HOVERCRAFT & OTHER VESSELS Part 2 - Wightlink ferries
22nd October 2016 WIGHTLINK ferries
On the promenade beside the beach I saw a Memorial plaque, stating that nearby on 14th September 1805 Admiral Lord Nelson embarked for the last time, being killed on the following 21st October at the victorious Battle of Trafalgar. Yesterday evening I raised a glass to Nelson, on what I hope might one day be a Trafalgar Day Bank Holiday in the UK.
There was also a blue plaque to Sir Alec Rose commemorating his single-handed round-the-world yacht voyage in 1968.
Then it was back to the car for a fast drive to the Wightlink ferry terminal, and boarding ST. CECILIA for the 40 minute ride from Portsmouth to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight.
She was built in 1992; there were many passengers on board and we enjoyed seeing the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, the Mary Mouse 2 former lightship, now a floating restaurant at Haslar Marina, Gosport, as we sailed out of the harbour.
We sat in the sunshine near the Fishbourne terminal building and then waited for the ST. FAITH Wightlink ferry to take us back to Portsmouth.
There were few of us passengers on board but our little tour of the ship showed us a familiar poster picture: it was the same one used on board the ANNA MUR, the ex ST. HELEN of Sealink and Wightlink fame, that we sailed on last month in September to and from the Sardinian mainland port of Portovesme and the St. Peter island port of Carloforte, where we had stayed. It made us smile happily to see this reminder of another fascinating ferry trip.
Here on the ST. FAITH I got talking to a member of the crew up on deck and mentioned that we had recently been sailing on the previous ST. HELEN in Sardinian waters, and seen the previous ST. CATHERINE as well.
He was fascinated to see the pictures and asked if we could wait just a moment, disappeared inboard for a couple of minutes, and then returned to ask if we would like to come onto the Bridge and talk to the Captain about our trip and photos! We certainly did and would, and followed him up on to the Bridge. That proved an interesting and enjoyable time up there with the Captain, as the Quartermaster skilfully took us around the many Saturday sailors out on the water as we headed towards Portsmouth again.
We had to leave the Bridge as we neared Portsmouth Harbour but had enjoyed meeting the Captain and the views as we sailed along.
To be continued...