FERRYING IN '15 - 19th June 2015
Friday 19th June 2015
I was up with the lark this morning at Gatwick Airport, in good time for the 07.55 flight from London Gatwick to Marseille airport with one of my travelling companions. The sky was blue around us and I could see the south coast of England left behind as we crossed the Channel and headed south east towards the south of France on the Airbus 319/320. As we approached Marseille it was fun to look down and see some of the ferries already in port.
We touched down in brilliant sunshine, as the pilot announced that there was a strong Mistral wind blowing outside. Le Mistral is known here in Provence for its sometimes 100km an hour strength. I descended the aircraft steps to the ground and was promptly blown along until my arm was grabbed firmly by my companion and we made our way to the terminal building. Another friend soon arrived from another part of the UK so after joyful greetings we took the airport coach to the Marseille St. Charles city rail station. This is the first time we three have met since the publication of my companions' highly-acclaimed book "Sealink and Beyond", so it was a happy occasion.
In the city the nearby Maritime museum was closed, seemingly forever, so we went for a snack and headed for the Vieux Porte to see what little local island ferries might be running when we return. Some of this area is now covered by a huge reflective metal roof (designed by Norman Foster) which is fun to stand under and take photographs.
Then it was time to take a taxi to the ferry ship terminal for our first sailing of the trip: on KALLISTE of La Meridionale. We will be sailing from Marseille to Propriano on the western coast of Corsica, departing at 18.30 and arriving tomorrow at 08.00. Cabin 4344 was an outside mid-ship one, clean and comfortable, and I was soon on deck and taking photographs around the ship.
KALLISTE was built in 1993 at 30718 gross tons and has kept the same name during her career with Le Meridionale, sailing between France and Corsica (Corse). Her name is actually the Corsican name for the island of Corsica.
Dinner in the Restaurant after sailing late from Marseille was enjoyable as we headed out into the Mediterranean for the French island of Corsica.
Ships seen: Pascal Paoli, Mediterranee, Kalliste, Corse (really well tied up), Excellent (ro-ro), Girolata, Jean Nicoli, MSC Preziosa, Monte D'Oro, Tariq Ibn Zayd of Algerian Ferries, Amacar
To be continued....