The Sal's Tassie Adventure

Day 2 – Sunday, 28th September 2003

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Seymour is only 97klms from Melbourne; it didn’t take us long to get there with Darani driving and Sam navigating with map on lap. We hopped onto the freeway system, which makes Sydney’s look like a Matchbox toy track. Before long we found ourselves in Melbourne on the new City Link electronic tollway with no tollbooths, (Sam was able to pay later in the day at a Post Office) and within a few moments we were in Port Melbourne. Sprit of Tasmania was berthed at the wharf. [Info1, Info2, Info3

The surrounding streets where the dock is, has recently been redeveloped into apartments and medium density housing. [Photo1, Photo2] All brand new and shiny. Parked the car and caught a new tram to the city centre for a days sightseeing and shopping (For Jessica’s sake). 

Walked all around the place up and down streets we have only heard about. Caught a free tourist tram around the perimeter of the city centre passing the Docklands redevelopment, the Telstra Dome, Parliament House, the Library, etc. We got off to look at Federation Square and walked into some kind of folk festival with free food. Ate some for lunch and listened to the free band, love that word free. If you wanted to you can hire a horse and carriage to tour the city. 

By this stage we were getting tired and luckily for us there was a cinema showing school holiday movies. “Daddy Day Care” was playing so in we went for a fun time and rest. By the end, the time was getting away so back to the tram stop.  Got off at Crown Casino to buy a couple of used card decks but they had none at that time. The place is huge with shops, restaurants, and entertainment and of course poker machines everywhere. 

Back at the dock, checked on the car, put away the days shopping and decided to have dinner. We chose fish and chips at “Rex Hunts D’lish Fish” - very tasty and nice views of the Port. Well it was time to line up to go on board. Drove onto the Station Pier and lined up with many other cars, mobile homes, caravans, boats etc. The Fruit Fly Nazis were out in force asking to look in the back of cars for any plant matter. After our inspection it dawned on us we had some snow peas we bought in Seymour. Panic set in, are we going to be arrested, thrown in gaol, publicly flogged? We threw ourselves at their mercy and told one of the Nazis who said as long as we ate them on board everything would be fine. What a relief.  

Once our bona fides had been verified they issued us with boarding passes. We then drove onto the Sprit of Tasmania II in an orderly procession and efficiently guided to our spot on level G5. Took an overnight bag, locked the car and proceeded to level 7 to our cruise seats. Enjoyed a couple of hours walking around and exploring the boat. Had some refreshments, watched some TV then off to bed. 

To say the night was difficult is an understatement. The cruise seats only reclined slightly, the pillow provided would have been too small for a baby, and the blanket was just adequate. No matter how you sat, the word comfortable did not enter your mind. The crossing was not overly rough though you could feel the pitch and roll.  For people not used to it, especially the younger ones, it was too much for them and one young boy started to vomit, which started a chain reaction. Jessie and Lindsey felt unwell but kept themselves together, a very good effort.

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