The afternoon started ominously with a txt message from Fullers advising that the 17:00 and 18:30 ex-Auckland would be run by Jet Raider. My last experience on that boat didn't end well so I was dreading the worst for getting home in any reasonable amount of time. And again, Fullers didn't disappoint in that department. Superflyte was doing the normal Quickcat services, as Quickcat was chartered for a party on the harbour cruise: the seats were piled high on the wharf to make way for dancing punters. Fullers, being a fully private company unbeholden to its daily paying customers, has the right to take boats out of commuting service when it has the chance of making far more per charter passenger than from those pesky, complaining commuters.
At 18:00 came another txt advising that the 17:40 ex-Waiheke was cancelled (JR came back from Waiheke late and empty). The girl on the wharf tannoy tried to keep our spirits up by announcing the ferry was "about 10 minutes late". Of course Fullers time has no link to real time and we left 20mins late.
Of course, this being Friday and Summertime, the 18:30 sailing has to go via Devonport, come what may, being late or not, having crashed into the Devonport wharf before or not, Fullers' internal infernal route and timetabling has to be obeyed, and off we chugged to Waiheke.
Jet Raider was going suspiciously slow and we arrived about 19:45 at Matiatia, shortly followed by the 19:15 Superflyte. Again, Jet Raider left Waiheke empty. I innocently asked a staff member behind the bar why the boat went at half speed and she was offended by the suggestion that I noticed something like that. She was adamant the boat went full speed but was delayed by the number of passengers.
It's a sign capitalism is based on fear when you can get your employees on the minimum wage to lie and do your PR for you.
It doesn't bode well for the rest of the Summer, but we know our place and the live sheep shipments will blithely continue.
But a good thing that happened and kept the frustrated waiting punters' spirits up on Matiatia wharf was a flash mob carol singalong by V12 and Sister Shout: