We inducted our latest member on Friday night, but the trip to Manly was one of the least pleasant for some time. It was not because of new member Hutto’s company, but rather the inhibiting presence of the security guards. Now the Friday night security guards are an annoying feature of BotF, but generally it is a low level of peskiness. Two guards walk around the ferry one minute after departure, pop up onto the upstairs veranda bar and have a quick look and then spend of the rest of the trip gasbagging inside. Tonight, however, our two sentinels decided to park themselves out the back and do their yabbering in complete eyesight of us. Quite possibly they’ve read the blog and wanted to experience the best way to travel home in Sydney – but whatever the reason – it gave us the irrits. Just before the Home Straight Bar, they headed inside – which made for some quick sculling. It is not so bad that I’d get the Fast Ferry, but it is a pain in the arse.
Speaking of the Fast Ferry, the Manly Fast Ferry continues to lead the battle for dominance on the 18 minute trip. The Sydney Fast Ferry is still looking very empty, whilst the Manly Fast Ferry looks like a Christmas Party on water.
We adjourned to the 4 Pines Brewery to try their new brew. To celebrate St.George’s Day (which really does exist), the 4 Pines prepared a Porter which they launched at lunchtime. By the time BotF arrived the place was pumping. Plenty of patrons were dressed in English attire (Austin Powers, Amy Winehouse etc and just about everyone had their mitts wrapped around a pint of the Porter. Not difficult to understand why. This was a great drop. Dark russet brown, with a good head. Toasty, chocolate aftertaste without any real heaviness. Charlie was happy to queue up for 10 minutes for another round.