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The 2CV Alaska Challenge
Bulletin No.7 Savannah, Georgia, Wednesday 28th July 1999.
YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE
It proved impossible to unload the cars in Ravena, New York State (less than 100 miles from the Canadian border). The narrow jetty that jutted out into the river could not be beaten, except by hiring a crane barge, but at a cost of 5700 dollars that idea would be left with the pixies. Worse still, the shipping line wouldn't allow Jose to join the ship at Ravena for the last leg down to Savannah. This was because of something called the Jones Law. Mr Jones and his law also meant that I had to stay on the ship with the cars. There seemed no escape from the MV Christiane. What should have been a 2 week voyage from Rotterdam to Savannah had turned into a month long marathon. Cargo Ship Land, don't you just love it!
And so me and the MV Christiane remained entwined for the 4 day voyage down to Savannah, which was sweltering in a heat wave. Jose had spent the previous 2 weeks chasing the ship up and down the east coast USA, and once again she was there to meet us as two tugs pushed the reluctant Christiane into dock at 2.30pm on 28th July, exactly four weeks after the cars were loaded on to the ship in Rotterdam.
The two portly ladies from US Customs took hours to complete the paperwork, and said they would just love to own a 2CV, just like our ones, which were being hoisted on to the quay; and the big question was, after 4 weeks at sea, with the damp and corrosive salt, would the cars start..? Yes, at the first attempt both 600cc engines roared into life with a cheer from the crew of the Christiane. After all the frustration and delay this was it. I took the wheel of the No.1 car (yellow 2CV), Jose took the wheel of the No.2 car (opal 2CV) and we drove away from the Christiane, into the arms of America... the road journey to Alaska was underway, two weeks behind schedule.