Sunday, 27 July 2014


A lovely early morning Beaulieu 

A dawn to match the sunset and until the sun is higher the river is a secret deep green.

No rush, because the tide is not going to help the likes of us for an hour to two. Taking ‘Roger’ ashore there is an opportunity to poke round the boat yard and see boats on stilts being done up for later in the season.

Mid morning we are off and out through estuary, yesterday’s friendly seal is not about to wave us off. Back in the Solent the wind has shifted and the state of the tide means westward would be too much like hard work. We turn east towards Portsmouth. Saturday traffic on the Solent is evident and white sails perforate the horizon to the south and north.

Bucklers Hard
There is racing; a menacingly graceful set of J class boats come towards us and we bear away anxious not to give offence. A lovely morning slips easily into a lovely afternoon. Soup is served; Vegetable with Moroccan spices and crunchy French bread.

Portsmouth; hitherto not visited on previous trips so we put this right. Sailing instructions are strict about having to be entering the harbour under motor and rightly so as the tide pushes sideways.

Great ferries tower above us, the Spinnaker; Portsmouth’s new bastion rears up white in the afternoon sun to greet us.  Further along a minesweeper next to a destroyer and then a frigate. This is the home of the Royal Navy.

Late afternoon and against the tide we pass into the backwaters of Portsmouth and Whale Island, once the gunnery school. We head towards Fareham on the coast and tie up in a rather forlorn looking marina at Wicor. We are safe for the evening, however with the expectation of rain during the night, we wonder whether to move on?

White sails perforate the horizon
A meeting is called and we decide to stay put. I encourage the pouring of Gins and prepare Entrecote aux Frites et salad vert.

Given that we are handing the boat over to Skipper’s sister tomorrow afternoon we finish as much wine as we can and I am rumoured to be asleep before the supper table is cleared.

Portsmouth Harbour

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim