Going overseas is an important thing, especially as we have not been able to since 2019 – pre-Covid days. On this overseas excursion we were crossing the Cook Strait and it was a ‘first’ for Chris. He was looking forward to it as everyone had talked up the beauty of entering the Marlborough Sounds to him.
Boarding the Blueridge Ferry was no different than any other travel check-in process. Once checked in and issued with a boarding ticket we were shown where to park Moti – in a queue with a few other motorhomes and caravans which steadily grew in length. There was a total of 30 motorhomes boarded. Then there were the large trucks, and enormous articulated transporters. Parking these massive machines demands a degree in ergonomics and engineering I’m sure. We were impressed that the entire boarding process was completed with military precision within 45 minutes. The on-time performance must delight management as the ferry departed two minutes prior to its scheduled time.
The afternoon crossing was uneventful although moving through the headlands from Wellington the swell was stronger than anticipated, so it was a good excuse to stay inside.
Almost four hours later and the first glimpse of the Marlborough Sounds drew many of us outside. With some low-lying clouds and afternoon sun on the facing cliffs, it was a beautiful sight. Needless to say, Chris was impressed.
Apart from the hum of the ferry engines, there was no noise. The waters were crystal clear, the surrounding hills although dry were impressive with their shapes and contours.
On approach to Picton all drivers were advised to return to their vehicles and no sooner had we docked than the offloading process commenced. Within 20 minutes we were on our way, driving through the streets of Picton. It all seemed so easy with no RATS or forms to complete or fees to pay!!
Our first stop on Southern shores was in Blenheim with a colleague of Chris’s.
It felt good to be overseas at last!