The hide of the man. He has been one of my favourite columnists for years, but now, after last weekend’s shocker, I’m not so sure. I was appalled, truly I was – and on behalf of all Hobartians, I’m speaking out. How dare he!
My beautiful lady and I love cruising. It’s a wonderful way to see a little of the world, where the getting there is often more enjoyable – and certainly more restful – than the various destinations en route. We would have been eagerly awaiting out third voyage, one over to our Kiwi neighbour, this coming summer, but the wretched virus put paid to that. We have postponed it till next November and who knows what the world will look like then. But to describe us and all our fellow travellers, on the high seas, as being constantly ‘…drunk on vodka slushies…’ – well, I was highly offended. Granted, a certain small percentage do drink themselves stupid from dawn to dusk, but the vast majority of our maritime companions on board, like us, tipple only in moderation. So, stick that in your cap Mr Cameron. But, if only that was the worst outrage he inflicted in his scribing! That jibe was easily surpassed by what came later in the scandalous column entitled ‘Welcome to the Wasteland’, as you will discover when you read on.
Now nothing beats sailing into Sydney’s magnificent harbour to visit, or terminate, a cruise, but doing so along that gorgeous entrance to my own city must come close. As for Melbourne, as much as I love the place myself, after steaming up the featureless Port Phillip Bay, there’s no comparison to either. I’ve done so on the Spirit (of Tasmania) and, seeing for myself what the main thrust of what Anson’s column is on about, it’s no wonder that the TT Line will soon be docking at an obviously more attractive site in Geelong’s Corio Quay. The Age writer does adequately describe Port Melbourne’s inadequacies as a destination for vessels bringing in Taswegians and other voyagers to Yarra City. It is, yep, dullsville. I had a more detailed look on a later stay when I hopped on the 109 from the city to explore the area around Station Pier. I was soon hopping back on that tram.
Cameron is so ashamed of that bayside suburb as a disembarkation point – and I can hardly type these words – that he is actually advocating passing it off as Hobart. My city, because of its vibrancy, arts scene and its stunning location under the ramparts of kunanyi, attracts far more cruise companies these days than does poor old Melbourne. It is his contention that, as the travellers coming off the boats would be so pissed anyway, they’d be none wiser. If they had any recollection at all, then changing the sign, atop the pier, to ‘Welcome to Hobart’, would place them in no position to cast any aspersions on his only remotely fair city. They would denigrate mine instead. Yes, that’s right dear reader, he is trying to pass off Victoria’s capital’s dour first disappointments as being those caused by our beautiful burb on the Derwent.
Now the Age, the vehicle for this contributor’s misplaced mischief, does not have the biggest readership in these parts, so I am alerting all my fellow islanders so we can rise up – yes, rise up – and nip this travesty in the bud. The audacity and repellent attitude of the man to want to place a Welcome to Hobart sign across the old tatty pier! Just as well that city, across the Strait, has a more pressing matter to think about at this time. Perhaps indeed it is his ploy to take minds off that. Well, it hasn’t worked, sir. I’m on to you.