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Published: October 26th 2015
It was most unfortunate that the Melbourne Marathon had been scheduled on the same day we were to board the NEW Spirit to return to Tasmania. Many access roads would be closed from 6am so we had to have an early start to ensure that we arrived in time for boarding.
A cunning plan was formulated so we would sneak in to Port Melbourne on a back road which comes out right at the entrance to Station Pier. It meant that we had to drive over about one million speed humps (slowly) but that's how it goes sometimes.
All went well with our boarding (which included unpacking the bike rack and bikes and installing them inside the bus), however, a fellow passenger had a heart attack and required assistance. The vessel eventually sailed from Station Pier about two hours behind schedule.
The NEW Spirit has a number of welcome features including lots more power points for charging phones and other toys, an improved restaurant (which we thought was excellent) and zoned areas so that passengers had many choices for amusement including two cinemas, playing the pokies, television or a quiet "library" themed area. It was a long wait to get to Devonport, though, and we were pleased to be one of the first vehicles off the ship. The refurbishment cost over $30M (for the two vessels).
It was too late to travel anywhere without risking hitting an animal so we headed to the Mersey Bluff Caravan Park for the night. Liv welcomed us and gave us the same location we had before we departed on the old Spirit of Tasmania six and a half months previously.
We drove the bus to site 10B, plugged in and hit the sack. It was great to be back in Tassie again.
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