Waverley on the South Coast 2011 Part 1
Report and pictures by Martin
Waverley completed her main Scottish season at Ayr on Monday evening,
31 August 2011. Soon she was heading
south and enjoyed a swift passage, arriving at Weymouth on Wednesday morning. Her first 2011 South Coast sailing was on
Friday being a circular trip to Portland and Lulworth
and back to Weymouth with almost 400 on board.
Then she positioned to Southampton, calling at Swanage, with coach
return, taking about 120.
Recently awarded plaque in the
Engine Room alleyway
On Saturday the steamer started her regular timetable with a sailing
from Southampton, Portsmouth and Yarmouth and then Round the Isle of
Wight. A good number were on board for
the first leg to Portsmouth with a fair number joining there, about 450 sailing
along the Solent.
About twenty more were on board for the circumnavigation which was
executed in a counter-clockwise direction.
The weather gradually improved through the day with a light
south-westerly breeze meaning still air on the deck between The Needles and Bembridge.
Wight Sky enters Yarmouth Harbour
as Waverley approaches the Pier
Sunday dawned with a heavy, grey sky with drizzle in the air as the
steamer prepared to sail to Yarmouth, Bournemouth, Swanage and Weymouth. Departure from Southampton was delayed by
two large cargo ships passing Waverley’s berth from further up Southampton
Water. The paddler was able to slip
her moorings at 09.13 but progress out to sea was restricted by the speed of
the preceding vessels. Finally the
steamer was able to turn away to the west only to run into mist which
necessitated a reduction in speed. On
the Solent there are lots of small craft, such as dinghies, which do not show
up on the radar, meaning that we could only proceed at reduced speed. Landfall at Yarmouth was made just after
11.00 and Purser Pat Murrell announced that the Captain was considering the
best course of action for the rest of the day.
alongside at Southampton
Unfortunately a Force 8 gale was forecast for later in the day. In the event, Captain O’Brian decided that
predicted conditions dictated that the paddler should remain in the sheltered
waters of the Solent. The decision was
taken to offer an alternative cruise round Portsmouth Dockyard followed by a
couple of hours ashore at Yarmouth.
Just over 100 took advantage of the substitute offering.
We followed Brittany Ferries’ Normandie into Portsmouth Harbour
Clyde-built newly commissioned HMS Dragon in the Dockyard – note reduced masts
of HMS Victory over her foredeck
By the time we left Portsmouth Harbour the sun had come out but the
wind was starting to freshen, as forecast.
The steamer berthed at Yarmouth for the second time at about 15.15 and
everyone got off, either to go home or to enjoy a short stay on the Isle of
Wight. Waverley set off for Southampton
at 17.00, ending her day early an hour and a half later.
carrier Morning Celine outbound – Red Falcon inbound