Day 1. August the first.

A life on the ocean wave. Breakfast was eaten by those of us who believe in such things. Marvin contented himself with 4 bottles of orange juice, a contentment soon shattered when he got to the till; 7 quid seemed like a lot, and it was, but he had already drunk most of them in the queue. We soon found a quiet corner of the POSH bar (a nautical abbreviation of some sort, apparently) to call our own and settled down to the ocean-going lifestyle. This consisted of much poring over maps and route cards and marking the former with highlighters to match the latter. Those of a technophilic bent programmed in GPS waypoints. The GPS told us that the ferry was doing 14mph, a 24 hour average speed that we were to struggle to achieve by bike. In the afternoon I and some others found ourselves on the top observation deck, the glassy calm sea was rather un-bay-of-Biscay-esque to say the least, and with the sun shining the decks were full of sunbathers, and people with cameras and telescopes. It turned out that the mini cruise was popular with dolphin watchers, and we did indeed see quite a few. Tiring of peering at small specks of cetacean in the distance we decided to partake in the quiz in the bar, from where we got a much better view of the dolphins, playing in the ships wake. The quiz in contrast was a disappointment, no quiz master, and no questions, just a sheet of paper on which to write down as many prime ministers, elvis songs, carry on movies and other things as we could think of, to be marked on the return journey. Which we wouldn't be on. It seemed that we were in a minority actually using the ferry to _go_ somewhere. I felt a sense of smug superiority about that. Don't ask me why, I am probably just not very nice. We ate again, in the buffet this time, and then went to watch "The Matrix" in the onboard cinema, I thought it was OK, but the small screen didn't help and Marvin got bored and left. The evening then followed the by now typical pattern of beer, desertion by the less hardy types, and more beer and dance floor watching. The ferry was a nice way to start the trip, especially as we were all largely strangers to each other, being only loosely connected via a mailing list. We ended the ferry journey as significantly more of a group than we started it.

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