delivery of the KLM Pearl
Richard Pook Delivery of the KLM pearlYacht Delivery of the KLM Pearl
view photograph slide show

Not all the vessels in Capt.Pook' s busy schedule can be considered 'run of the mill'. One such job carried out during 2010 involved moving 'KLM Pearl', a replica 18thC pirate ship, recently built in Indonesia, the 1000 miles or so from New Orleans, La., to Ft.Lauderdale,Fla.

Due to it's unusual nature, Capt. Pook organized a marine survey prior to commencing the passage. This resulted in certain recommendations, one of which involved the captain constructing a make-shift 'wheelhouse' (see photo) to protect crew from the rigors of the hot sun and inevitable squalls. Health and safety requirements are more stringent these days compared to those when the Pirates of the Caribbean roamed the seas!

As a vessel constructed of 230 tons of Indonesian 'ironwood', it was also decided to move her initially to a haul-out yard in Alabama (the very same yard where the 'Black Pearl' of Jonny Depp fame was put together!) to correct deficiencies in the caulking of the hull planking. (see haul-out photo) This 100 mile passage took them through the Intercoastal canal out of New Orleans and then the waterway east to Bayou la Batre.

Having completed the yard work, Capt.Pook and crew then had to brave the BP oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico to head for Fort Myers, Fla. , where, again due to the vessel's special nature, the captain had decided he would enter the Okeechobee Waterway. After careful planning, and consulting the varying navigational depth available to vessels on Lake Okeechobee, he decided transiting Florida in this way was a feasible, and safer, alternative to exposing the vessel to more dangerous sea conditions around the Keys of southern Florida, ending at Harbour Towne Marina, Ft,Lauderdale. This did not mean, however, that the chosen route didn't present it's own tests, not least the numerous locks and bridges which afforded little room for error when maneuvering. And the boat attracted much fascinated attention from lock-keepers and onlookers alike! (see slide show attachment) Pearl was finally tied up safely at Harbour Towne, in pristine condition, to await her further passage aboard a yacht-carrying cargo.

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