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Sea Stories
M/V Chaos In Transport

I managed and was captain of Chaos, a Fairline 66 yacht, for a year. We experienced so many adventures on Chaos. I delivered her from Michigan to Wisconsin and oversaw her decommissioning for travel by truck. I followed the truck from Wisconsin to Clarksville, WA and over saw her re-commissioning. I brought her down the eight locks of the Snake and Columbia Rivers to Portland, Oregon. Then it was up to Vancouver and Victoria, Canada for several months. We made a long passage down the west coast to Marina del Rey for refurbishing. We escorted the Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico sailboat race. We spent a few months in Puerto Vallarta making voyages as far south as Manzanillo. We spent a month in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during Spring Break. We made a long passage back up the west coast to Santa Barbara, California.

This page is about our adventures on Chaos from Muskegon, Michigan to Clarkston, Washington by truck. Crossing the mountainous western with a 66 foot vessel on a truck presented many challenges.

The pictures on this page are cropped from a full size picture which gives a better perspective to what is being shown. To see a picture full size, simply click on the picture and it will appear full size in a new browser.


Click on picture to see an enlargement. On the left is Chaos in Muskegon, Michigan, ready for our adventure. I spent a week in Michigan preparing her for her upcoming journey to Santa Barbara. Later I found out that the trip would take a year with adventures in Canada and Mexico.

On the right is Chaos the day I arrived. She was berthed in a little marina in North Muskegon. She had been to the Bahamas twice from here and is a very seaworthy boat.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. On the left is the route we took. We sailed her to Wisconsin crossing Lake Michigan. Then by truck to Clarkston, Washington. Click on the map to see the details of our route.

On the trip from Clarkston, WA passed through 4 locks down the Snake River, dropping 400 feet in elevation, then 4 locks down the Columbia River dropping an additional 400 feet.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. On the left is the new owner and on the right is the previous owner. They say the happiest two days of a boat owner's life is the day you buy your boat and the day you sell your boat. I know from personal experience that it is true.



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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Chaos had many unusual amenities being built in England. Two of the more unusual ones were her own silverware and storage area and a bidet in the master suite.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. We departed Michigan late in the evening (left) and arrived in Wisconsin early the next morning (right). The owner and several of his children joined us for the "maiden" voyage. Too bad it was night time and there was nothing to see for the passage.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. I spent a little over a week in Wisconsin overseeing the decommissionning of the vessel. She is too tall to pass under the highest bridges and wires across roads. The arch and its equipment had to be taken off and all was prepared internally for the trek across the west. She was lifted from the water and the rudders, propellers, shafts, and struts were removed. All were boxed and shipped with her on the truck.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. The truck was assembled. Notice the brand new tires. Chaos was placed in her bed for the transport. The red part is steel. The blue part is fiberglass. It's hard to believe that these two materials would coexist so closely without damage over the long treacherous trail. They did - there were no mishaps.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Next a house was built over her to protect her on the journey. Plastic pipes were placed over the house from the cab of the truck to the stern of the boat. We could now run under low hanging phone wires and secondary electric wires at 30 to 40 MPH and the wires would be deflected up and over the boat by the pipe. Primary electrical wires required slow speeds as having two primaries touch would result in an electrical fire. The banner "Oversized Load" seemed like quite an understatement.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Passing under a secondary electric cable was a piece of cake the way we were rigged. On the entire trip we only broke one TV cable and it was to a mortuary.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. When the police came out to investigate, we showed them our $70,000 road permit and they were satisfied. We were off again without delay.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. So when you come to a railroad crossing and can't fit under the flashing lights, what do you do? We very carefully snaked our way around both obstacles. The skills of the truck driver never ceased to amaze me.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. The size of our entourage going down main street and around mountain curves was incredible. In the trailing truck I saw many people turn their heads watching this beast go down their street in total disbelief.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. You get a feel for our size on the left as we fill up next to a large 18 wheeler. On the right we are passing through the painted desert in Wyoming. We saw some beautiful sites on this transport.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Not many 66 foot vessels can say that they have been up to 9,609 feet in elevation. The Tetons were spectacular. The air was crisp and visibility was unlimited.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Nor can many vessels say that they have been to the ski slopes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

One good thing about having a travel permit is that your entire route is approved, including going down up ramps or going up down ramps. Enlarge to see the "Wrong Way" signs.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Some of the roads were in pretty rough condition. Construction work left big pot holes and dangerous debris in our way.

The truck was totally self-contained. To fix a flat, simply roll up on some boards, replace the flat tire, inflate it and go. The onboard air compressor made easy work out of the tire lugs and tire inflation.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. When we arrived at Clarkston, WA I was quite surprised to find a single point lift crane with spreader bars. To this day, I still have nightmares of Chaos bouncing inches above the concrete to her resting place for re-commissioning and then bouncing along inches above the concrete again as she was launched in the Snake River.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. I tried to utilize the driver of the lead truck to help re-commission the boat, but he damaged several pieces of expensive gear in his haste. I paid him anyway, but had to let him go. He took it very personal. The next day I couldn't find the strut shown here on the right. We looked for it all day long until finally I thought to myself that if were drunk and pissed off what would I have done?

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Yep, you guessed it - he threw it in the Snake River. I hired a diver and he found it on the second dive. Pretty strong guy, those struts were about 80 pounds. I knew he couldn't have tossed them out very far.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. What I didn't guess is that he would try to kill me. He re-wired the converter so that when I touched it, a full 240 volts of electricity went through me. Lucky for me I was wearing tennis shoes or he would have succeeded.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. After that I kept the strut in my rent car.

This is how the crane was designed to work. It offloads wood chips from a barge into trucks to be delivered to a paper mill not far away. You have no idea how strong a huge barge full of freshly chipped pine wood smells!

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Re-commissioning completed, the crane launches Chaos into the Snake River. I was onboard during the launch. The pictures were taken by another person. I didn't think much about being onboard for the launch until I saw the pictures below.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Same type of crane and spreader bar arrangement is lifting a boat in South Florida about the same tonnage. Two guys are onboard just as I was.

If there ever was an "Uh-Oh!" picture this has got to be it. Click on it to enlarge it and see one of the guys sitting on the stern of the vessel as it goes down.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Like me, I'm sure he never guessed he was going swimming that day. What a horrible experience that must have been. What was he thinking on the way down?

All's well that ends well. Here is Chaos' temporary mooring before her trek down the Snake and Columbia Rivers. This is Rooster's which is actually a good place to eat if you ever in the Clarkston, WA area.

By the way, Clarkston is hot in the summer - 110 degrees in the shade and there is no shade. I was very shocked to find it so hot.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

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Captain Gregory C. Daley
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