Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day 44 -- Ulverston to Isle of Man

Today was a travel day – but not exactly restful – 1½ hours on the train and 4+ hours on the Isle of Man ferry. I knew the ferry would be crowded on a Saturday, so I spent an extra $24 and upgraded to the premium lounge. I’m glad I did. Virtually every seat in the general lounge was taken, mostly by families with kids shouting, crying, running around, etc. Children are not permitted in the premium lounge.

The premium lounge was only about 1/3 filled, and most of the travelers were either small groups or business people working on their computers. It was extremely quiet – even the TVs were turned down. I watched the Olympics without sound from commentators, which I thought improved the coverage.

The sea was flat. The ferry passed by several wind farms, with dozens of windmills planted in the sea, as well as a few oil and gas platforms. Fortunately, the captain was not watching the Olympics. He announced that the ferry traveled at 18 knots, which seemed about the speed the 8-oar crew teams rowed.

The Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea, approximately equidistant from Scotland, England, and Ireland. The island, itself, is about 33 miles long and about 13 miles wide. Its highest peak has an elevation of just over 2,000 feet.

There are several main hiking routes on the island, all of which appear to be accessible from a comprehensive public transportation system. Once I get the transportation figured out, I’ll start planning some walks. It does seem strange to think about spending yet more time on transports.