I have always been drawn to the sea.
I am not certain why, but I have always felt some kind of affinity for the ocean: the mysteries of the deep, the concept of a life of high-seas adventure, and the various vessels that have been used atop and below.
The draw is never overwhelming, but it is always there. Sometimes just a mention of sea travel will be enough to distract me for some time, a minor obsession that I will need to work through. Most often the thing that sucks me in is a watercraft of some kind. If the vessel is interesting in some way, I really want to know its history – how did it come to be, what wonders has it seen, what experiences did it go through.
Anyway, I thought I would start recording some of the vessels and topics that piqued my interest. To start out, I figured I would highlight something that I recently on 4chan that caught (and not just for the obvious reason) my eye:
As far as the photograph composition is concerned, the subject is not actually what I was interested, but the background. I am not entirely certain why, but the Le Lydia got my interest, so I did some research on what turned out to be a interesting, if not storied vessel.
Origins: MV Moonta
If you were to go to the Le Lydia today, you would find it on the Mediterranean coast of France where it is now a land-locked Casino and is the source of the photograph that initially drew me to research this vessel. Before it was little more than a building, the Le Lydia was the “Motor Vessel (MV) Moonta” which was laid down in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1931 at the behest of the Adelaide Steamship Company, which itself, like the Moonta, is no longer in service.
The Moonta started its seafaring career as a passenger liner, and with a small break for a minor conflict, the vessel plied various passenger routes around Australia for 24 years. As a luxury liner, the Moonta was renown as Australia’s premiere provider of cruise vacations.
After its initial service in Australia, the ship was placed on the open market and was acquired by a Greek shipping company. After acquisition and relocation to the Mediterranean, the Moonta was given a significant refit and renovation as well as being rechristened to Lydia.
With a new name and renovated to new standards of luxury, the Lydia sailed numerous lines in the Mediterranean Sea for the next 11 years.
As ships approach the 30-year mark, they approach the end of their service life. After carrying passengers for more than one million miles over the sea, the Lydia was again sold and again rechristened, this time to Le Lydia and it was brought to the port of Port of Barcarès on France’s Mediterranean coast where it was hauled ashore and converted into a building and made into a casino as part of a larger resort.
Since being converted into a casino in 1966, the Le Lydia has changed owners several times, but it still entertains “passengers” to this day.
I hope you liked reading about what I consider to be an interesting ship. Don’t be afraid to comment with something that may have caught your eye.