by outside your office window but here in the Antalya Free Zone it is a common and almost everyday occurrence so no one gives it much mind. However, given the uniqueness of the XPM boats and Möbius’ gleaming aluminium silver sides, she definately turned a LOT of heads on her trip to the sea.
Normally this is where the Free Zone ends and there is a very large and intimidating gate here topped with concertina wires and lots of security cams but we were given special permission and so they opened up the gate, took down lots of big power cables above and we rolled on through.
We took this rare opportunity to do what you are supposed to do with all newly born creatures and introduce them to as many of the other inhabitants of the brave new world they have just arrived in.
Not a bad backdrop!
One more 90 degree corner which was no problem for us but ……….
….. startled a few of the truck, car and bus drivers who suddenly found themselves sharing the road with a 24 meter / 78 foot long boat!
Not your average traffic jam!
The long and winding road trip eventually led us to this road on the back side of the repair yard section of Setur Marina and the final 90 degree turn to the home stretch to the new launch site.
Uğur, who has been with us the longest is particularly happy to see this big day finally arrive, took the opportunity to climb aboard and have his own scene right out of the movie Titanic perched up at the bow as he rode the final land based home stretch.
Big Bird rolls to a stop right in front of …..,,
…… Möbius’ very handsome date who has been patiently awaiting her arrival.
Like walking the Bride down the isle, Big Bird carefully escorts Möbius down the path underneath the turquoise arches of this 200 Ton Travel Lift.
There are four of these cabled lift points on each side of the Travel Lift which are now carefully lowered to the ground.
Where the looped ends of the thick wide webbing that forms a sling that goes underneath Möbius belly, are pinned to the lift bars.
To protect Möbius’ fresh silicone Foul Release bottom paint, the slings have all been covered with soft padding.
And then each sling is threaded overtop of Big Bird’s side rails, under Möbius’ belly and connected up to the lift bar on the opposite side.
Up go the lifting slings as the weight transfers from Big Bird’s lift pads and they can now all be removed.
Transfer complete! Big Bird backs out and heads back to the barn while the Travel Lift carries Möbius ……..
……. the final few meters to the water’s edge.
Sccreeeeeeeechhhhhh!!!!!! HOLD IT!!!
Not so fast there Miss Möbius, there are official vows and a ceremony needing to take place before you get your first taste of Mother Ocean’s tasty salt water!
Travel Lift obliges and backs up just enough for Christine, Baris and myself to say a few words, announce that “We christen you Möbius” and break that champagne bottle over her hefty keel bar.
Note to those concerned, Christine had carefully wrapped the champagne bottle in silicone mesh so no glass shards were spilled.
The not recorded funny part is that this took two tries as the thick glass of the champagne bottle won the first smash on the keel bar and took this second try which you can see in THIS short video clip which I have also embedded below.
But here at last is Möbius first kiss with Mother Ocean.
Oooooops! Not so fast there Captain! Mr. Murphy has different plans for you today!
Immediately upon splashing into the water and while still in the slings, you spend a few minutes below checking all through hulls and other possible sources of leaks to make sure that everything is sealed and all the salt water is where it is supposed to be; OUTSIDE the boat! As we did so we found a small leak on the Rudder Shaft tube and so we made the call to haul her back out and set her back on land while we tracked down and fixed the leak. Hence the less than excited faces on all of us in the video below as came back out of the water and onto the hard for the night.
Poor Möbius! So close yet so far and yet another example of that paradox of trying to get to your destination by taking steps that are half the distance remaining which means that you get closer and closer but never fully arrive!
The Travel Lift set us back down in front of the launch pad and she was once again blocked up for the night.
Later that evening I discovered the source of this leak which fortunately this turned out to be a set of 6 holes that had been drilled into the Rudder tube for injecting Sikaflex around the outer races when they were installing the Jefa Rudder roller bearings for the Rudder Shaft. This happened back in October 2019 while I was back in the US and Canada visiting family so I wasn’t aware of this procedure and the SS plugs had not been threaded into these holes so they were weeping upon entry into the water. A relatively quick and easy fix and I re-tapped/threaded these 6 holes to clean out the threads thoroughly, Uğur & Nihat ran into town to get six M12 x 10mm SS socket head bolts and I mixed up a batch of good ole’ JB Weld to fill the holes and coat the threads and torqued the 6 bolts up tight and we were done before 10pm.
