Thursday, 5 September, 2.30 a.m. Finnish time, 16 degrees. On the ferry to Finland.
Trucks drive onto the ferry every second, the trailers are parked next to each other with a gap of less than ten centimetres. Precision work. Piecework.
It rattles, hums, roars. Everything happens in a matter of seconds. Routine for the dockworkers and the marshallers – absolutely fascinating for me: this precision: like toys, they push the containers precisely into the remaining gaps – like pieces of a mosaic in a large puzzle.
By ferry to Finland
The ship has 12 decks. My car somewhere on deck 8, crammed in between hundreds of others. At departure, the car decks are closed. So you shouldn’t forget anything from the car that you will need for the next one and a half days. The crossing takes 29 hours. If the weather cooperates. My cabin is on deck 7, without windows, but with a nice Russian woman who is about to go to sleep, for whom it’s been a long time. She is a ferry commuter, so to speak, and regularly travels to Germany for work. I, on the other hand, roam the decks for hours, exploring every nook and cranny, far too excited to sleep.
“When the car is in the Finnlines ferry” is written on the small bottle of red wine in my travel provisions, which I received as a gift shortly before departure. So there I am: it’s roaring in my ears, the wind is blowing around my nose, in the sea of lights of loading and shipping – I look out at the night – in front of me the Baltic Sea and 27 hours of crossing.