It’s 11.47pm. We’re sitting in the lounge aboard the MV Atlantic Vision. We’re tired. Our eyes are dry. But we are finally moving away from the dock. We arrived in North Sydney shortly after 8pm. I went inside the building to change into my sweatpants for the voyage. After I changed, I was browsing a pamphlet rack when I noticed the rows of vehicles moving!! Much to our surprise, the ferry started boarding around 8:30pm! Jeff had been giving Monty a short walk and had to dive back into cab of the truck, Monty in tow, to move along the line. I had no idea that a ferry that isn’t scheduled to depart until 11:25pm would load so early.
So far I’ve learned one thing. We shouldn’t have been so frugal and we should have booked a cabin. There is a front lounge here on floor 7 with a man playing covers on his guitar – very karaoke like. There are people with red eye wandering around with their pillows and knapsacks. I found another area that is marked on the boat map as “air chairs” up on floor 8. It is a like a small plane in that room, with rows of airplane seats and no windows. An old lady in a nightgown was already stretched out on the floor on the far side with a pillow and sheet.
I just went into the snack booth for a bottle of water and a small bag of chips. The lady said I was a “dead-ringer” for a lady who worked here and the last time I walked by them they thought I was being so rude for not saying ‘hi’ to them. They said straight-on they knew it wasn’t her, but my side profile was identical. I asked if that gave me any perks on board but I guess her lack of an answer meant ‘no’.
I packed gravol so I wonder how long until I need one. I don’t remember being sea-sick before, but there are puke bags over there on the garbage cans about 30 feet from my seat so maybe that is a sign of what is to come?
There are some signs around here in the lounge that indicate there is no sleeping allowed in the snack area. I’m not sure if that is this entire area, or just on the far side. I can see 4 people stretched out right around me right now. The cushions don’t come off the chairs – I guess they don’t want us getting too comfy.
There is a wireless network here, but the connection seems to be just local, so no internet to occupy my time. I will save this brief update and post it next time we have a signal.
4:01am. It’s beautiful outside. Full moon. The ocean is very calm. Smells like the sea. Fresh air, but not too cold. I’ve slept for the most of the last 4 hours. I was so miserable and tired by midnight. I took a gravol because I knew I wouldn’t have a choice but to sleep. I stretched out on the hard upholstered bench and slept for an hour with my sunglasses on – there are halogen pot lights above our heads that are unbearably bright, and seemingly undimmable. People walked by the entire time. But that distraction and the annoying repetition of the arcade games calling out for attention was just not enough to keep me awake. After I woke up, I offered Jeff the bench. I head bobbed in the small, hip hugging, armchair for 10 or 15 minutes, and then I gave it up and slumped to the floor, putting my jacket under my head, sleeping against the bench and under the round bar-type of tables. After another hour or so when the agony of the hard floor on my (oh my, someone just farted very loudly in their sleep) joints was too much to take, I flipped over to my other side and slept away another hour. Now I’m up and feeling much better. I just went to the snack shop for a morning muffin and another bottle of water.
People are sleeping all throughout this lounge, some slumped in chairs, others stretched out on benches, some others on the floor. The sound of snoring is coming at me from every direction. It’s very warm and borderline stale in here. Jeff is awake too – he didn’t get too much sleep. As awake as I am now, I suspect I’ll take another go of the floor shortly.