FERRYING IN SEPTEMBER 2017 (Part 3)
Monday 18th September 2018
Last night was so upsetting when we missed being able to sail on MOBY DADA. However this is a new day with new plans. During the night I heard the sound of high winds outside the balcony, but by morning it was quieter. An early alarm call helped us set off for the port at 7.30 a.m. and we were soon booked on the 8 a.m. departure of SARDINIA REGINA from here in Bastia to Livorno on the Italian mainland. She was built in 1972 at 13,004 gross tons, and is with Corsica Ferries/Sardinia Ferries. We went on board and the 8 o'clock departure in fact became 8.55 with an estimated arrival time of 1 o'clock rather than 12 noon, but that was all right.
After that we were planning to return on MOBY CORSE from Livorno at 2 p.m. back to Bastia. The plan after that was to sail on MOBY DADA from Bastia on her new route, today going to Genoa. We could then get a train to Livorno, collect the car there, drive to Florence and hand back the car, and get a train down to Naples.
My diary jottings say that firstly the day picked up once we had these plans and bookings; the second jotting welcomed the prospect of breakfast on board very soon, and the third jotting mentioned the pleasure of hearing the "Thieving Magpie" music (Rossini) played on the departure of SARDINIA REGINA!
We enjoyed breakfast on board as we sailed out of Bastia in the sunshine, hoping for an uneventful sail across to Livorno. We could see PASCAL LOTA and PIANA in the harbour, with later sailings from Bastia.
The sea was fairly calm and I noted that I was sitting above the pool in a deckchair in the warm sunshine, with an air temperature at noon of 25C.
A little later when Livorno was in sight in the distance, the skies darkened and we could see rain falling over the city. The sunshine disappeared and over on our starboard side a mile or so away we could see wild weather conditions that formed waterspouts as we watched.
It was quite dramatic to see and we were glad to watch the waterspouts from a safe distance as we sailed into port. To think we were hoping for an uneventful sail this morning...
As we neared our quayside we passed MOBY WONDER and MOBY CORSE.
Once we disembarked from SARDINIA REGINA after 1 o'clock, we realised there was no time to return to our safely parked car so we simply walked round the quay to our next sailing. We embarked on MOBY CORSE under cloudy skies and decided to go to the restaurant for a late lunch. She was built in 1978 and is probably remembered as DANA ANGLIA or DUKE OF SCANDINAVIA to many travellers.
A short distance away we could see SARDINIA REGINA loading her passengers ready for a return trip to Bastia. The back ramp came up, the water started to churn underneath her stern, she started to move away from the quay, and then the stern ramp came down again. One of the mooring men leapt off onto the quayside, the ramp went up again and she sailed again! That was fun to watch.
It was definitely time to have lunch then, as we were soon underway ourselves in heavy rain, and the outside decks all cleared. Reclining seats beckoned after lunch and proved popular. As I went into the lounge I noticed that although it was a large room with lots of seats, most people seemed to be resting in one particular area; we soon joined them, because it was furthest away from the one man who was snoring rather loudly. Just an observation on my part, you understand.
Once awake again we went for a cup of tea and took some more photographs.
We watched as we arrived back in Bastia, in sunshine for a change. We passed MEGA ANDREA as we headed into our berth.
The sky darkened and suddenly it was pouring with rain again. Before we disembarked from MOBY CORSE we stood out on a sheltered part of an outside deck and watched as MOBY DADA sailed into the harbour (showing her blue starboard paintwork) and passed us at very close quarters. That was when we could see her red port side paintwork.
We disembarked and on the quayside we waited under cover for the mini-bus to take us to the terminal building to check in for our overnight sailing, and wait for another mini-bus to take us to MOBY DADA with the other embarking passengers.
At last we were able to board MOBY DADA, later than planned but we made it this time. We are due to sail at 9 p.m. from here in Bastia in Corsica, to Genoa on the Italian mainland. We feel so lucky that this is part of her new schedule and we could take advantage of it. Tomorrow after we arrive we will be able to catch a train from Genoa to Livorno, collect our hire car and drive inland to Florence where we can hand back the car. Then we can get a train from Florence south to Naples for our next sailing.
We sailed from Bastia yet again and settled in to enjoy this ship and its treasures. She was built in 1981 at 34,093 gross tons, with previous names including FINLANDIA and QUEEN OF SCANDINAVIA. She is now known as a cruise ferry for Moby Lines, under charter from DFDS Seaways. After building she was in service on Silja's Helsinki to Stockholm service, until being sold to DFDS Seaways in 1990 and being re-named QUEEN OF SCANDINAVIA. Then from 2010 to November 2016 she was with St. Peter Line as PRINCESS MARIA for sailing between Helsinki and St. Petersburg in Russia. In November 2016, and whilst still owned by DFDS, she joined, and is operated by, the Moby Line group.
It looked as if there were many decorative artworks from her previous use, with charts in picture frames on the walls, the occasional sign mentioning St. Peter Line etc.
We saw the grand descent from the top level of the Restaurant down to the huge main bar and side bars with the wonderful Tiffany lighting. It was an amazing sight after dinner, when we went down to enjoy these beautiful surroundings, with a drink at a small table.
The rest of the evening passed happily.
Ships seen: Corsica Regina, Piana, Pascal Lota, all in Bastia, then Moby Wonder, Moby Corse, Mega Andrea, Moby Corsica Seconda, Moby Dada
To be continued...