Seagulls are Party Goers

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February 21st 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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Ship AhoyShip AhoyShip Ahoy

Spirit of Tasmania I awaits.
Day 106

I woke up annoyed that the alarm had not gone off, that Caroline was supposed to set for 5.00am. I had had the most dreadful nights sleep, the mother of all arguments had been going on in the distance and I thought that may be a fight had was in progress or even worse.

I shook Caroline and announced it was time to get up, she looked at her watch and said it was half past four, Whoops!! I got out of bed and put the kettle on, and beetled about, Caroline went back to sleep for half an hour as I stayed out of the way.

We had packed a lot of our stuff away last night, so only had the trailer to pack and all the awning sheets that go on the top between the trailer top and the zip on cover, by packing this out it stops the zip on cover from billowing when you are moving at speed.

Quietly we moved around our camp doing our best in not disturbing our fellow campers sleeping. We had planned to be away for no later than 06.30 rolling and by the time

There is a Cadbury World on Tasmania, in Hobart. I wonder if this truck is sharing our voyage, I must find out where he is going to park.
it was all done and we were both showered we pulled off the pitch at 06.20 am (Not Bad), though I was probably still in the dog house.

The route to the ferry terminal was all written on the back of an information sheet, but still being dark we had trouble seeing some of the street signage and missed a turn or two, having only to need to do a U turn. We arrived at the ferry terminal at 7.00 am and joined the queue, we were one of the first to arrive.

We had been previously informed that taking LPG gas and any other fuels on the spirit of Tasmania was not allowed, and that all of it needed to be left off and wasted before you got on board.

In the queue we were subjected to security questions, and a sign said that any jokes would be taken seriously so my old Kalashnikov joke was a no no.

We had put a nearly full cylinder of Camping gas and a gallon of petrol in the trailer, underneath a load of gear and we also had 25 Litres of Diesel in the Jerry can behind
Up the RampUp the RampUp the Ramp

The giant sits with his mout open on the other side to swallow us whole.
the rear passenger seat. The security bloke asked what fuels, or any hunting rifles!! I told him about the LPG gas in the trailer and he asked if I could get it out, so that they can put it in a separate cage, tag it and then you collect it from the ferry company on the other side in Tasmania. When the security bloke saw the trailer was locked he said that was fine and we could leave it as it was.

We saw loads of camper trailers with their gas still on the side of the trailer and we even saw a 4x4 and trailer that had about 4 jerry cans on the front

Queuing and boarding the ferry was typical P&O style, as it is they who own Spirit of Tasmania, (Organised Chaos) we boarded at about 08.30 after queuing for at least an hour and a half and she sailed sometime after 9.00 am.

We took a couple of chairs with a little table which would allow us to write up the blog that needed completing for yesterday, as we were due to dock at 6.00pm.

I settled down on the floor with
Nearly ThereNearly ThereNearly There

After 1 hour and 30 minutes waiting what a relief to be finally boarding.
my fleece on and nodded off for a couple of hours, tired from being up at 4.30.

Caroline had purchased on board, our National Park Pass, which allows us to enter any of the 16 national parks on Tasmania, and we were also given a national parks passport so we can get it stamped at every park we visit. If we want to camp in these national parks then we will need to pay the camping fee which is about $10.00 per person per night.

I knew Andy thought that I had forgotten to set the alarm; I could tell by the look on his face, I did have the last laugh though when he realised it was only 4.30, when will he learn to read his watch properly?

I have read the newspaper and all the supplementary from cover to cover, apart from the sports pages I never read those. I have looked around the shop three times.

It is only 2.15 and we have at least 4 hours to go, we should dock at 6.00 but a late departure inevitable means a late arrival.

Andy seems to have temporarily lifted my self imposed
Gloomy MelbourneGloomy MelbourneGloomy Melbourne

What a grey start to the day, I really hoped that the day would not carry on like that and give us a rough voyage.
shopping ban, saying that I should go and get a pair of “UGG Boots”. They have some in the ship shop, but I am not sure that buying them on the ship will be a good buy; I may purchase them from one of the many stores that we see around Australia. Except now I am wondering if I will need them in Tasmania. The weather can be quite variable at all times of the year, bit like England really.

We have been lucky so far on this crossing; this is like a millpond in comparison to some boats we have been on. Everyone told us that the Bass Strait can be very bad. Lets hope that we don’t find out on the way back from Tasmania.

