Bass Strait Dancer

In the 1990’s a passenger and vehicular catamaran service operated across Bass Strait between George Town in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria. Because of the angle of the course sailed to the prevailing wave patterns the catamaran quartered the waves which created its own  unique motion. That led to difficulty walking and many of the passengers feeling seasick. The upside was that the crossing only took 4 hours.

Bass Strait Dancer

Two steps forward and a rush to the side,
One step back and a skip to the right,
A twirl of the hands and a dash to the front
Keep your balance and stay upright
Maintain your grip on the glass in hand,
Keep your feet and you’ll be right!

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Bass Strait Dancer

Each time the big cat surged down a wave
The passengers advanced with ease,
Then paused as the vessel reached the crest
As for a moment all did freeze.
Quick steps to the side then over the top,
Challenged by conditions such as these.

Leaving from George Town in Tasmania,
Port Welshpool was the destination.
At a speed of 50 knots an hour,
The crossing was four hours duration.
The fastest ferry to cross Bass Strait,
Suffered a serious limitation.

The motion was uncomfortable for some
As the seacat quartered waves
“Spewcat” was the favoured name
Which many on board gave.
One day the fast cat’s time will come
When politicians become more brave.

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