Despite having to lash out on a Toby Carvery dinner and a night away in a Travelodge – boy, do I know how to treat a lady – we were very pleased that we had not done the alternative 3:00 AM alarm and run down in the early morning option. This had been much more civilized. Checking in at Portsmouth ferry port, with only two boats scheduled, was also more civilized than Dover East ever is. We checked in with Brittany Ferries, I stuck on the headlight deflectors and we waited. Eventually loading began and our adventure continued.
Leaving Portsmouth harbour was a little unusual for us so we just had to watch. Fortunately, the morning was bright and dry, if a little chilly. There’s an interesting piece of modern architecture towering above the harbour which I thought might be a control tower for the harbour. I’m sure everyone else knows perfectly well what it is. 🙂 We left the remnants of the British Navy in our wake as we exited the harbour, before skirting the Isle of Wight to the east and heading west down the English Channel.
Not long into our 27-hour voyage, both Francine and I received messages from Tesco Mobile announcing, “Welcome to Malta. These are your costs while you are here: …”. Gosh, these modern ferries must really get a move on! Clearly our progress was very brisk, though I worried about the accuracy of our navigation officer.
There’s Internet access on board, of a sort, anyway. We managed to navigate its intricacies and finally got connected. My next geographical surprise was being presented with a google.no search screen from Norway. Interesting! Well, where the heck am I, Malta or Norway? Judging by a passing diagram, our Internet access is satellite based so we must be suffering from a little satellite location confusion. Internet access is VERY slow but, when you manage to drive it correctly, it does work, though you have to be very patient and not keep hitting keys/buttons when nothing appears to happen – just wait.
Progress down the Channel was a little lumpy. Being a well-know bad sailor, I had taken a couple of Stugeron travel pills as a precaution. Francine had not and began feeling a little under the weather. Eventually we both retired to our very pleasant outside cabin and stopped confusing our semi-circular canals further by adding to he motion – lying still on a bed was definitely the best option. Francine popped some pills and I topped mine up.
The TV in our cabin provided some welcome distraction until it was time to try to sleep.