Crossing the Bass Strait and my arrival in Tasmania

Last I left you, I was looking out at a grey sky trying hard to ignore the bad weather warnings before boarding a boat to cross the Bass Strait. Despite the length of time between postings, I did survive the crossing, as did the boat. How, I have no idea. Picture this…  

I awake in the night to hear groaning and creaking of a nature I have not heard before. Each noise was accompanied by dips and rolls befitting Jessica’s little pink yacht (or perhaps more like Abby Sunderland’s boat) rather than a ship the size of an English village.  

The boat


 My first wish was for the berth I had previously been happily sleeping in be fitted with a seat belt. After all, the loud thump from the cabin next to mine may well have been the occupant falling out of bed.  

Then I had an awful thought that managed to keep me awake for the rest of the  night as I listened to dreadful screeching from the decks below. Had I put the handbrake on when I parked the car? That would account for the crashing sounds each dip. Next thought – Did the car insurance cover such an event?   

Yep, the crossing was pretty rough.  

Did I hurl? No. But probably only because I went to bed fairly early, having only eaten a light carb meal. I’m not sure about those who had stayed up big talking at the bar.  

Off the boat, a dog sniffer to check the car didn’t carry any naughty items (fruit and veg, fish, that sort of thing), a takeaway coffee at the café recommended by the travel agent on board the ship, and a drive to Launceston for breakfast.  

First impressions of Tasmania? From my first day?  

Did I tell you it was cold? I stomped around Lonnie (as it is referred to, perhaps to remind us to pronounce it L-o-n-ceston,- not L-a-w-n-ceston) to keep my feet functioning and finally found a café at the back of a cycling store – Cycling Torque and Coffee. Thank you Launceston. What a great idea. And what great service. The coffee was just right and the raison toast (with just the right amount of cinnamon) was heaven.  

Weird people these Tasmanians,but they do insist on travelling on two wheels with little more protection that a slick of lycra in minus Celsius temps. Yep, cycling is rather popular here, with an absurdly high proportion of cycling stores per capita.  

The other thing that is popular is coffee. Good coffee. Just like England has a pub on each corner, Tasmania has a café on each block.  Cycling Torque and Coffee just happened to combine the two. Very sensible.  

Another impression. There are signs on the highway indicating the speed limit –  

It’s a limit, not a challenge.  

And most people seem to heed the advice. Good on you Tasmania.


One response to “Crossing the Bass Strait and my arrival in Tasmania

  1. The groaning and creaking you can here is the stabilisers in action and they do a mighty good job on the rough seas. The time to panic is when you cant hear all of those noises and its just you and the waves. We love Tassie too, and cant wait to get back there again.

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