Talk about last minute but we made it! We gave our Marine Fabricator 2 weeks to build 3 navigation buoys, steel boxes for the batteries and frames for the camera. When we were talking about the project the buoys were in stock but by the time we got the order together and confirmed they were out of stock so there was pressure to even get those on time from a very busy external rotational moulding facility.
We could have had them quicker and cheaper if they were not foam filled but with the amount of expensive equipment this was a definite requirement.
So on the day where by the equipment needed to be at a depot at Heathrow Airport at 8pm the Marine Fabricators were working through the night having only just got the stainless steel boxes cut and delivered the day before for assembly.
When I arrived I noticed a problem, the camera frames were too short and a mix up on my part meant spending the morning re-fabricating the frames with a new design. By 6pm we were packed and ready to go with a 2 hour journey and no lunch (running on adrenalin by now!) we headed off in rush hour. We literally JUST made it to the depot in time… HOWEVER…
The boat from Singapore to Diego Garcia left in 4 days, if we didn’t make Singapore today it was unlikely the goods would have been able to have been inspected and repacked in time. The only other option was another boat at the end of January which may or may not have made the expedition depending on weather or other external delays – it was imperative to try and get on the journey in December!
So what was the hold up? Well the metal work was too dense to get X-rayed so it needed a sniffer dog test – we had to wait a day for this, it gave one day at the other end to inspect and re-pack. Then another disaster the equipment was too heavy it missed 2 flights as Christmas present goods took precedence.
We got the bad news from Singapore to tell us that we wouldn’t make it on the ship, then a few hours later we got an email saying we managed to get rush it on… what a sigh of relief!
Had we have had more time I would have like to have done this completely differently (we shipped over a ton of materials!) but our options were limited to say the least, it certainly was cutting it fine!