Ahoy chums ! How’s it going with you ? This is your ‘wee friend’ Jake The Tractor.
I know it has been a wee while since I last wrote. Anyway I guess I had better let you know about my latest adventure. No doubt you are familiar with the words ‘Speed bonnie tractor like a bird on the wing, Onward the sailors cry’ from the very famous The Skye Boat Song. I have known about this song from years ago when I was a very tiny tractor – so my inspiration comes from there and thanks are due to Mama Tractor for teaching me.
Anyway – I decided that I was overdue a trip to Bonnie Scotland. I must admit to having enjoyed the Stena Line film about Linda. I decided that if Linda could do it – so could I ! This adventure is one for the guys of all ages. It was a long drive to Belfast and I didn’t even have a ticket for the boat ! After scratching my cab roof for a while I came up with an ingenious plan. I knew of someone who could give me a lift and maybe get me on board the big Stena Line boat which sails between Belfast and Cairnryan.
The day of the ferry crossing arrived. I slipped into a rather large bag shortly before the bag owner picked it up and put it inside their car. Then we were off ! We zoomed along the road to Belfast and I must say that, that new stretch of dualling on the A26 fair speeds up the drive to Belfast or to Portrush if you happen to be going the other way.
We parked up at Belfast Stena Line Terminal and soon a nice man in a yellow jacket waved us forward. At last – we were going on board. We edged slowly up the ramp and parked at the far end of the boat. There were cars and lorries and buses and motorbikes on board. However, I didn’t see any other tractors.
Not to worry. The bag I was in was lifted and carried on board. Up some steps we went. Soon we arrived in a big spacious lounge with comfy seats. Clearly the seats were very comfy as no sooner was I set down than I heard the rumble rumble of man snoring. I decided it was time for an adventure ….
I could wait no longer. Slowly I crept out of the bag and rolled across the lounge. I darted between chairs and tables – no one saw me ! I had successfully slipped on board the Stena Line SuperFast VIII. I looked around for a while and then I noticed a friendly member of the crew whose name was Chris.
We struck up a rapport very quickly and soon were chatting away about trains and tractors – maybe not the usual sort of conversation you would have on a boat. Oh well there’s a first for everything.
Chris was really helpful and sorted me out with a nice cuppa tea and a massive muffin. Well I was a little bit peckish so I tucked in and before too long ….
Feeling energised I decided to ask Chris a wee question … would there be any chance of taking a turn up round the bridge and meeting the Captain ? “That’s an interesting idea” said Chris ” Leave it with me.”
Shortly afterwards Chris appeared back after having had a word with Margaret at Customer Services. “It looks like it is forward all tractors” said Chris as he introduced me to his Stena Line colleague; Ryan.
We made our way upstairs to the bridge of the Stena Line SuperFast VIII. My first thoughts were ‘wow – this is just like the Starship Enterprise.‘ What an array of hitech equipment – it was way ahead of the old power shuttle for sure. I just happened to notice a rather fine cap sitting. Well what else would you expect me to do ?
Now I know you may well be thinking to yourself how very well I look with the Captain’s cap perched on my cab roof. It wasn’t a perfect fit by any means. For a time I felt that I was a great Admiral of the seas going forth where no tractor had gone before. We are sailing, ruling the waves, master and commander. I was really enjoying this surreal drifting away experience when I was brought back to reality by the sound of laughter. Chris and his colleague Stuart ( or Stewart ) were having a fair old chuckle at the sight of me wearing the Captain’s cap.
Honestly – they were laughing that hard that I started chuckling away myself. With all the uproar on the bridge it came as no surprise when the Captain himself appeared. On no – we were in trouble ! However it turned out that I was worrying needlessly. It transpired that Captain Mike was very friendly and had a great sense of humour. The magic of the moment was duly recognised – could this be the first time ever that a tractor had been on the bridge of a Stena Line vessel or for that matter any boat at sea ?
What a time we had sharing stories and songs. All too soon it was time for me to head on, but not before we got a fine group picture which is just below.
As I mentioned earlier I was inspired by Linda’s journey with Stena Line. I decided to continue with my adventure. Next stop – the Shop. I had a fair old time at the Shop and yes I did feel a Millions dollars as I cruised across the Chanel. The Shop is very much a Quality Street with a great selection of fragrances, sweet nibbles, magazines, books and gifts. No I didn’t buy a handbag as Linda had done.
Tractors enjoy shopping too !
After the shop I took a quick turn up to the Spa and Stena Plus lounge which I highly recommend if you fancy indulging yourself a little bit more, of course you know….. you’re worth it !
I decided to take a time of contemplation out on deck to top up my tan. It was very much that sort of day when you get that cruise ship sort of feel.
Other people were out on deck as well enjoying the smooth sailing experience and soaking up the rays. It was as I was on deck that I bumped into Ryan from Southampton and Ian from Portsmouth. I told them something of my story and that they can also find me on Facebook at Muddyfarm Models. Can you guess which motorbikes they like ?
We were nearly at Cairnryan Port. My adventure on Stena Line SuperFast VIII was almost at an end. As I stood there looking out across Lough Ryan I felt really happy at how all my expectations had been surpassed by Chris, Ryan, Stuart ( Stewart) and Captain Mike who had made my trip so special; and made a tiny tractor’s dream come true. One final word before I go …. Linda eat your heart out ! Thanks to all at Stena Line for making Jake the Tractor a very happy tractor. If you want to feel like a very Speed Bonnie Tractor …. be sure to travel with Stena Line.