The trip got off to an early 1:30am start with a mini bus picking up 10 of us from various locations around Mandurah, namely: Steve, Ann, Jim, Anne Marie, Wayne, Glenda, Sue, Deb, Greg and Hazel. Everyone was ready at the nominated pickup time, except Sue and Deb who were still cleaning their teeth in an attempt to try and get rid of that hangover taste.
It was a little squishy with driver expecting to pick up 5 and not bringing his luggage trailer; otherwise, the trip to the airport went quickly with everyone relaxed in the knowledge that no one in the group had even attempted to do the training program sent to each of us by the BigBlueSwim Organisers.
As per the recently introduced rules, to arrive 3 hours before take off due to new strict security checks, we arrived at the airport on schedule at 3:00 am. However, the airport was almost empty and we were able to check-in as usual leaving us with 2 hours and 55 minutes to spare. We met Linda, which brought our number to 11. The other 7 - Kirk, Trevor, Narelle, Erica, Steve, Jenny and Deb - had all left days or weeks before and we would be meeting them in Greece.
Customs didn't open until 4:00am, so we did what all good Mannas would do and went for coffee. Unfortunately, our Dome loyalty cards were not accepted, but the coffee was hot.
No trouble going through customs, except for Anne Marie, Greg and Linda. Anne Marie was taken aside by Immigration Officers and had to explain why she looked a lot younger than her passport photo. Unfortunately, Linda mistakenly thought the carry-on 100 ml limit for fluids in a 1 litre clear bag was 1 litre per bottle or tube of fluids and had to handover 10 litres of moisturiser, face cream and toothpaste. Greg was caught carrying more Viagra than deemed plausible for personnel use, but managed to talk his way out of trouble.
There were murmurs and disparaging looks amongst the group when they realised VP Steve was travelling on a British and not an Australian Passport. How did we let him join the club? Surely, he will have to resign or have the matter dealt with in the High Court! However, all was good when he explained that he had sat and failed the citizen test ten times, with everyone enjoying a renewed confidence in our immigration laws were actually preventing undesirables becoming Australian Citizens.
The plane pushed back from the terminal 10 minutes ahead of time at 5:50am. Can't wait for the champagne to come around, I wonder what torture Barb is inflicting on her squad at this very minute under the guise of "this will be fun"!
Greek Swim Team