Weather was fine and mild with a temperature of about 20 on the sunny eastern shore.
We spent Sunday morning doing a final tidy up around the house and packed the last of our things in the Navara. Unlike other trips where we have the fridge in the van for food, we had to pack food from the fridge and freezer at home into cold bags and put them into the back of the Ute and hope that they would survive the trip without thawing out too much. When we took the van to Melbourne in early April we packed a lot of our lighter clothes, but by the time we packed up again today we could not remember all that we had packed, so have probably brought too much in the way of clothes.
We eventually got away at 1:45 pm and headed for the tip to get rid of a bag of garbage, and collect a weigh-bridge ticket to give us a feel for the weight of the Navara. Our actual weight was 2.72 tonnes which included a lot of food as well as bins and bags full of clothing that will eventually end up in the van. The Nissan will probably end up at about 2.6 tonnes which is our usual travelling weight. This allows plenty of leeway for the pin-weight of the van which is now about 500 kgs, since David installed bins on the rear bumper of the van for all or our Annexe poles, clips and rafters. Transferring the the poles and rafters etc from the front lockers to the rear of the van decreased the pin weight by about 100 kgs. Our revised GVM for the Navara is 3.25 tonnes. The loaded weight of the caravan is about 2.9 tonnes, which together with the weight of the Navara at 2.6 tonnes is well with the GCM of the combination of 5.805 tonnes.
We stopped in Campbell Town for coffee and a toasted ham and cheese sandwich at Zeps, before re-fueling at Perth. We arrived at Devonport at about 5:45 pm and joined the check-in queue. There seemed to be many more caravans than usual (we heard later that there were over 100 vans). As we were a high top vehicle without a caravan in tow we were loaded early and sent down the ramp to Deck 2 - this meant the we would be near last off in Melbourne as Deck 3 would need to be clear to allow us to come back up the ramp. It was interesting to note that no trucks at all had been loaded on Deck 3 - they are usually loaded first in rows down each side. The ferry departed early at 7:10 pm.
For a change we had had a meal from the cafeteria and selected the Chefs Special - an excellently cooked Sirloin steak with crunchy green vegetables and a sliced potato stack. Perhaps the best meal that we have ever had on the Spirit of Tasmania ferries - helped down with some good wines - 42 Degrees South bubbles for Di and a Goaty Hill Pinot for David.
We were in bed by 10:00 pm for what was to be a very smooth crossing, winds from the North at 25 to 30 Knots in the middle of the night, which had no impact as we were heading straight into the winds and waves.