By Paddler to Porlock

Words by Martin Longhurst - Pictures by Mike Mason & Martin Longhurst

After her triumphant Western Isles visit, the paddler headed south to the Bristol Channel. On the way she took the opportunity to give five cruises in the Republic of Ireland, out of Dublin, Arklow and Wicklow. These took place in good weather, but support from the people of Dublin was not as strong as hoped. However, the calls at the southern ports produced good numbers.

Bad weather caused the cancellation of the day time sailing on Thursday 17 May. However, a civic reception on board still took place alongside Penarth Pier. Terry Sylvester chose this occasion to announce publicly his retirement from the Waverley organisation.

Fair weather returned at the weekend for the steamer's sailing from Clevedon and Penarth for Minehead and Porlock Bay cruise. Modest numbers joined at the North Somerset pier but numbers were swelled considerably from Penarth. There was a good deal of interest at Minehead with a large passenger exchange taking place.

Three views of Waverley alongside in Minehead Harbour (Mike Mason)

The Exmoor coast from Waverley's Observation Deck (Martin Longhurst)

The twin wakes mark a line across Porlock Bay (Martin Longhurst)

More evidence of Bosun Tommy Reilly's excellent rope work around the for'ard mast stays. Note the Welsh dragon on the jack staff indicating that Captain Steve Colledge was in command. (Martin Longhurst)

Minehead is the headquarters of the West Somerset Railway. Here GWR Manor class 7820 Dinmore Manor awaits departure for Bishops Lydeard. (Mike Mason)

GWR Manor class No. 7828 Odney Manor receiving attention. There are many opportunities to travel on this railway in conjunction with Waverley or Balmoral sailings. (Mike Mason)

The paddler returning to Minehead after the Porlock Bay cruise. (Mike Mason)

The paddles create a lot of wash as the steamer is brought gently alongside. (Mike Mason)

Waiting time at Penarth Pier before the final leg to Clevedon. (Mike Mason)

Waverley steams slowly away from Clevedon Pier to anchor for the night. (Martin Longhurst)

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