Monday, August 14, 2006

Boating at 10 times our usual speed

We spent the day in Portsmouth last week and had an interesting journey to the Isle of Wight and back. Outwards we took the Fast Cat from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier. This took a while to get into the fast lane, but when it did, there was a belch of black smoke and we were soon belting along at over 40mph, or then times the canal speed limit! For the return journey we took the hovercraft from Ryde beach to Southsea.

Part way back we overhauled a Cat coming the same way, but we weren't a lot faster in the hovercraft. 45 knots they told us. That's about 50mph. Nearing the beach we had to dodge round the back of a car ferry, without slowing down, and I reckon we missed it by 4 feet!

Portsmouth is just THE best place for boat spotting. Everything from fishing boats to aircraft carriers, not to mention HMS Victory of course.

The locals complain about the huge cost (£millions) of building the Spinnaker Tower near the harbour entrance, but I recknon it was worth it. A great landmark for scores of years to come.

One of these days I'm going to photograph all the lovely old Pompey pubs with their mosaics proclaiming "brilliant ales" and "unrivalled stout and porter" . Brickwoods brewery has long since gone but the old pub signs remain.


valonia said...

Great photos of Portsmouth. My husband hails from Portchester and his father has built a fair few of the boats you see in Portmouth's harbour (as well as our own narrowboat). My husband and I got married on H.M.S. Warrior last October - there must be a fantastic view of it from the Spinnaker - but I'm too scared of heights to find out!

valonia said...

P.S. If you visit the Still & West, opposite Spice Island Inn, there is a great aerial photograph of a war ship that accidentally banked on Spice Island!

Neil Corbett said...

Hi Valonia

I've had many's the pint in the S&W. Next time I'll look out for the picture