Who Needs a Cabin Anyway?
The last ferry I rolled on/off sailed from Belgium to Harwich and the vehicle was an Army Radio Relay vehicle. This time it's Red and I am sailing from Bellingham to Haines in Alaska. The vehicles waiting to board ranged from rigs like ours to enormous luxury coach size RVs, beat up pickups loaded with fishing gear and supplies, passenger cars towing boats and vans and refrigeration trailers. The people from locals travelling home after wintering in the south, holidaymakers, travellers, hunters, fishermen and families relocating with their children, pets and goods in tow.
After securing our vehicle it's time to find somewhere to sleep as it's a 3 night trip. Despite there being perfectly serviceable cabins, we decided, (maybe a little too hastily with hindsight), that they were too expensive and a tent on deck would do us just fine. So that's what we did, and after some very good advice (as it turned out) from Steve a friendly guy from Anchorage we applied reams of gorilla tape in place of tent pegs to secure it to the deck and tied the guy ropes to the railings. We quickly shoved our kit into it to add a bit of weight - sorted.
That evening we sat back and enjoyed the amazingly beautiful scenery as we continued chugging slowly North up the Inside Passage. As the ferry wove around the numerous islands and headlands, the windspeed and strength increased. The tent next to us had obviously used an inferior type of tape and his tent suddenly flipped and headed towards the railings, fortunately for our neighbour a few Australians, who were busy scanning the shore with Binoculars for bears, stopped it's progress and hung onto it until he was able to weigh it down and re-apply tape. This made us quite nervous, so we decided to retire for the night after applying even more tape, just in case. It wasn't the most comfortable night I have spent in that tent, it must be said, we were rolled around quite a bit by the ships motion, the wind tried it's hardest to blow us away, the noise from the engines was non-stop and the smell from the engines wafted into the tent, so we had to keep it well ventilated, which got a bit chilly. But we saved our dollars for another day which made a Scotsman very happy! Roll on Haines, or is that off?