3rd July 2008, 17:27
I've been trying to remember where the Golden Mile of 'night clubs' was I seem to recall it was in Genoa. We we there once when the American fleet were in the Med. the place was alive, I also have a dim memory of a place called the Black Cat Saloon arriving back on board in time for the 8-12 watch and standby. I suppose this is a part of sea life that most would prefer to leave in the dim and distant past.
3rd July 2008, 20:08
Yeah your right, the Black Cat was in Genoa, kinda of the Red Light district.
all the best
3rd July 2008, 21:26
After a good night ashore in Genoa with a whole bunch of us, including the Memsahib, we were all walking back past the general area (we were in drydock) when the 2nd engineer decided he had a "need".
The Memsahib took his watch and wallet, less a reasonable amount, for safekeeping and we left him to it.
Had done exactly the same JB hunting in Africa earlier in the trip.
4th July 2008, 14:37
Another name for the Golden Mile in Genoa was The Barbary Coast.
In 1961 I spent some time in Genoa aboard Joe Constantine's "Lochwood" on a coasting trip from the UK, around the Western Mediterranean. Someone made a dreadful mistake with her because she measured out at 1,689 grt - only 90 tons above the limit where the ship would not have had to carry a radio officer. As the R/O, having little to do at sea (little or no radio traffic) and with nothing to do in port unless I wanted to earn some extra cash doing cargo watching, this suited me fine. Although small, she always stayed several days in port. Each night we were ashore up the "Barbary Coast", drinking in most of the bars there, including the "Black Cat".
A favourite was the New York Bar, where we became almost regulars. For the price of her drinks Elisabeta, one of the young ladies there, used to entertain us with tales of her exploits with other customers. All good things come to an end and after a few days, we left for Livorno and ports south. The following month I left the ship in the UK - I had only been relieving for the regular R/O.
About 4 years later I was in Genoa for 24 hours on the "City of Lucknow", discharging wool from Newcastle NSW, on the way back to the UK after an abbreviated MANZ run. The Mate had his wife aboard and one evening we took a cab ashore for a meal and afterwards elected to walk back down the hill to the docks. On the way we passed the end of the "Barbary Coast" and the Mate's wife said, "That looks exciting, let's go down there." The Mate looked at me and shook his head so I took his lead and said that wasn't the sort of place that we would go.
"Nonsense" she said, "it looks just like those streets full of low bars, like you see in the movies, where all the mates and engineers go to pick up women and get drunk. I'm sure that you all do that when your wives are not with you."
Dismissing the Mate's protestations with a shrug she walked off. Down past the Black Cat and other less salubrious bars. "Come on" she shouted back to her husband, "don't try to flannel me, I'm sure you'd spend your all your time down here if I wasn't with you."
"Never," he said "only the rougher members of the crew would come up here, never the officers, isn't that right Sparks?" "You're dead right, we wouldn't be seen dead in such places" was my reply.
"You mean that you've never been in one of these bars Sparks?" she asked me. "Well now is your chance" and she turned and marched into the New York Bar. The Mate and I followed. She sat on a stool at the bar and we joined her and ordered some drinks from the bartender.
Then a beaded curtain at the back of the bar swung aside and a woman wearing a very short skirt entered the bar. She let out a loud screech and shouted "Hey, Sparky, you come back!!" Red faces all round; only the Mate's wife and Elisabeta found it funny.