We left home in good time to take a leisurly trip across country to get to Harwich passing through several small villages with timber framed houses, some of them still having village greens and water pumps.
Arriving at Harwich shortly after 2 o’clock we sought shelter from the sun at a local supermarket and sat around munching sandwiches and chatting to passers by.
We still got to the port too soon as we had to queue for 90 minutes for the gates to open, however the ferry company had a man come round selling ice cream from an ice box on wheels.
Eventually the gates opened and we queued again having obtained our boarding cards so we passed the time talking to a couple with two children from Suttgart who had come across to England for a few days during their holiday. They told us that they were very surprised how friendly the English were.
As time passed we were joined by several more bikes including 3 BSA’s that were heading towards Sweden for a rally there, some sports bikes and a very badly packed Suzuki that was ridden by a lady going to Norway to do some flying as she is a qualified pilot.
The ship itself was more of a cargo vessel with a bar on one level and a dining area on another. We were greeted on board by a children’s entertainer, but more of him later, as we found our cabin.
As the evening progressed a small group of travellers assembled in the bar, ourselves, Mark, an engine designer for Lotus, a German girl returning home and another motorcyclist with a Swedish phrasebook that he was trying to use when it was his round of drinks. We were later joined by a Danish airman who got so confused by our group that he asked Guzzisue if she had enjoyed her holiday in England.
Throughout the evening we had to keep swapping between the two decks as the entertainer kept on appearing. Ian did overhear someone say “Not him again” as we boarded the ferry. We tried to endure him for a while but failed. It almost seemed that he was afraid of the kids he was meant to be entertaining.
A large sandwich and several beers ensured we had a good nights sleep when we eventually retired to our cabin in the early hours.