Embassy’s first 1965 cruise – Embassy’s season started with the Society’s charter. For the first time in 50 years a sailing was made from Weymouth by paddle steamer round the Isle of Wight. The weather was fine but a very thick sea mist hung over Weymouth Harbour and Bay. The siren was constantly in use as Embassy crept out into Weymouth Bay. Coming nearer to Swanage the fog horn at Durlston Head was heard and intending passengers on the pier could see the top of the mast and funnel but the rest of the ship was hidden in fog. We left Bournemouth later than planned with the weather clearing. After the return to Swanage the Embassy proceeded to Poole and so completed a very strenuous first sailing.
Princess Elizabeth charter trip to Torquay – With the PSPS flag flying this was a day when Princess Elizabeth was showing her paces. The first trip to Torquay from Weymouth for 16 years meant we had the rare opportunity to glimpse the western shore of Portland. The little shop on the sponson was well stocked with newspapers, paperbacks, confectionery and novelties – quite an innovation on a paddler these days. The evening trip back was also made in glorious sunshine – we made even better time, arriving in Weymouth at 8.50pm.
Clyde and Loch Lomond – The Coastal Cruising Association’s Caledonia Charter had some 500 passengers to Stranraer. Even with both wind and tide against her she was only some 7 minutes late. This was the first time a paddle steamer had visited Stranraer for over 30 years and the first time it was possible to be at the same berth with the two “Caleys” (Caledonia and Caledonian Princess). With the start of the annual holidays on July 3rd, the passenger traffic was greatly increased and both Maid of Ashton and Maid of Skelmorlie assisted Waverley on the run from Craigendoran to Rothesay. Even with the two extra sailings Waverley left Gourock with a full house. HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip had a short cruise on PS Maid of the Loch during their two day visit to Dumbartonshire.
White Funnel notes – On the Scilly Isles trip – Bristol Queen’s third annual weekend excursion – a notable feature was the passage of the steamer inside Longships. A moderate sea and fresh wind added to the thrill of this tricky piece of navigation. The Padstow trip was enjoyed by some 750 passengers with a turnout at Padstow akin to a royal welcome. If time had permitted, operation of a local cruise would have been a great success. We may hope that Padstow will join the Scilly Isles, Milford Haven and Chepstow in the growing list of places to which a sailing is now an established annual event.