Monday, 4 April 2016

#86 - Manly Fast Ferry

I know, it's a mode of transport.  It gets you from A to B.  It even has the word 'fast' in it, which implies that it's all about functionality.  It's just that in this case, 'A' is a stunning beachside town, and 'B' is nestled in between two of the most iconic man made structures on earth (the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge).

Or 'A' is nestled between two icons, and 'B' is a beachside town.  It depends what way you do the journey.  But let's be honest, it's not really important.  You get the point - you go from one really nice place, to another really nice place, and pass a whole bunch of nice places along the way.

Two beers were just about enough to keep Lisa happy for the 20 minute ferry ride

Now, the obvious question would be, 'if it's such a great journey, surely the normal journey would be better, since you see the same things, but at a slower pace, allowing you to enjoy it more'.  Now, I realise that was a statement, rather than a question.  It was also unnecessarily long.  But, question or not, it has a valid answer.  And that answer is threefold.

Firstly, although it is a lovely journey, there is also a whole bunch of lovely stuff at either side of the journey.  The Manly Fast Ferry takes about 20 minutes, whereas the normal ferry takes about double. If you're a tourist, you have a busy schedule, and 20 minutes is probably enough to enjoy the scenery before moving on to your next exciting activity.  If you live in Sydney, you've done the journey a million times, and are probably running late for work / dinner / poetry slam.  20 minutes is just about the right journey time.

Secondly, the fast ferries are newer than the standard ferries on the Manly to Circular Quay route. The old ferries have their charm, and are worth a journey in their own right.  However, the fast ferry is cleaner, more comfortable and a bit more steady if you tend to get a bit seasick.

Thirdly, and most importantly, you can buy alcohol on board the Manly Fast Ferry.  You cannot buy alcohol (or bring your own on board) on the standard ferries.  I can't stress that enough.  Beer is available on the fast ferry, but not on the standard ferry.  The irony is that the longer journey of the standard ferry would be much more suited to a nice, cold beer, but 20 minutes is not too rushed.

The captain on our boat looked a bit familiar
I didn't expect this to be quite as long as it was, but the short version is this:  I like the Manly Fast Ferry.  It's a very pleasant way to spend 20 minutes (or 40 minutes, assuming you go back the same way), and has the added bonus of taking you to somewhere equally pleasant at the end of your journey, no matter which side you got on.

Have I allowed the presence of beer to cloud my judgement?  Share your own views in the comments below

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