July 28, 2013 -- Launch Day
6 am, Morning of the launch. Everyone is stressed but eager to get this vessel in the water. The vessel and the entire steel cradle underneath will slide down the rails into the water. Once it hits deep enough water the vessel will float off the cradle.
That's the plan anyway!
The crew cuts the last ties that hold the giant launch cradle in place on the sloped rails that form the launch-way
Gravity alone was not quite enough so we gave it a push with a few excavators
When the excavators ran out of ground we gave it a pull with a couple of tug boats
After a long 14 hour day of changing rigging, pushing, pulling and nudging the vessel floats for the first time. Here we have pulled it into shore bow first. This is where the remainder of the construction will take place.