Day 11 – Saturday 24 March

The whole hotel was apparently booked on the Spirit of Tasmania, because it was in complete chaos when we went to leave the next morning. After a very long wait for the loading to start, we finally managed to find our spot on the parking deck and made our way to the Business Class seats. This small lounge at the rear of the ship is (I think) used on overnight crossings for those who don’t want to sleep on plastic chairs in the passenger decks. During this, a day sailing, it was simply a quiet area with allocated, comfortable seating and a very pleasant view.

The weather was mostly quite pleasant as we pulled out of Devonport, but before long the sky clouded over and the wind picked up. The satellite photo on the weather map the previous night had shown two big fronts moving through the strait, and it seemed that we were going to sail straight through them. The ship started to pitch and roll, always slowly and with great dignity but in a way to be quite unsettling for the stomach. Denis was gulping down the Kwells at a rate of knots and was feeling mostly OK, but I was unmedicated. Fortunately my stomach prevailed and after a lengthy day’s sailing we finally made it to Port Phillip, where the sun came out again.

Our troubles weren’t over, though. Our road atlas didn’t feature this part of Melbourne in any great detail. We knew approximately where our hotel was, and we knew approximately where we were, but finding a route between the two was a very difficult business. It was made more difficult by the absence of street signs and roads’ irritating tendency to change name without telling anybody. It was a good forty minutes of driving around before we stumbled, quite by accident, on the right street. Our hotel was the venue for some of the athletes and some of the officials for the swimming championships that were being held, so a few seriously fit looking people in tracksuits were loitering in the lobby. After a full day on the sea and a full evening wandering the Melbourne streets being lost, I was in no mood to go and look for food so room service catered to our needs.

Day 11 photos
On to Day 12
Back to Day 10
Back to index