I’m not what you’d call a “boat person,” nor are the people around me “boat people”. About the only time I get on a boat is when there’s no way I can avoid it. So it probably won’t surprise you to know that the last time I was on a boat was over 20 years ago, when I was in Sydney.
In this case, I went to Sydney to do a week’s worth of training. With all the International Date Line stuff and everything, it meant leaving on Friday and arriving on Sunday morning. I hadn’t slept much on the plane, and I was tired and really not in the mood to do any sightseeing. So I wasn’t in the best mood when I was informed by my hotel in Manly that my room wouldn’t be ready until 4 that afternoon. The young lady at the desk suggested I take the ferry from the Manly Wharf to Sydney.
With nothing else to do for six hours, I took her advice. I and an older couple were the only people on the boat when it left Manly Wharf. It moved pretty quickly, but not so fast that we would create a wake. It took about twenty minutes to Circular Quay in Sydney. I spent the next five hours wandering around, enjoying myself while at the same time not knowing where I was or what I was looking at, kind of a zombie, really. Finally, I got back on the ferry and rode back to Manly.
I think I took the ferry from Sydney to Manly one more time, so I guess you could say that was the last time I’ve been on a boat. That was the night I decided to try Sydney’s subway system from the office to the hotel and managed to get totally lost, and only by chance finding Circular Quay. The rest of the time, I took a one-hour bus ride to the office from Manly in the morning and did the reverse in the afternoon. A couple of the guys from the office, sensing I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, managed to get me out and around, for which I was eternally grateful.
I guess you could say I’m not a very good traveler, either. But, in my defense, this was in the mid-’90’s, when Internet resources were not what they are today. Had I gone today, I would have been able to see that there was a route to and from the office that would have taken me from Circular Quay to the office (outlined in gray on the map) that would have taken me across the water, from which I could take a bus that would get me to the office at roughly the same time and which would have been much more enjoyable. Oh well, live and learn…