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,
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
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.