He was in luck and got himself a berth on the SS Historic to Sydney via Tenerife and Cape Town. He stood on the dockside looking up at the vessel, patting his pocket with the ticket inside. A passing sailor addressed him. 'You sailing on the Historic, mate?'
'She's a good little ship. Only just back to doing passenger trips. Troop carrier during the war.' The pride in the sailor's voice was evident.
'It's hardly a little ship!' Michael felt dwarfed by it. It towered above him, making it hard to believe that it was a boat, not a building.
'Sailed before, mate?'
'To and from France. But the boat were tiny compared to this monster!'
The sailor pointed out the four masts and the central funnel 'Four sticks and a stack. Built in Belfast. Nearly nineteen thousand tons. She can carry six hundred passengers. Not to mention tons of cargo. A real beauty.'
'I've not seen owt like it!'
'Wait till you get on board. There's a couple of salt-water swimming baths and a gymnasium. You're going on yer holidays, mate!'
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