South Coast - Part 5
Report by Ashley Gill
Alongside at Worthing (Douglas Deakin)
I took a chance on Monday to
sail for Worthing and was rewarded with a cracking sail.
The forecast for the Wight shipping area was NNW 6-7 Gale 8 expected soon. Therefore I was somewhat surprised to see on AIS Waverley off Selsey Bill at around 06.15. In fact as the wind was off the land the seas at Worthing were flat calm and the steamer came alongside at just after 8am without difficulty.
Rather than forecast showers there were clear blue skies which in the end lasted most of the day. With neap tides and high water at 07.30 by the time we left the pier at 09.05 there was just 10 foot of depth and the seaweed on the seabed was clearly visible.
Over 300 people joined which
for 9am on a Monday morning seems somewhat remarkable but such is the attraction
of the steamer and the perseverance of local inhabitants who are used to the
vagaries of weather dependent cruises.
Despite warm sunshine there was a cold cross wind until the ship turned to the SW at Cowes. With one paddle heavily submerged, and the other largely redundant Jim the purser made a number of announcements to entice passengers to even up the load but in the end we were around 30 minutes late at Yarmouth. A modest crowd joined to bring numbers up to 440 and with the wind dropping behind it soon warmed up in the sunshine. Unusually, but as scheduled Waverley sailed direct to Swanage, the first time for a few years and the wind helped to make up some time so we were only 20 late.
Around 100 joined at Swanage and Waverley set sail for the Jurassic Coast as far as Lulworth Cove. Passengers were given the full cruise time so the steamer was slightly late back to Yarmouth.
The return trip to Yarmouth and Portsmouth was made into the stiff breeze but passengers were rewarded with a stunning sunset and it was a group of very satisfied customers, who boarded the coaches home from Portsmouth to Worthing.
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