Midnight Friday 11th July.
Sure enough they weren't letting anybody onto the quayside for this sailing until 9pm. They opened the gates and a queue quickly formed, we were near the front. Two lanes for lorries and one for cars and motorhomes. As we were slowly shuffling forward all the immigration guys were called over to one of the Greek 40ft artics. They pulled out three stowaways, sat them down and handcuffed them together, pulled the wagon onto the quayside and started interrogating the driver. I doubt he knew about the young guys found in his lorry and it was sad to see them sat there in handcuffs.
Eventually we boarded and the guys in their high vis jackets did their usual excellent job of getting us parked 4 inches away from the vehicle in front, although we had to do a big loop and reversing manoeuvre when he realised our habitation door was on the "wrong" side. Finally we were parked and we looked about for an electric hook up point. Meanwhile folk were taking tables and chairs out of their vans and setting them up on the side of the boat. We were next to the side so chucked our chairs in a little alcove where we can, presumably, watch the lights of Albania drift by with our feet up and a cold beer. Then came the scramble for electric sockets. The guy in front of us was so determined to get hooked up that in his excitement at getting the last available socket knocked my bottle of beer over with his cable. He apologised profusely, gave me a can of Mythos and then got out an extension cable so I would not be without electricity. All's well that ends well.
It's coming up to midnight now and I haven't yet detected a change in note from the engines so I suspect the sailing time is "Greek time", that is, anytime before 1am. Looking over the side I see that they are still loading cars and lorries but I'm sure that with a fair wind we will arrive in Venice at the scheduled time :)
Last picture from Greece looking across to the mountains behind Patras as the sun sets.
12.25am and we're underway!