The guys at Motorcraft Adventure Developments wanted Monster in at March 1, 2022 so they could start with the build of our Box. Amy was really busy so I decided to drop her off by myself.
I wanted to go to Hull again as this is the closest port to Doncaster, so I automatically had to cross with P&O Ferries. This proved not to be easy. As our HX is not a camper yet, they would not accept me in the ‘private’ bookings.
Although I am not a commercial driver and do not carry any commercial goods, I still had to go by P&O Freight. I had to book with the UK office in Hull and received a quote from a very nice British lady and confirmed my sailing on Feb 27. So far, so good.
Sunday, February 27, I was at the port early and felt comfortable about the crossing, how wrong was I! When I drove up to the person that was checking in the vehicles, I was told that I could not board as I had no GMR (Goods Movement Reference that is). Off course I do not have that, as I am not transporting any goods!
The man wanted to be helpful but had no clue and pointed me to the P&O offices about 5 minutes away. I rushed over there and there was a long line of passengers waiting to be checked in. Finally I found a lady that was in the freight department. I explained my situation but she insisted that I should have a GMR.
So I tried to get it online, and had contact with Amy to fix this, as she was behind her laptop. It turned out that you can only get it when you are a transporting company carrying commercial goods. I tried to get hold of the freight lady again but I was told she was busy.
Meanwhile the clock was ticking and I was afraid I would miss the ferry and started getting a bit angry. About ten minutes later I ran into a very nice man that was looking like a loading master. I explained my situation and he dragged me into the locked down P&O Offices. Right by the busy freight lady from before, into the office of the team leader where I could explain my situation.
I did my story and explained that I could never get the GVM as I am not a commercial transporter of goods. I said that they could even book me as a passenger car if that would make things easier. I showed him the exemptions on the GVM rule (which are on yougov.co.uk) and that I fully applied for that. The teamleader was soon convinced and said that I had to rush back to the gate and that he would make some calls so they would check me in after all.
I drove like a maniac and arrived just in time to get on board. I went to my cabin to drop off my luggage and went for a large beer, I deserved it! Dinner was included in the price as well as breakfast and a packed lunch, it pays off being a ‘lorry driver’.
The crossing was not really comfortable as there was some wind and waves, and I had a crying baby in the hut next to me. I was a bit worried for the UK customs as the freight lady in NL told me that they would never let me pass without the GVM. So I kept my fingers crossed when I drove off the ferry.
After some waiting in a line of lorries, it was my turn to show up at customs. There were two nice ladies sitting in the cabin and when I explained my situation they said: no problem, you are an exemption. Have a nice journey. And that was all there was to it.
The drive to Doncaster was a bit crowded and I had a small traffic jam but 2 hours later Monster & I showed up at the Motorcraft Adventure Developments premises.
I had a long coffee with Rob before Ian arrived. Ian and I talked most of the day about our Box and the adjustments to the bed of Monster and where the storage boxes should be mounted, and so on and on. Gary came in after lunch and it was very good seeing him as well. In the afternoon Ian dropped me off at the train station so I could catch the train to Leeds.
I stayed in a hotel and had dinner in a typical English pub. The next morning I had a meeting with Steve from Roamer batteries. We discussed a 48V battery system and Victron electrical setup for our Box. Steve has some very good (and for me) revolutionary ideas and is clearly on top of his game. Steve also showed me the ‘under the seat’ lithium battery for the Mercedes Sprinter or VW Crafter, which is very interesting for a friend of mine who is converting a Sprinter 4×4.
After the productive meeting I took the bus to the airport and had a direct flight to Amsterdam.
Hopefully we can collect our HX60 at the beginning of June so we can take her to Abenteuer & Allrad in Bad Kissingen. After that he real work will start for us, as we will build the inside of the Box ourselves. Very much looking forward to the building process and transforming Monster into our Mountain Yacht!