Unto Cowes and Come Home

P1160891
From Shamrock Quay along the River Itchen and under its bridge into Southampton Water

Regular readers will know that I am going to live on a sailing boat  with my husband as we have to move soon. We are selling or giving away worldly goods and doing up an old Maxi 95 sloop.

As it has been 15 years or so since I did any sailing, and pre-cancer/chemo, I thought it best to go on a refresher sailing course with a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) instructor.

Last weekend I got on a run as a team of five of like-minded individuals also honing their skills. We sailed from Shamrock Quay in Southampton to the Isle of Wight, where Cowes Week brought sailing boats from all over the world.

 

P1160901
Plain sailing on the Solent

The severe treatment for my Hodgkin Lymphoma left my body and brain somewhat disorientated. I describe my brain as living in a town where a bomb has hit and roads have been blocked off. I have had to find detours and rebuild. I had been having terrible balance problems since the treatment, but following a number of NHS exercises I have not had any accidents for about a year now.

P1160910
We anchored just off Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. This was Queen Victoria’s favourite residence and this her own private beach. It opened to the public 2 years ago.

Although I was used to sailing I had been extremely nervous about going out, especially onto the Solent, which requires strength, skill and alertness due to its tides, geographical structure and the many number of different vessels using its channel.

P1160944
The marina on the Isle of Wight was busy for Cowes Week and took great skill to moor four abreast

This weekend course really helped me to regain my confidence and sort out what I could remember and what I needed to practice.

P1160967
Ready with a slip-line returning to port

I feel brilliant!

Titanic Southampton Remembers

Things are busier than ever with our attempt to move and live on a boat at the moment. I haven’t time to devote to well-researched thought-out posts. Instead I have found a lot of what I want to write about already out there.

Four years ago Southampton had a big commemoration – 100 years since the sinking of The Titanic.

Why is it so important to us? Well, out of over 900 crew members 750 were from Southampton. Unless you were in charge of a lifeboat – most of them drowned.

Repercussions of that event over a Century ago are still felt in Southampton today.

If you are interested here is a BBC Documentary presented by Bernard Hill, the British actor who played Captain Smith in the Cameron film. It’s about 25 minutes long, so unless you are interested in Southampton or The Titanic, you are forgiven if you don’t click:

http://wp.me/p6jveM-zH

Colour Your World: Red

Today’s colour challenge: RED

The Calshot Spit at Southampton Docks © 2015 Southampton Old Lady

… in response to the Colour Your World Photo Challenge whereby there is a different Crayola crayon colour prompt for each day. To see more or take part yourself visit: http://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/03/24/color-your-world-red/
Red boat in barbed wireP1130120

 

P1130122

2015 – Passing the Port

When two Sotonians meet, inevitably they will start talking about ships. The Port is a big part of our culture and important to those born here. However the majority of people living here are not from Southampton. They never even get to see the Port of Southampton, unless they love sailing, go on a ferry or cruise, study at the University’s Oceanography Centre or work at the Docks. So like trainspotters, if an interest is shown, the shipping conversation will delve into anything from tonnage the state of boiler rooms. So hopefully not being too big a bore, here is my experience of our wonderful Port vistors in 2015:

Bramble Bank cricket match 2015
Bramble Bank cricket match August  2015 (Royal Southern Yacht Club)
Hoegh Osaka leaning on Bramble Bank, Southampton Waters in January 2015
Hoegh Osaka leaning on Bramble Bank in The Solent in January 2015

Bramble Bank is a shallow area between Southampton shipping lanes and a cricket match takes place there on Boxing Day at low tide and in August.

Hoegh Osaka is one of the worlds largest container ships at 51,000 tonnes. Last January it had to ground itself deliberately on Bramble Bank in Southampton Waters when it got into difficulties after loading 1,400 new luxury vehicles from the Port of Southampton. Hoegh Osaka also made it to the BBC’s Year in Pictures for 2015: http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-35102257.

In March, the Queen officially launched the P&O cruise ship Britannia from Southampton.  in May the crowds came to see Cunard’s three Queens: Victoria, Elizabeth 2 and Mary 2 all set sail together from Southampton – an event that was later repeated in Liverpool.

