FERRYING IN '15 22nd June, Moby Ale
Monday 22nd June (contd.)
An hour later we drove into the car park of the Hotel Phalesia, checked in and hurriedly left our big bags. The 200-yard walk down to the harbour was much easier without heavy bags, and it was good to look around and see MOBY LOVE 2 and RIO MARINA before boarding MOBY ALE for the 3.15 p.m. departure. The cars embarked first and then it was the footies.
She is a dear little ship, built in 1969 as MIKKEL MOLS originally, at 3,937 gross tons, and just ideal for the short crossing from Piombino here on the Italian mainland over to Cavo, the nearest and northerly port on the island of Elba.
Reception was spacious midships, with a bar and a separate food servery on this main deck, but the most eye-catching item was a children's ball pit, full of coloured balls. This proved popular on this and every Moby ship I sailed on, as Moby obviously realise that if the little ones are happy, then the parents will be too. MOBY ALE also has a slight amount of sheer for such a small ship, which is something of a novelty these days.
I also loved the sight of two large door handles at the entrance to the lounge: they were sapphire blue, and made of that wonderful solid glass so often found on ships of this age, with smooth rounded corners and a great depth of colour. I have seen several of these jewel-coloured (red, blue or green) door handles over the years and they never fail to delight me.
We arrived at Cavo at 3.45, with our return tickets for MOBY ALE safely in our hands as we disembarked and went ashore. We had time to stroll around and return to board the ship for her 4.25 p.m. sailing. As we approached the ramp I noticed the Captain sitting in the shade of a nearby cafe, and smiled and gestured applause to him for his delightful ship. He immediately spoke to us for a few minutes in English and mentioned that he would like to have invited us to the Bridge but there was an inspector on board and it would not therefore be possible. We had noticed lots of hosing down and window-cleaning on board as well as both the aft and the forward ramp being down whilst we were in Cavo!
We sailed on the MOBY ALE at 4.25 p.m. back to Piombino
and enjoyed being on deck and watching all the other shipping around us.
The harbour had a big breakwater and it was immediately calm as we went astern and berthed at 4.55 p.m. We watched the other ferries around us before leaving the quayside.
Next we walked to the nearby small terminal, enjoyed a cappuccino and brioche and then headed back down to the harbour for our next ship of the day.
Ships seen: Moby Ale, Moby Love, Aethalia of Toremar, Rio Marina, Acciarello, Oglasa, Moby Baby, Corsica Express Three, Acapulco Jet, Giovanni Bellini, Marmorica
To be continued...