In case you missed it, I bought the first production Bugeye Sprite back in December, and have been waiting patiently for supply chain issues to resolve so that 501 could get a ride out of Melbourne, Australia where the car was parked at a dealership, waiting in limbo. We are exceptionally excited to have acquired this amazing piece of Bugeye history. Now we just need to get her here!
Our boat date was finally confirmed as April 30, and much to my delight, the car has been packed in a 40 foot container and she’s ready to go. You could put a lot of Foster’s Lager in there with our little Bugeye, and I have to believe that something must have been packed in there with it. I’d imagine that we don’t just have a tiny 11 foot long Bugeye luxuriating in such a big box, but I will never get to see the container, as I will not be present when all the kangaroos jump out when our box arrives in New Jersey.
We have learned a ton about trailering cars over the road through the years; in fact, I would guess we must have shipped more than 1000 cars by now. With that being said, this is our first ocean container experience. It hasn’t been easy waiting five months for our ship. I was further disappointed to find out that once we get 501 out of Melbourne, our boat is not heading to the East Coast of the USA, but rather to Cartagena, Columbia, instead. There, our container will enjoy a crane ride onto a new ship, presumably reloaded with enough coffee beans to satisfy the caffeine fix of the entire state of Massachusetts. That stopover adds another six weeks to this little frog’s journey as she (hopefully) heads up the Eastern seaboard to New Jersey (hopefully) without incident.
I remember the first time I shipped a car in about 2007. I was so worried about the condition of the car on its journey, I was sweating bullets! Now, I barely give it a thought. Our cars have been safely strapped in their trailers and have moved long distances without incident hundreds of times, and have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in the process. But this boat thing is a whole new ballgame; if you think that sweat is starting to form again, you would be right! Let’s take a priceless car and hand it over to a crew of salty seamen, miscellaneous crane operators, deck hands, customs inspectors, and dockworkers, for two and half months!
I’m the guy who writes about minimizing exposure when parking a classic car. That’s me parked in the lower lot. Or in the last space. Or far from the front door. And I’m also the guy who never parallel parks a chrome bumper car. I suppose the universe is telling me it’s time to let go.
Our first ship is the Olivia Maersk, flying the flag of the country of Denmark. She’s a baby, with an approximate length of 787 feet (240 meters). You can track here progress by clicking here. She should depart Melbourne on April 30th (Remember, Australia is over the date line, so it’s tomorrow over there; by the time you read this, it likely will already be underway!) and will arrive in Columbia on June 1st.
The second ship is called ONE Apus, flying the flag of the islands of Japan. She is a GIANT at 1194 feet (364 meters) and carries 14,000! 20 foot containers. A quick google search reveals just what you don’t want to see when you are moving a rare #1 version of just about anything- see below (it even says #1 on the side of the ship!):
ONE Apus had a bad day about two years ago, and lost about 1800 containers from her decks in rough seas in The Pacific in December of 2020. It was the largest loss of ocean-going cargo since 2013. Check out the video below! Statistically, I suppose it is highly unlikely that this will happen to the One Apus again?
I suppose it could be worse… at least 501 wasn’t aboard the MOL Comfort, another giant cargo ship which sank in 2013 with 4200-plus containers onboard.
And then there’s the sea shanty about The Felicity Ace, another ship well-known to car lovers, which brought about 4000 new cars to the bottom, including Porsches, Lambos and Bentleys, when it burned and sank just this past March.
Early summer is a time of prevailing high pressure and good weather… and while insurance is in place, I would guess there is a 99.9% chance of a safe arrival. We just have to wait until mid-July. If you see me sweating between now and July 15, you’ll understand why! I suspect one day in the not-too-distant future, we won’t give ocean shipping a second thought, either.
(But I’m not there yet!)
Until 501 arrives, all I’ve got is this stinking T-shirt.(Click here if you’d like one of your own, you can worry with me!)