We did not see ship staff wandering around with a full compliment of sick bags put it that way, unlike the catamaran that took us to Bintan Island from Singapore 2 years ago, that had to be the worst hour I have ever spent on a boat. We were with Gary and Karen, albeit we felt a bit yuck at least we hung onto our breakfast unlike the other ‘local’ passengers.
Cosy on BoardCosy on BoardCosy on Board

We are seated comfortably. The inside of the SoT looks very new and clean.
I have seen a few very green looking people this afternoon, and a queue of people in the shop wanting seasickness tablets. Thanks to Helen, I came prepared however have been lucky enough (so far) not to need them.

Ho hum, it is now 2.40 and I am still bored, Andy has gone to watch a show on Tasmanian Devils, I opted to miss it and keep our decent seats and look after our bags.

The talk and film on the Tasmanian Devil by a guy called Bill Flowers who works for a company called creature tails. The Tasmanian Devils were given their name Devils 200 years ago by Christian settlers due to the noise they make, it said they are in serious trouble, their numbers have decreased from 130,000 to 40,0000 in twelve years, and are suffering cancerous growths in their mouths and they don’t know why.

He made an interesting point, by saying that if you fed a Seagull a chip whilst on the beach the Seagull would tell all its mates by making that sound seagulls make, as they are not scavengers or hunters, they are Party Goers, and when they get a food
Break Break Break

The sun breaks through as we leave Melbourne in the distance.
opportunity they tell all their friends so they can all benefit, and this is why Tasmanian Devils make such a sound all they are doing is telling all their mates about a food opportunity, and the reason why is simple, Devils have 2 teeth that are like pegs, unlike dogs that have teeth that can cut, Devils teeth just puncture and hold, so it needs other devil’s to do the same and pull, and thus tear the food, and need to be social for this very reason, then they all share the kill.

They are the worlds largest marsupial Carnivore, and the males can weigh up to around 14 Kilo’s and the females up to 7 Kilo’s, and as they are very active this time of year we really hope we may get to see some.

Female Devils are more fearsome than the males, the guys make all the noise, but the girls have got the “Balls” so to speak!! As finally when a male “Captures” a female and they mate, for 4 days, he tries to keep her hostage in a burrow, eventually she gets fed up, and a middle aged male, that is sexually successful will
Blue SeasBlue SeasBlue Seas

We find our selves in the high seas with blue sky, a little choppy but like a millpond in comparison with some boat journeys.
have bite marks on his hind quarters where the female has bitten him trying to get out of his burrow.

Bill concluded that in a fight a Tassie Devils would loose everytime to a dog, due to its teeth configuration but it could kill a 30 Kilo Wombat with a single bite.

We eventually got off the boat at about 7.00 pm, Spirit of Tasmania is a big boat with 10 floors, so the is a huge amount of traffic coming off, deck 5 which we were on was the first deck to come off, so we were queuing in quarantine at around 7.20.

A young guy walks past the window, this is the vegetable amnesty, “Do we have any vegetables on board” (Which leads nicely in to a joke but a won’t) conscience gets the better of me, we have 2 sweet chillies, an onion and a corn on the cob, (OK, step out hand up, you’re a chilli smugglers,) OK can you put the chillies and the onion in the bin, provided, what about the corn!! I exclaim, no that’s fine, he checks it, its fine.

We are on our way, out of the
Half Way?Half Way?Half Way?

About half way through our journey the Spirit of Tasmania II appears heading toward Melbourne
ferry port, smug in the fact they didn’t find the 52 pineapples I had hidden down my trousers, only joking.

We have booked a site in Ulverstone, only about 20 K’s away, and got there about 8.15pm, we open the trailer tent and set it up in about 20 minutes without the awning, as tonight its just going to be a bed. Caroline had phoned ahead just to let them know when we would arrive, they said that we were one of 16 coming to them from the boat tonight, we hoped that we would beat the majority there so that we could quickly get pitched.

We need to go and get something to eat, so drive in to this small town that happens to be the largest on the island, and find “Yes you guessed it” the golden arches. I haven’t quite got it in me just to take the mick, and sit there without buying anything, well not actually in side the restaurant, we have done at night sitting in the truck, so we have a coffee, and upload the blog from our last night in Melbourne and once that is done we head off for
Tasmania BeckonsTasmania BeckonsTasmania Beckons

Our first glimpse of Tasmanian soil.
something to eat.

Tired we crash in to bed exhausted from a busy day and of course a very long day.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Crowning GloryCrowning Glory
Crowning Glory

The sun shines brightly as we arrive in Tasmania, the evening is crowning the day.

Sun goes down and Ulverstone is left in the dark.

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