Thursday, 31 January 2013

Spirit of Tasmania

The ferry about to dock as we arrived.
We timed out run for the ferry with military precision and at 7pm on Monday 28th February we rode our motorcycles up the ramp and onto deck 5 ready for tie down. Red Dwarf (R1200GS), with the trailer in tow, was sent away with the tin tops while Red Devil (F650GS Twin) and I were herded to the motorcycle tie down point amid ships. Spirit of Tassie crew were quickly in attendance with the tie down straps and one over enthusiastic dude grabbed Red Devil’s hand guard, instead of the handle bars, gave it a tug, then realised the error in his ways. The strap was quickly released and secured to the correct position. I was left alone to inspect the new angle of the hand guard; luckily no damage had been done.

Looks like we will be leaving on time.
Steve’s bike was given a little rough treatment, too. The tie down straps were pulled on so hard that the force rotated the handle bars on their risers. No harm done, although Steve had to adjust to a new, sporty, riding position for the 100km ride from the ferry to Launceston.

Once onboard, we dumped our gear in our little cabin and headed straight to the ships galley. Dinner was paid for by the plate full; $25 for a large plate, $18 for a small plate. You get to stack your own plate and no one complains if you stack your plate higher that what would be considered reasonable; we had a plate each but we noticed a lot of couples were sharing one plate.
At Melbourne.

When we retired to our cabin, we were sailing along in calm waters as we hadn’t cleared the heads to Port Phillip Bay. Once we were into Bass Strait, the wind was up and the ships shuddering motion kept me awake. I lay in my bunk for hours wondering if the welds were going to hold. Steve slept like a baby and refused to believe that we’d had a lively crossing until he saw the salt spray on deck 9.

There's always a queue, but only an hour this time.
After an early breakfast of a “bring your own” apple and a bottle of water, we were back on our bikes. A quick answer to the question, “Are you carrying any fresh fruit or vegetables?” and we were through quarantine and onto Tasmanian soil ready for a three week adventure.

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