Sailing, Sailing, Sailing

Trip: Little Bras D’Or to North Sydney (Ferry to Argentia)
Distance: 7km (biking)

Even though we were up late by trip standards and even though we were in no hurry this morning, I still found myself awake at about 6:30. Given the more relaxed pace of the day, I refused to exit my tent at such an early hour, and instead read a chapter of Ghost Rider before rolling on out of bed and fetching myself some breakfast. Most people were getting started on the packing thing, but since I had done most of mine the night before, it only took me about an hour to get the tent down for a final time, check through my stuff, and affirm that everything was packed the way I wanted it. The only reason it even took an hour was because I was trying to kill time as I did it. Having finished, my options were to bum around what would only become an increasingly stressed and crazy camp environment, or hit the road and find something to do in North Sydney for the remainder of the time before we got on the ferry. The latter option appealed to me the most.

North Sydney isn’t exactly a huge place, but they were big enough to have everything I needed - namely, an Atlantic Superstore and a library with internet. I picked up a few things to munch on for the ferry ride, and then headed over to the library to try and snag a computer before other people began filtering into town. We discovered that there was a rural internet access place above the library with additional computers, so I ended up holing up in there for a good amount of time, and made a good chunk of the updates I needed to. That lasted me until lunchtime, when I ventured out to…well, I’m sure this will surprise no one - I went and had the deal-of-the-day at Subway. Man, am I going to miss our daily adventures together. Perhaps I’ll start making myself subs at home to remind me of the time we shared.

I rolled up to the ferry dock a couple minutes early, and the truck wasn’t there yet. I decided to use that time to make a few phone calls, and during the time I was on the phone the truck arrived and they loaded most of the bikes on the trailer. Oops. I figured if someone really wanted me, they knew where I was. The added bonus was that I didn’t have to put my bike up on the trailer, and instead got to walk on. Downside to walking on was waiting outside for a decent amount of time waiting to walk on, but hey - you’ve got to take the good with the bad.

The ferry ride was pretty cool - I’d never been on a boat for that length of time. I started the trip relaxing in one of the lounges and reading trashy magazines (hello In Touch!). I ended up having a plunk-my-head-on-a-desk nap, and then watched a bit of a movie (which randomly got turned off in favour of a different one). At that point, I set off on a little walk around the boat, and discovered a good chunk of the group in the bar. There was live music playing and beer flowing, so I settled on in there for the next few hours. Sitting in a bar in my pyjamas, which I had worn onto the ferry, was certainly an amusing experience.

There was lots of dancing taking place in the bar, which led to my interesting story of the night. A slower song comes on, and people in the group start partnering up to dance. I’m still sitting at our table, and there’s a guy sitting behind me, who isn’t part of TdC. We have previously noticed this guy, as he is quite intoxicated, and has danced with a few from our group previously. He asks me to dance. I attempt to politely decline. He insists. I sigh, not wanting to make this into a scene, and agree to dance with him. Now, before everyone thinks I’m just a jerk that didn’t want to dance with the nice little drunk man, let me add this - a little bit earlier, he had peed his pants. We’re talking huge wet stain on the front of his slacks. So here I am dancing with drunk-pee-man, trying to create a large degree of separation between our lower areas so as not to get pee on me while he wraps his arms around me and randomly kneads my back as we dance. I am making the worst facial expressions to Lori and Graham who are still sitting at a table, and they (and the people behind them) are just killing themselves laughing. I have never been so excited for a dance to end in my life. I also switched chairs at this point, to attempt to put myself out of “asked to dance by pee man” range. Good, good times. Or something like that.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the bar got shut down early due to a fight that broke out, which was pretty sad because we were all having a good time. From there, I made a quick little trip onto deck with Ira, another guy we met that was going across the country on his own, to experience the wind at the bow of the boat. Wow. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that was incredibly intense - I couldn’t actually go all the way out onto the front, as I thought I was going to blow away! It was very cool.

Having come back in from the freezing cold and windy exterior of the boat, the reality that I needed some sleep began to set in. Good thing we got “reclining deck chairs”! Actually, I’m not entirely certain how anyone can sleep on these things - they recline, but not to anything close to a horizontal position, and there’s no way to keep your feet from sliding off the footrest thing. In short - it’s an incredibly uncomfortable proposition, and even more so when you’re hoping to get some sleep before cycling 140km to finish off a trip across the country. When I first got to my seat, Iona was actually sleeping across both of ours, and not wanting to wake her up, I went into the lounge room and grabbed an hour sleeping awkwardly across two seats in there. When I came back, Iona was awake, so we both tried sleeping in the chairs for a little bit. Finally, we gave up and decided that we would try sleeping on the floor at the front of the room - something that is supposed to be not allowed on the ferry - and catch some sleep until someone noticed and made us return to our seats. That never happened, and I actually slept pretty well on the ground, all things considered. It was a definite improvement on the stupid chair.

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