Saturday 16th September 2017
At 5.25 this morning the doubtful pleasure of travelling with Southern Rail kicked in yet again, and my train for Gatwick Airport was replaced by a bus for half of the journey! Ah well, all went to plan after that as I eventually arrived at Gatwick, met one of my travelling companions for breakfast and we flew away at 9 o'clock towards Pisa in Italy.
As we disembarked a couple of hours later I thanked the staff and was invited to step inside the flight deck - I like that sort of reaction; the pilot told me the route we had flown over the south of England and made me feel very welcome for those few minutes.
In Pisa Airport we met up with another chum, collected the hire car and drove to the coastal port of Piombino further down the coast. Once parked, we walked along the quayside to board our first ship of the trip: the MOBY NIKI. She was originally built in 1974, and I remember her as CORSICA SERENA SECUNDA - one of the 'golden girls' with a bright yellow hull.
We sailed from Piombino at 2 and arrived at Portoferrairo at 3.00 on MOBY NIKI. We'd been fascinated during the journey by all the Batman and Robin illustrations and artwork around the ship, which were certainly eye-catching. We had to disembark before embarking to sail back to Piombino on the same ship.
Our next vessel was the SCHIOPARELLO JET hydrofoil from Piombino back to Portoferrairo via another small port on Elba. The journey was rough and quite uncomfortable and we could imagine the vessel when she was RED JET 5.
We had time to find a favourite cafe and enjoy a freshly cooked meal before heading back to the quayside to embark on our last ship of the day.
This time we sailed from Portoferrairo on MOBY KISS, built in 1975, and known as the METTE MOLS at one point in her career.
Back in Piombino on the mainland we checked into the Hotel Phalesia, where we have stayed before, and slept well after the first day's enjoyable ferrying.
Ships seen: Oglasa (Toremar), Moby Niki, Moby Aki, Lampogas (ex CalMac), Giuseppi SA of Moby Cargo in Olbia, Giovanni Bellini (Toremar), Moby Kiss, Moby Baby Two, Marmorica, Schiopparello Jet, Rio Marina Bella, Corsica Express Three, Stelio Montomoli, Acciarello
To be continued...
12 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AA
I had a fascinating and memorable visit; details can be found at https://www.londonmithraeum.com
After my visit I walked along and down College Hill