William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

thoughts from the Holiday Island, on the way to the real island

(Typed August 2nd, in the early evening.)

I’m on the MV Holiday Island now, and we’re just leaving Caribou. Wow, it’s hot. I was hoping there’d be a breeze, and I had dressed accordingly. Maybe it will be different out on the Strait. I tried using my notebook on the top deck, but I couldn’t see my screen under the sun, so that was a no-go. And yeah, comme d’habitude, no Wi-Fi. =)

I heard some Quebecois tourists speaking French (you could tell they weren’t Acadians, because they weren’t saying things like, “J’ai parké ma car dans le parking lot.”), and I kind of wanted to just stand near them and listen for a few minutes, but I couldn’t look too obvious about it. I soon gave up and found other things to do.

I really like the boat. It’s a great way to travel. The only thing I don’t like are all the kitschy “amenities.” The “arcade” consists of a machine that can go back and forth between Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Oh, verily, you can’t beat the classics, but there’s also a TV in the lounge, and right now it’s showing what will be on for Live at 5, and when I first came up on deck, the first thing I heard was the Dr. Phil music. Way to habitualize something that ought to feel at least a bit exotic.

Even the safety recording is very tired-sounding now. It’s another sign the ferry is in decline…

“Your attention is drawn to the safety instructions, in the form of pictograms, located throughout the vessel…

“In the event of an emergency, a signal consisting of seven long blasts followed by a short blast, will be sounded…

“For your convenience, there is a cafeteria and a coffee shop, located on the boat deck…”

The MV Confederation, the other vessel to ply this route, is a bit cooler. She’s from Scandinavia and has more decks, passages, quiet lounges, and even a Cows ice cream outlet. The Holiday Island was inherited from the former Marine Atlantic crossing (now spanned by the Bridge), where she and her sister ship Vacationland helped take the bite off the tourist traffic in the summers. Along with the ice-breaking Abegweit, all were purpose-built vessels that have proved difficult to use anywhere else but the Northumberland Strait.

Okay, time to translate the rest of “La Femme Peintre!”
Tags: boats, ferries, northumberland strait, pei, ships

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