After successfully securing my “goldilocks” Suzuki Carry it was prepared for export and loaded on to a specialist vehicle carrier bound for the UK… with quite a few other stops along the way of course!
Having been given the details for Höegh America – the vessel entrusted with the safe delivery of the Carry – by The Car Warehouse I was able to check its schedule for an ETA and pick it up on a couple of free vessel tracking sites in time for its rendezvous with the little Suzuki in Yokohama.
I might not have been able to stand on Höegh America‘s bridge and watch it cruise into Tokyo Bay, or to see the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line leaping out of the water near it’s first port of call at Kawasaki. I might not have witnessed first-hand the raised expressway of the Wangan-sen looming behind the port of Yokohama where the Carry sat waiting, but watching it happen in near realtime over the internet was still pretty mindblowing… and yes, it certainly allowed for a touch of romanticism about this magical, faraway place 🙂
After picking up the Carry the vessel stopped at Hitachinaka – company town of the Hitachi group – and Rokkou Island – one of the artificial islands in the Port of Kobe – before heading to Singapore and then into the wider ocean.
Just in time for Christmas it popped back up on the radar at Suez, travelling up the canal as part of the convoy system in place there.
Now in the Mediterranean and feeling closer than ever it rattled through the next few stops before inexplicably grinding to a halt just outside the port of Livorno, Italy. A full week later things finally got underway again and before long Höegh America had slipped through the Straits of Gibraltar, thumped across the Bay of Biscay, squeezed through the English Channel and was now approaching the Carry’s rolling-off point, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
It was odd to see this vessel, which I’d watched visit all manner of exotic and far-flung destinations, now passing roads with names like “Harbour View” and “Commercial Road”. How amazing to be able to follow the Carry’s journey from Yokohama to Newcastle – the internet’s bloody magic at times!
Bonus Internet Magic!
A Google Earth snapshot of a vehicle carrier similar to Höegh America moored at the same spot on Rokkou Island:
A Google Streetview of a Höegh Autoliner moored in the port of Tyne: