This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels October 22

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FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER     BASS STRAIT

We did a really careful pack up, not being sure of what conditions would be like on the ferry. I have previously done some really rough crossings, that would shake things up more than rough roads!

Hitched up the van and we were out of there. At last!

We stopped in Croydon, managing to find a place to park the rig that didn’t mean too long a walk to the jewellers. Collected our rings. They are gorgeous. The jeweller said that the zircon in mine is an unusual brandy colour.

Our drive to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry at Port Melbourne was relatively uneventful, despite it being Friday traffic. What were we thinking of when we booked that?

Arrived at Port Melbourne about 12.30 and ate our packed lunch in Truck, sitting in the vehicle queue that had already begun to form.

As the queue began to move, when loading began, in its turn our rig was checked for length – to make sure what we had paid for matched the actuality! We had to put water in the two empty diesel jerry cans on the back of the van, as the fumes could become unstable!

John and the rig were loaded at about 2.30pm. I boarded as a foot passenger, up the gangplank, and was a bit later than him.

Our cabin was pleasant – one of the cheaper, inside ones, but we had the all important bathroom of our own, and even a small lounge. There was a two bunk bed set up – John got told he would sleep in the top one – I did not fancy negotiating the ladder in the middle of the night!

We wandered about for a while, exploring the boat. We were persuaded to pose for a photo, which we later bought as a memento. I think the “critter” with us was meant to be a Tasmanian Tiger? What a way to earn a living!

10-22-1999 0n spirit.jpg

Made sure we were on deck for the actual departure, which I always find interesting.

Then we had to queue for tea. We had debated bringing some light meal supplies on board with us, but had decided to take our chances with the ferry food – which of course, was written up in the tourist propaganda, in attractive terms. We weren’t going to spend up big in the fancy restaurant, but went to the bistro cafe. I thought the food on offer was pretty revolting – greasy, and sitting about staying warm for far too long. John said his roast beef was alright, however. When looking at the food on offer, I saw potatoes that had not been washed before baking, a pizza slice oozing grease, chicken drumsticks still partly raw. So I did not eat much. It was most disappointing and hadn’t been worth queuing for.

After tea, we stayed on deck until the ferry had passed through the Rip – I always like to do this. One is always surprised at just how narrow this entrance to Port Phillip Bay is. It was quite cold, but pleasant being out there, watching the bayside lights passing, as we headed down the Bay.

On the way back to the cabin, we detoured for John to have a spell playing the pinball machines he spotted.

Back in the cabin, we read, and drank the bottle of sparkling burgundy we’d brought on board to celebrate finally being off and away again.

Went to bed about 11pm. Apart from a few bumps and grinds that we’d noticed, just after the Rip, the trip was smooth and we slept well. There are always creaks and groans and metallic noises, but because it was smooth, these were not too pronounced. The bottle of wine also aided sleep!

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