SUMMER 2016 - July ferrying, Part 4
Monday 18th July 2016
I think we were all up before sunrise this morning, having slept remarkably well until 6 a.m. here on board VITSENTZOS KORNAROS. We were approaching the Great Harbour of Piraeus, seeing several familiar ships as we headed for our berth.
We disembarked at 7 a.m. (late) and headed for the Salamis island ferry, on the far side of the harbour. A good bakery provided the morning's early breakfast necessities and we were soon on the good ship ELENA F heading out to sea for the hour's journey to the nearby island. It was another golden morning on the blue seas.
Ice cream at Salamis tasted like nectar as we headed back to Piraeus.
Next we made time to visit the famous Telstar bookshop run by Costas, to have a chat and buy the latest Ferry & Cruise Review magazine with its topical information. Then it was time to walk another block to collect the booked hire car, and brave the Piraeus traffic for a short distance to drive to Perama. There we were able to get a close look at ALKYON, who used to sail the Brindisi//Durres route. She looks in a sorry state.
Then we headed to Elefsina waterfront, with views to the other side of the bay and MYTILENE, built in 1973 (we went on her in September 2012), and PENELOPE A (we went on her in August 2013), the 1972 built ex-HORSA. Photos taken, we had time to join locals on the little beach and paddle in the sea, whilst others swam. What mixed memories of Elefsina we have to take home.
Back in the car we headed south-east down to the port of Lavrion, found a parking space near one of the waterside restaurants and enjoyed a late lunch.
Back in the car and driving to the ferry port, there were sudden shouts from my friends as they spotted something unexpected on the rough ground at the side of the road, beside a wall. We came to a sudden halt and the men leapt out; I grabbed my camera and photographed them sitting on a SEALINK bench, in what is virtually the middle of nowhere in SEALINK terms. As the authors of the wonderful book "SEALINK AND BEYOND", they certainly know their subject of ferries and if they say that bench was a SEALINK product, then it is! They knew that the ex-HENGIST had been laid up here at Lavrion for a while some years ago, so presumably items had been taken ashore for other use at the time and this bench had remained, even when the ship had left. Photographs were taken.
Once the shock had been absorbed, we continued to the ferry berths. We are to get the MARMARI EXPRESS sailing this afternoon at 4.30 over to the island of Kea, which should take about an hour. She was built in 1985 at 1,863 gross tons.
It was a lovely time at sea, with hot sun, sparkling water, and the island of Kea always in view ahead of us.
No sooner had we berthed and disembarked than the Hellenic Seaways ferry ARTEMIS arrived and berthed very near, so there was the usual hustle and bustle of cars and people in the port area. She left soon after, the roadway was cleared and we could enjoy a quiet cup of tea or cold drinks on the waterside.
We embarked back on MARMARI EXPRESS ready for the 6.30 sailing back to Lavrion and enjoyed another restful sail.
Back at the port we had a last look at MACEDON, MASTERJET, TAXIARCHIS, ALIOS (the ex-NORKING), and the charter yacht ISSAN ALBAHA, before getting back in the hire car to drive north to Agios Konstantinos. It was an interesting journey along a good road between high mountains, with occasional amazing views ahead. There was little traffic on the dual-carriageway route and we eventually arrived at the little seaside town and located our hotel for the night. The lady owner greeted us each with a hug and kiss and made us very welcome. The car was parked safely in a relative's back yard and all was well.
Our ship for tomorrow, MIRTIDIOTISSA of Aqua Ferries, had already arrived and we could walk along to the nearby ferry berth and see her settling in for the night, with the ramp partly up to deter visitors after she had unloaded.
Ships seen at Piraeus: Celestyal Crystal, Celestyal Olympia, Blue Galaxy, Blue Star Delos, Alexandros Korais, Sea Cloud (the 4 masted yacht), Superfast XII, Kriti I, Panagia Tinou, Blue Star Naxos, Flying Cat III, Nissos Rodos, Ariadne, Ionis of Leve Ferries, Posidon Hellas, Carnival Vista, Knossos Palace, High Speed 6, Flying Dolphin XXIX
Ships seen at Elefsina: Theofilos, European Express, Alkyon (at Perama), Talos, Mytilene (built 1973), Penelope A (built 1972) the ex-Horsa
Ships seen at Lavrion: Masterjet, Marmari Express, Taxiarchis, Macedon, Alios the ex-Norking, Issan Albaha the yacht,
Ships seen at Kea: Artemis of Hellenic Seaways, Saffet Ulusoy a UN ro-ro, b 2005 at 29,004 gross tons, seen as we headed for Kea
Ships seen at Agios Konstantinos: Mirtidiotissa (the ex-Aqua Maria) of Aqua Ferries
To be continued...