Queen Mary 2

What a ship! It is huge and very grand. The food was fantastic and so was the service.  I arrived at the terminal early, towed the loaded kayak to the crew ramp and waited until the sniffer dog had checked it. Unfortunately the crew ramp had a 90 degree corner so they decided to load it into the hold after all of the luggage. Watching from the deck seven floors up was a bit nerve racking, but they got it on and all was well. A 6m kayak won’t go through a 3m hole when it is sideways on a forklift.

At Southampton it was already in the luggage area when I got off so I just wheeled it out through the door with all the other passengers. Of course there was the minor problem of what to do with it then. After a few enquiries with car park and security guys it found a home in the locked car park. It is behind a shed and they don’t want any money. I am to pick it up Tuesday.

The Cunard experience was incredible. They handled it all without any problems. Landing in the UK was almost like coming home. People understood exactly what I was saying and were very helpful.

I hired a car and dropped Klaas and Lynne off at a hotel at Heathrow that afternoon and they will be back in Ballina on Monday. Telephone and portable wifi are under control although the UK is a bit of a pain with credit cards. Many organisations, like topping up the phone or paying vehicle tax, will only take UK cards. None-the-less I now have an Audi Quattro A6 AWD Diesel Estate ($4k), insurance coverage ($1.8k), and a small caravan ($3k). The van needs some work but that should all be OK.