Hey look - it’s the Spirit in Melbourne. Hang on, it’s both Spirits! that shouldn’t happen...
Welcome to my annual Brickvention trip.
I had taken the Thursday - Monday off work. The Thursday is set-up day, so I figured I’d get there nice and early and set up my displays. In particular I’d set up the combined M:Tron display that I was sort of co-ordinating ready for everyone else to add their parts.
So Wednesday evening I line up for the Spirit like a regular passenger except with a car full of Lego. While I’m in the queue I get a message from one of my workmates asking if I’d heard what had happened to the other ship, the one currently in Melbourne.
So I jump on the net. Nothing on the news yet, but I find the Port of Melbourne webcams and sure enough, Spirit II is basically sitting on the beach!
As the news sites started reporting the issue, I found out more. There had been a freak wind gust that broke the moorings and swung the ship around. No one was injured, but the ship was damaged and so was the pier.
I boarded Spirit I in Devonport, but she wasn’t allowed to sail until about midnight - the Captain needed the all clear that we would be able to dock in Melbourne.
So already very much behind schedule, we eventually headed to Melbourne - but because the wharf wasn’t ready yet, we spend a fair chunk of the day doing laps of the bay. We eventually docked mid afternoon.
It was around 5 when I finally made it to Brickvention.
It all worked out - with some help from the other guys from the M:Tron display (in particular the legendary Paulius) we got it sorted and it turned out to be a pretty awesome display.
From there it was back to the Hotel to check in and hand over the keys to the trusty Forester so the attendant could park it. Never had to do that before - slightly odd feeling.
From there it was another awesome Brickvention. Mike came down for the Friday and Saturday which was awesome. I’ll post some photos in a bit.
After the convention I went crusing around Melbourne. I had a day to kill on Monday before catching the ship (which was delayed anyway) so I went to Ikea for a look (never been there before) and a couple of toy shops. I eventually made it down to Rick James Bricks in Packenham which has been on my to-do list.
Along the way I had to learn how to do a hook turn (left lane to turn right) - thanks to the random car in front that demonstrated how to do it. I ended up on a Toll road by accident and had to work out how to pay that.
I got sick of highways and things, so I looked at the map and decided Emerald sounded interesting, so headed into the country and eventually wrapped around back to Melbourne.
Turns out I’ve been to Emerald before, about 20 years ago. It’s part of the Puffing Billy railway - which I only realised when I saw the signs for the model railway and realised I remembered it. It was shut by the time I got there this time though.
I did a search for Fish and Chips in my phone as I got back towards the Bay and thought I’d get some nice fish and chips and sit in front of the beach. Well - I got the fish and chips, but it ended up being a high end expensive sort of fish and chips rather than the corner store I’d been thinking of. Oh well, it tasted good.
So then it was back to the wharf where the Spirit was conspicuously absent. It was running late and not even visible when I arrive. Hung around and met up with some of the other Tasmanian Brickvention attendees - and eventually the Spirit sailed into view, lights shining in the dark.
Joined the queue and waited until midnight before boarding. Was so close to falling asleep it isn’t funny. I had a shared cabin on the way back - but everyone was so tired we just fell asleep almost instantly.
The late departure meant a late arrival into Tassie, which was fine as I didn’t wake up until 10. Once off the ship, it was straight into the office and what was left of the working day.
So that’s my Brickvention adventure for 2016, minus the Brickvention itself, which will be in another post.