Glimpse of commercial space travel?
Published Thursday November 18th, 2004

Contrary to the buses on Santorini, the boats/ferries here in Greece are very punctual. The boat I'm on right now, the Blue Star Paros, is so punctual in departing that it's technically not punctual anymore because the boat left 10 minutes before scheduled.. Ha ha.

Ridding on these huge ferry boats is incredible. It gives one a feeling of how future economical space travel must likely be like. The ship quickly docks at the port with awesome manoeuvres enhanced by the ships sheer size. People in a large group quickly start to unload from the read of the ship from where a ramp is lowered while the ship is still backing into the dock.. Giant, thick ropes are thrown from the ship and wrapped around niches on the dock. The ropes tighten as motors pull in the slack on the ropes from the ship, tying the ship in place. The ramp scraped the dock and the ship quickly comes to a stand-still as people start to rush off the ramp way onto shore.

Followed by the hoard of people, luggage in hand, come motorcycles and finally cars. All of this passes very quickly and soon a large crowd of people rush onto the boat, followed by the cars and motorcycles which are parked away in the ships massive lower decks which appears to be a giant underground parking complex.

Upon departing, one cannot really tell one is on a ship. The ship is so large that its smooth glide through the water is unnoticeable. The seating inside the ship is like the seating and lounges of future gigantic aeroplanes. The large crowd which hammed into the ships aft doors/ramp is quickly dispersed about the ship.

When leaving the ship, an announcement is made that the ship is arriving at so and so, in my case Paros. So I head down into the garage levels where disembarkation takes place. In this garage there are no windows. As the ship slows down and pulls a 180 degree turn to back into the harbour, the whole hull shakes, rattles, and creaks violently and loudly as the boat decelerates and turns. Slowly, the ramp at the rear of the boat on which one enters and departs the boat, begins to lower while a great amount of noise and chaotic shaking continues.

A familiar melody play in an infinite loop as the ramp lowers until one can finally leave in a mad dash off of he boat as others board the ship. All of this happens extremely quickly with a lot of precision. Just docking these giant, very modern ships that the company Blue Star Ferries operates at these small little ports on these island in the Cyclades is very impressive. It's really cool and a lot of fun to be apart of.