Monday, 15 September 2014
LOUIS AURA 3rd August 2014 Part 3
Tuesday 5th August 2014
We were prepared to arrive in Kos at 7.00 a.m. but apparently we were delayed by the departure of the Blue Star Ferry 2 plus more wind than expected, so it was 8.00 a.m. before we were alongside. The heat was tremendous even that early in the day. Louis Cruises had printed English copies of the Daily News programme again, which we appreciated.
Yesterday we met the Staff Captain on deck and he recognised me from sailing on LOUIS AURA last year, which was nice, and he joined us all for a chat and invited us to visit the Bridge today.
This morning therefore I went to Reception to register my credit card and asked them to arrange for us to visit the Bridge, as invited by the Staff Captain. A telephone call was made to the Bridge and we were invited to come back to Reception at 1.40 and be taken up top for departure from Kos. Hooray, how kind.
We watched arrivals and departures from the port, but they were mostly very local small ferries going to and from the Turkish coast which could be seen faintly in the distance.
Suddenly however a very unexpected sight appeared and was recognised by my very knowledgeable companions – it was HALAS 71; we thought she might sail right beside us and enter the harbour but she didn’t so we had to be content with various views of her. She started life in 1914 (yes, really) as a ferry, but World War 1 decided otherwise, and she was handed over to the newly-created Republic of Turkey in 1923 and became a passenger ferry on the Bosphorus. In 1984 she was bought by a shipping company, and refurbished. In 2009 she was sold on to current owners, renovated yet again, and is now available to charter for 12 guests as a luxury cruiser, or for events. She is flagged in Istanbul; (I found this website with some details http://www.myhalas.com/history/) She certainly looked different to the other shipping we have seen, and it is astonishing that she has lasted so well.
Restaurant lunch was again disappointing but we decided to have dinner ashore this evening in Symi. At lunch my companions chose the fruit pudding, but decided that it tasted of shower gel (how did they know that?) but apparently it is a favourite pudding on the ship. I didn’t try it.
We were taken up to the Bridge for departure from Kos and were introduced to Captain Kostas Gritzelis, who is the Master of LOUIS AURA. He made us feel very welcome and invited us to visit the Bridge for departures or arrivals if we chose. We certainly did and could immediately understand why this sociable and obviously efficient Captain was so popular with all his passengers. We sailed away from the island of Kos and looked forward to our evening arrival in Symi.
To be continued...