Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

19 April 2018

London in the spring sunshine

Embankment Gardens, beside the River Thames

Plimsoll statue, Embankment Gardens

Plimsoll statue, detail

Tattershall Castle, on the River Thames Embankment

11 April 2018


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.

Moby Niki

Wall art

Batman - mind your head

A table top

More wall art

Moby Aki across the water

Giovanni Bellini

Giuseppe SA, of Moby Cargo, Olbia

Deck plan

We footies waiting to disembark

View from the quayside

Moby Niki funnel logo

This had the name of LAMPOGAS along the side hull

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.

Schiopparello Jet (previously 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.

Moby Baby Two was on the quayside

Her entrance

Moby Baby Two

Oglasa was heading into the port

Corsica Express Three sailed out

Stelio Montomoli was also at the quay

This time we sailed from Portoferrairo on MOBY KISS, built in 1975, and known as the METTE MOLS at one point in her career.

Moby Kiss

We boarded before any of the cars

The entrance to the Sports Bar

Unexpected passenger

Oh look, it's Moby carpet

Moby Kiss life ring

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...

03 April 2018

Mithras - London Mithraeum

A newspaper article in November 2017 which caught my attention

Crowds in 1954

I went to London and walked across the road from Cannon Street station

And there behind me was the site of the London Mithraeum:
12 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AA

From another angle

Entry is free, but with a timed ticket; I was handed this booklet on entry

Built on a special place

What to see

Descend through time - an extraordinary sensation as I went down many steps to the past

There was the altar

From another angle

Base of one original door post, near my feet

On current ground level

A closer look at some of the finds

Beautiful fragments

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

Richard Whittington's Church

Round the corner was the entrance to St. Michael's Church, and the offices of The Mission to Seafarers, at St. Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill, London EC4R 2RL