WAVERLEY – Solent and Needles Fri 16th Sept 2011

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

WAVERLEY – Solent and Needles Fri 16th Sept 2011

With the winter solstice passed and daylight getting longer (slowly!) it’s nice to remember some of the trips from last year, while we look forward to the next season.

A good weather forecast and cruising vouchers to be used up, prompted an early start from Cardiff on the 6.30am train to Southampton.  Arriving at Pier 49 at 9.30 about 100 passengers were gathered on the quay waiting for Waverley to finish taking fuel bunkers before we could board.

Alongside Pier 49 Southampton

Departing at 10.00 the weather was dry and cloudy with a cool easterly breeze.  The Solent was, as usual, fairly busy with shipping – no big cruise ships at the Ocean Terminal.  Red Funnel ferries and tugs were busily going about their business, and there were about half a dozen tankers at the Fawley oil berths.

Arrived at Portsmouth on time and picked up about 200 more passenger, then proceeded to Yarmouth in improving weather.  At Yarmouth a number of passengers disembarked for a few hours ashore while a similar number joined for the afternoon cruise to the Needles and Freshwater Bay.

Cruising towards Yarmouth in improving weather
Approaching Yarmouth Pier

By now the clouds had disappeared and the wind had dropped making for a glorious couple of hours cruising– I was wishing I’d brought my sunscreen.

Approaching The Needles from Freshwater Bay

Back at Yarmouth, we departed a little late but were back on schedule by the time we departed Portsmouth and we arrived back at Southampton only 5 minutes late which was perfect for my train departure back to Cardiff.

Peter Havard