Waverley on the South Coast 2011 Part 3
Report and pictures by Martin Longhurst
The storm which started on Sunday 11 September 2011 was prolonged and the steamer remained tied up at Southampton until Tuesday afternoon when she sailed light for Swanage, so as to be ready to make for Weymouth should conditions improve sufficiently. Early on Wednesday, the paddler steamed off to the west but conditions prevented her from reaching Weymouth, so she returned to Swanage to await her sailing time. As conditions were not expected to improve during the day, passengers were advised that their return would be made by ferry and coach from Yarmouth. Just under 100 took advantage of the sail to Yarmouth and then round Portsmouth Dockyard. Having discharged her passengers, Waverley returned to Portsmouth to spend the night at the Harbour Station Pier.
In contrast to the rest of the week, Thursday was perfect with blue skies and smooth seas. Unfortunately, shipping movements at Portsmouth conspired to put the steamer about 25 minutes late at Yarmouth.
Portsmouth’s launch Peter James pushes Waverley’s bow round for her morning departure
Large numbers joined the steamer at Yarmouth, Bournemouth – today was the first occasion that Waverley had reached the Dorset resort in 2011, such had been the weather pattern – and Swanage. There was excellent visibility along the Jurassic Coast but as there was firing on the Army Range, we not able to reach Lulworth on this trip, when well over 500 were on board.
The setting sun as Waverley heads back to Portsmouth
Friday’s cruise also went ahead as planned with about 350 passengers before the weather intervened once more, causing complete cancellation of Saturday’s sail. The forecast suggested an improvement on Sunday, but this was too short-lived to allow a full cruise. In the event, on arrival at Yarmouth from Southampton, Captain O’Brian announced that the forecast would not permit the completion of the sailing as planned and a short cruise towards The Needles
and then back to Gurnard would be offered before two hours ashore in Yarmouth.
Wight Light leaves for Lymington as the next ferry approaches Yarmouth
Waverley arrived back at Berth 49 Southampton just after 17.00, just after P&O Cruises’ Azura had departed for warmer climes.
The massive Azura heads out on her cruise as Waverley returns
The preserved tug/tender Calshot at her new berth
I am pleased to report that Southend Borough Council has confirmed their pier will be ready for us next week.