Eating fish and chips and salad by the beach makes them taste delicious. Eating fish and chips and salad on the beach near Station Pier at Port Melbourne, while watching the cars go off the Spirit of Tasmania, and knowing you are going to be on there soon is an amazing sensation.
The little BGs had hit upon the idea of a holiday to Tasmania after seeing an ad for the Spirit of Tasmania ferry on the TV. Considering that the last family trip was nearly 2 years ago, we decided it was a goer and Mr BG threw himself into the planning with aplomb. Rather than fly and hire a car, we concurred with the ferry option, as it was slightly cheaper and sounded like a bit of an adventure. We decided upon a night crossing as it’s a long trip over, and it’s not every day that you get to sleep on a ferry. The longest ferry ride we encountered was 2hours when we were on holidays on Scotland, which was long enough for the kids. Having to keep a 6 and an 8 year old occupied for 9 hours in a confined space was a stretch :).
The time soon came for us to check in and board. We went through security and quarantine, making declarations that we weren’t carrying anything naughty on board (fruit and vegetables, fishing equipment, aerosol cans and a wide range of weapons). Then we joined the queue of cars to roll onto the ferry, collected our boarding passes and room keys and drove on.
Our room was compact with four bunk beds, a window, and a tiny ensuite. The kids were beside themselves with being on top and wasted no time in getting up, and banging their heads on the ceiling.
As we had already eaten before boarding (a lovely tip from the helpful Debbie in Devonport) there was no need to have dinner, so we wandered around the entertainment deck, looking at the restaurants, bars, gift shop and tourist information centre. We toasted the trip with a gin and tonic and Moo Brew, while the kids ran amok in the tiny kids room.
We went outside to say goodbye to Port Melbourne as the ferry sailed, then adjourned to our room. Four people in a confined space, 2 of whom were very excitable children, saw Mr BG beat a hasty departure to the nearest lounge, while an attempt was made to settle the kids by yours truly. Despite the tiredness of the kids, they were too wired to go to sleep, and it was well after 10pm that lights were off.
Then the ferry started moving and rocking around. Not enough to be thrown out of bed, but it felt like I was in a washing machine, being slowly agitated one way, then another. The loud whispers of the kids weren’t keeping me awake, but my increasingly queasy tummy. I growled at everyone to go to sleep as I didn’t feel my awesome self. Slowly, everyone quietened down and we went to sleep.