!Next morning, Saturday 20 Feb, 2021 we arose to what was surely the perfect Launch Day with even more sunny and brilliantly Blue skies and NO wind
And it was time to back the Travel Lift overtop of us and put those slings back underneath to lift us up and take us those final 10 meters to the water’s edge!
Lowering back down so Möbius could have here second kiss with Moher Ocean.
Once in we again checked throughout the boat for any sign of seawater inside such as around this Sea Chest in the Forepeak and my first glimpse of the sea below.
Not a drop to be found onboard so a quick check of where the real waterline ended up at the stern and we were good to cast off and be gone.
We gave the thumbs up to the Travel Lift operator and the slings were fully lowered and he backed away.
Due to several complications Möbius did not have a working steering system and the oil for the Nogva CPP gearbox has still not arrived but all the arrangements for getting out of the Free Zone, taking down the power lines, Travel Lift apointment, etc. had been made long in advance so we launched anyway and that meant we had to be towed back to the harbour inside the Free Zone which is why this tug showed up and threw us this line.
Fortunately we had thought of these kinds of scenarios well in advance and had designed this Samson post and nose cone for just this purpose and the tow rope was quickly set and we were off.
The Free Zone harbour is literally around the corner that is on the Left side where that Blue & White tug is tied up so it was a very quick trip and with no wind it all worked out just perfectly. The large green boat in the center is inside the Free Zone which then becomes the container port on the Right with all the cranes.
Rounding that corner on the Left with the Green boat now off on our Starboard side to the Right we can see the slot they have opened up for us to tie up in between the end of the Red tugboat on the Left and the Grey bow of the first of four Arabian Police boats you can see lined up along the same wall.
Naval had arranged for a second second small tug to help maneuver the stern and push us into our slot sideways.
Because as you can see, the open space was only about a meter longer than our 24 meter overall length so It was a pretty tight fit and they needed to push us in sideways to fit.
With the help of some of the great guys on Bozcay IV and III, we got the first line ashore and it was all very quick and easy from there in these windless conditions.
Now the second tug on our stern could push us sideways into the wall with just enough room to spare off the bow of the first Police boat.
Viewed from up in the SkyBridge, this is Möbius’ first contact with a dock.
Stern lines secured and we were soon all tied up for the first time!
When Christine and I were first drawing up our design criteria and use cases, one of the things we wrote down was that we wanted to fit right into being docked in a working harbour and stick out like a sore thumb in a “yachty” marina.
So how well do you think we have met that criteria with these as our neighbors astern………
….. and these two up front?
Still lots to do as the real work begins but enough time for a quick snack and celebration with the two founders of our builder Naval Yachts; Baris on the far Left and his brother Dincer on the right.
The rest of the afternoon was equally as Goldilocks time as we enjoyed this stunningly sunny 17C/62F weather being entertained by our two new bow neighbors as they brought this little fella “Lucky Star” in to get loaded up.
Then it was just the Captain and I, and of course Ruby and Barney so it was at last time to celebrate with an unbroken bottle of champagne that we had at last made it to that ever elusive Launch Date!
Peanuts, a box cutter and champagne, what could be more Goldilocks; Just Right, Just for Us?!!!
While we never doubted that we would make it we did often wonder just when this day would arrive but that has all made this milestone all the sweeter to experience. We still have LOTS of work to do to get our beloved Möbius fully finished and ship shape so we can head out for those infinite horizons and get back to eXploring this awemazing world of ours.
Oh, almost forgot! If you are still wondering about that riddle, it was the 2-step Splash Dance!
I’ll be back to cover all of that starting with next week’s Progress Update but for now we’ll be sleeping aboard to keep an eye on this new launched beauty and start learning all she has to teach us.