Ferry ‘cross the Mersey

22 03 2008

Because I got to the Ferry terminal nice and early, my car was one of the first in line, which meant one of the first on to the car deck and it will be one of the first off. But even better, it meant I was one of the first people aboard and grabbed one of the few ‘business workstations’ to fire up the laptop to continue to write this, read some PDFs, upload photos from my camera, write up my receipts, get some other work done etc. There’s no internet connection, but at least there’s a desk, a chair, and a power outlet. And it’s warm.

The weather outside is fine, but with a grey/white cloudy look, so the sea is quite grey too and the air is a little hazy. While I enjoy sitting up the very front, there’s nowhere to put the laptop. Also, I’ve done this crossing several times, so unless there’s a pod of whales to see, there’s not a lot to look at that I haven’t seen before. Of course, in all the crossings I’ve done, I’ve never seen more than a few birds! So I’m working on the law of averages and assuming that there won’t be any whales to see today. No doubt if there are any, there’ll be enough chatter amongst the passengers to alert me to them.

Oh, I also left a message with Jill and Brian – my hosts for the next few days – to tell them that I would be with them around 4pm, not 7pm as I originally thought. I had to call them on the pay phone as I found that the TracFone I purchased in the US does not have anything more than emergency coverage in Canada. Bloody phones <mutter, mumble>.

On the border

22 03 2008

Paul said that the reports from the border crossing were that it was taking up to 2 hours (Easter weekend and all that). So I left Anacortes around 8:30. I had a reservation for the 3:15pm ferry to The Island, but if the border wait time was that long, I’d be cutting it fine. As it happened, the border wait was about 3 cars, then I had to report in to the building and get my passport stamped. All up, it took maybe 15 minutes, so as it turned out, I was worried for nothing. But then, border crossings from the US in to Canada as a foreign national isn’t always as painless.

I made the Tsawassen Ferry terminal just after 10am, and was able to secure passage on the 12:45 ferry to Duke Point, Nanaimo. They’ve upgraded the facilities at the terminal, so there are now quite a few places to eat and drink – and buy stuff! I bought a fleece vest for $10 and had a Doner Kebab/Gyro type thing. Then I found that outside there were some power points, so I fired up the laptop out in the cold to write this. My fingers are FREEZING, so I’m going to finish now and perhaps continue on board the ferry if I can find a power outlet. The battery should be OK, but I’m more comfortable if the laptop is connected to real power. The day is fine (otherwise I sure wouldn’t be sitting outside!!), but it’s VERY cold. I’m in my polar fleece and have my scarf wrapped tightly around my neck, but as I said, my fingers are FREEZING. So that’s it for now. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to load these posts up as there are no wireless access points here and I doubt there are any on the ferry. At least the ferry will be warm…