Cairns Haul Out Day

Today was the big day. We were having Kosmos hauled out of the water so her bottom could be painted. We were somewhat nervous since we had just read an article in Passagemaker magazine about another Nordhavn that had been dropped during haul out and completely destroyed.

The Norship boatyard is located just two miles up the river. The marina is right where the river meets the ocean. On the right hand side as you go up the river is an industrial area. There is a cruise ship terminal, a small navy base, and several boatyards. On the left side of the river is an endless expanse of mangrove trees with moorings lining the banks. There is a boat on almost every mooring all the way up to the yard.


We found the correct yard and pulled into the only slip. A couple of people who happened to be lounging around helped us tie up. A few minutes later a couple of Norship employees came out and helped us to get the boat perfectly centered in the slip. An enormous blue machine on wheels rolled up to the edge of the dock. It is called a travel lift and it looks like two big L’s connected at the top, with straps hanging across from one side to the other. Once we were centered, the travel lift rolled forward, barely fitting on the fingers on both sides of the slip. As it rolled over the top of Kosmos, the straps slid into the water and underneath our bottom. The workers made sure the straps were secure and not tangled on the stabilizers. Then they began to lift us up out of the water. We were kind of amazed that they didn’t have us get off the boat before lifting her up.



Once we were up high enough, the machine rolled back away from the dock onto the solid ground, carrying us with her. When she finally stopped, the crew put up a ladder for us to get down. With Kosmos still hanging in the sling, the workers pressure washed the bottom to get all the yucky gunk off. Lots of bits of paint came off with the gunky stuff, and the entire boat was speckled with black from the bottom paint. It took them a couple of hours to finish the wash down.


From there, the machine rolled Kosmos over to her new resting place, near the front entrance to the yard on the right side. They laid her down on blocks and removed the straps.

Once she was resting securely on the hard, we could finally relax. We took a taxi into town and rented a car. We figured we would spend just as much money on taxi fares coming and going as we would on a car rental. The part of town where the yard is located is definitely industrial. We passed many wholesale seafood places, specialized manufacturing facilities, and repair shops for everything you can think of.

Once we had the car, we met up with Damien and Jacqueline, who were hanging out at the lagoon with the kids. We went out to dinner before finally heading back to Kosmos for the night.


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