Travel tales

Never again

That’s what I said last time we took the overnight boat and there were no cabins left and ended up having to ‘sleep’ sitting up in a chair. However, for reasons too long and complicated to write we ended up on the overnight boat again last night and once again, in spite of booking early, there were no cabins. Like labour, you forget the pain; and have a romantic notion it will be ok second time around. Mistakes were made.

We decided on a ‘pod’ which was supposed to be the next best thing. Basically it’s an upgrade from sleeping up right in the chairs. This way you get to sleep slightly tilted back in a kind of V shape in the special pod lounge for all the other pod users. It’s meant to be a bit more private, and there are other benefits to using the pod, like dimmed lighting and a place to charge your phone, but sleeping flat is not one of them.

After checking in and finding the pod lounge, we went in and tried not to wake up the other sleeping passengers whilst finding our seats in semi darkness. No easy task but eventually we did. You are given a blanket and a Lone Ranger mask to enhance your sleeping quality so we needed to take them out of their plastic packaging. This is akin to unwrapping 124 packets of crisps in a particularly quiet moment at the theatre, the only good thing was it was dark enough so we couldn’t see the frowns and disapproving looks as we crinkled.

I eventually settled into my seat and had a whispered discussion on how to tilt them back which took a mo but I got there. Then I realised I’d lost my Lone Ranger mask. Tech Support gave me his as there’s no way he’d be seen dead in a sleeping mask. I’ve never worn one before but I was placed perfectly in line with the light which shone in as soon as anyone opened the private pod lounge door so thought it was worth a try.

So; sleeping mask on, static blanket over me, chair tilted back into funny v shape, I’m ready for sleep. Several other people come in and find their seats, carrying cases and travel bags, open their crisp packets, plug their phones in and tilt their chairs back into the v shape. The boat sets off and I wriggle around to get comfy, it’s not easy sleeping in the v shape. I end up on the floor and eventually drift off. Until someone starts snoring so they’ve clearly had more success than me. I realise how hard the floor is so get back into the v shape chair and try to get comfy again. This continues for most of the night and I think I slept, but not much. When tiredness finally overcomes comfort I am woken by the 6am tannoy telling me the boat will be arriving in one hour. ONE HOUR! ok so wake me in 57 minutes time please. I’ve only just nodded off and need every second I can get.
If there are no cabins available next time you can be sure it’s never again, and this time I absolutely mean it!

Enjoying a drink in the sun after a sleep deprived night.

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