Big Lift Ferry Poem F040

The ferry gets intimate
With the docking bay –
New driver today




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

Coming into the docking bay, one can expect a few nudges, or bumps, from the ferry as it settles in tightly to lower the plank or ramp for people to come on and off. On today’s ride, though, I could see it was coming in at an odd trajectory compared to other days. Sure enough, the small bumps started early and came often as it docked. It started when the side of the front nudged the docking bay that resembled half a running track, to match the ferry’s running track shape when seen from above or below. Normally, the side of ferry taps it first.

Think about fitting a track to half a track. Ideally, all the contact points would hit all at once. That’s hard to do steering a ferry with ocean waves and engine jets of water. Normally, it comes in a little too horizontal and pushes to match the top of the track. Sometimes, it comes in too vertical and touches the top of the track before sliding in side ways to complete the maneuver. Today, it tapped the top of the track to the straightaway of the half a track docking bay, bumping back a little before coming in again. And repeating at least a dozen times before being done. Two or three is usually what I had experienced.

It felt like two playful machine lovers cuddling. 🙂

Given the bumpier than usual docking, I wondered if there were a new, inexperienced driver that had performed this docking. When I asked the staff, he confirmed my suspicions. I also asked if the person “driving” the ferry were called a captain, driver, or what? That staff told me the term was a “driver”.

Man, I hope that guy knew what he was talking about cause if he gave me misinformation, it’s on record now!

Just kidding. Next to nobody reads my poetry, and hardly anybody local to make a fuss, despite me having another blog averaging well over a million views each year in the past few years. 🙂

The F-series poems are part of a collection composed on my ferry rides across Halifax Harbour when the buses aren’t crossing the MacDonald bridge due to the Big Lift bridge redecking. This should keep happening until at least December 2016.


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