Despite the sounds of a campervan arriving to take up residence next to us at midnight (which seemed to require an inordinate amount of loud, beeping reversing and adjusting of position, then use of what sounded like an air compressor) we had a good night’s sleep and were awake by 5am.
The Spirit of Tasmania ferry sailing was at 9am and we had to check-in by 8:15am.
Our methylated spirits had to be poured out and the bottle filled with water for the trip.
Fitting the tandem around some of the corners was a challenge with all our panniers on board.
I think ours was the only bike on today’s sailing. Apparently there were only 200 passengers instead of the usual 1,200! This meant our bike got its own special straps to keep it steady during the journey.
Getting off the ferry was more exciting than getting on. We unstrapped our bike and wheeled it off the boat through the pedestrian passenger exit. The staff member on duty waved us off and we walked through the next passenger exit to be confronted by a long narrow escalator!
“Do we need to take our bike up that?” I asked the man on duty at this exit.
“I don’t actually know,” said the man as he reached for his walkie-talkie to call for advice. I turned around to see The Captain already attempting to get on the escalator with the fully loaded tandem! Chasing after him I grabbed the back of the tandem and tried to look like I was helping as he successfully navigated this first obstacle.
When we reached the top of the escalator we encountered yet another staff member.
“How did you get up here?” He asked, looking very concerned.
“Up the escalator.”
While that staff member phoned for advice, we saw that the tandem would definitely not fit into the lift, and the only other option was an even narrower escalator than the first one! And the only advice the staff member obtained was to use the escalator!
Thankfully the Captain was full of bravado and confidence, and, with much huffing and puffing and squeaking of rubber and metal as the escalator’s moving steps caught hold of the tandem’s front wheel and tried to trap it between the sides, he managed to get the tandem down to ground level once again. If I hadn’t been panicking so much I would have taken a great photo of the Captain’s efforts, it was a classic. Here is a photo of the escalator before he started the daring descent!
The Stoker’s sister and her husband rode in to meet us and accompany us back to their house.
Tomorrow we will try out our city skills as we navigate busy roads, bike paths and hopefully, some warmer weather!