In March, the Queen officially launched the P&O cruise ship Britannia from Southampton. In April was the official launch of Athem of Seas pictured in my heading and in May the crowds came to see Cunard's three Queens: Victoria, Elizabeth and Mary all set sail together from Southampton - an event that was later repeated in Liverpool
In March, I went to see The Queen officially launch the P&O cruise ship Britannia from Southampton where the ship is registered. At the time she was the world’s biggest cruise ship, but there is fast-paced race on as to who can build the biggest cruise ship, so this may be overpassed now.
Royal Caribean's Anthem of the Seas was launched in April. She moors regularly between Dock Gates 8-10 and can be viewed from the town walls from West Quay.
Royal Caribean’s Anthem of the Seas was launched in April. She moors regularly between Dock Gates 8-10 and can be viewed from the town walls from West Quay.
Anthem of the Seas viewed from Forest Walk, Southampton. The building on the right belongs to Royal Caribbean
Anthem of the Seas viewed from Forest View, Southampton. The building on the right belongs to Royal Caribbean
4 Vessel Virgins set sail from our Coast in May. The three Cunard Queens Victoria, Elizabeth 2 and Mary 2 all set sail together in May. Anthem of the Seas passes them first to quite a bit of horn-blowing and flag waving.
Four vessel virgins set sail from our coast in May. The three Cunard Queens: Victoria, Elizabeth 2 and Mary 2 all set sail together. Anthem of the Seas passes them first to quite a bit of horn-blowing and flag waving.
Getting ready for a good view of the three Cunard Queens sailing. May 2015
Getting ready for a good view of the three Cunard Queens sailing. May 2015
Queen Mary 2 dwarfing The Calshot Spit
Queen Mary 2 dwarfing The Calshot Spit
In July I enjoyed an interesting day out on Enterprise with top researchers from Southampton University's Oceanography Department
In July I enjoyed an interesting day out on Enterprise with top researchers from Southampton University’s Oceanography Department
The Calshot Spit
The Calshot Spit
Hoegh Target is the world's largest car transporter with deck space the size of 10 football pitches and able to carry enough vehicles for a 26-mile traffic jam. She called to see us in August.
Hoegh Target is the world’s largest car transporter with deck space the size of 10 football pitches and able to carry enough vehicles for a 26-mile traffic jam. She called to see us in August.
Some giant pleasure boats also arrived for the Southampton Boat Show in September 2015
Some giant pleasure boats also arrived for the Southampton Boat Show in September 2015
P&O's Azura at Ocean Terminal, Autumn 2015
P&O’s Azura at Ocean Terminal, Autumn 2015
Ships as big as blocks of flats
Ships as big as blocks of flats
Oceana
Oceana
Old and new tie alongside each other.
Old and new tie alongside each other.
SS Shieldhall is a working heritage steam ship. During Heritage week she offered free cruises around the Solent. http://www.cruisesouthampton.com/markers/ss-shieldhall
SS Shieldhall is a working heritage steam ship. During Heritage week she offered free cruises around the Solent. http://www.cruisesouthampton.com/markers/ss-shieldhall

 

September: Sarah Harrison Band plays on board SS Sheildhall as part of a free music in unusual places festival in Southampton http://www.cruisesouthampton.com/markers/ss-shieldhall
Sarah Harrison Band plays on board SS Sheildhall as part of a free music in unusual places festival in Southampton. October 2015 © Southampton Old Lady
And our regular Red Funnel ferries shuttling back and forth from the Isle of Wight
And our regular Red Funnel ferries shuttling back and forth from the Isle of Wight

 

CCTV & Phoenician Eye

Weekly photo challenge: eye-spy

2 for 1:

P1130177

Firstly: A winking ‘Smiley’ sign to let people know that they are being watched by close circuit television, and not to get up to mischief on Bognor Regis beach in England, UK

Phoenician eye

Secondly: A large sailing dinghy in Southampton, England. Still popular, especially in Europe, a Phoenician Eye on each side of the bow of a boat is believed to ensure safe guidance through the seas. The Phoenicians were the first that we know of to use eye symbols in this way. It was later adapted by the Egyptians who named it the Eye of Horus.

If you would like to take part the link is here: <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/eye-spy/”>Eye Spy</a>

Trio: Train seats

WordPress Photo Challenge: TRIO
To take part visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/trio/

Trio of seats on a train to Southampton Central station. Worn and cosy. I am obsessed with chairs and this did not fit into my sign, chair door series.
Trio of seats on a train to Southampton Central station. Worn and cosy. I am obsessed with chairs and this did not fit into my sign, chair door series.

 

Part of the WordPress challenge: Trio

 

Portsmouth

P1090275

Good Morrow Old Pompey! 

How the Dickens thee be?

Southampton stops by this fine Summer’s day.

After cash-jab and face-lift, looks young and healthy

I calls on thee ‘Neighbour’,

but ‘Scummer!’ ye names me 

Thee Royal Navy and I Merchant Sea

Yet ye stole my ferry passengers

And should-be-mine bananas fatten your docks

I sings out: “Daylight Come and I Want go home”.

“What Shall We do with a Drunken Sailor?” is your repost

P1090225

Come jolly Jack Tar

slap my back if I slaps thine

Chants we more o’them shanties

and buy me a bevvy

at Spice Island Tavern

we’ll sup to “fair ladies”

my Queens and Princesses

your grand Ark Royals

and here’s to Lord Admiral Nelson

and his flagged Victory.

Your rum and brandy, my wine and beer

We feast on mackerel – all sprightly silver,

 like 30 pieces, or was that of eight?

Lament our great losses:

My tragic Titanic

Your dear Mary Rose. 

Evoke Dunkirk spirit –

How we did save them

by the thousand

How we did fight them

shoulder to shoulder

against the French, and on D-Day, the Blitz …

P1120947

Let’s parade to bagpipes along your old battlements

Lungs refresh’d

with Southsea salt-air,

We skiff English pebbles

aim for Spitbank

and against that greasy-grey grave of great sea.

P1090290

Thee, and thy gulls, have welcomed me 

And now I must bid fare-thee-well and Adieu..

Let’s stay always Mateys

And repay my Southampton a visit

real soon.

P1090236

Note: I wrote this after visiting friends in Portsmouth, about half an hour’s ride away. Historically Southampton and Portsmouth have always been rival ports. It is only heard in football match chants nowadays. But the two cities have always pulled together hard against common enemies.

Snap as Seen 1: Boat with Discarded Alien

Boat with Discarded Alien, from Discarded Objects series © Southampton Old Lady
Boat with Discarded Alien, from Snap As Seen series
© Southampton Old Lady

Southampton Boat Show

P1120834

P1120890The Southampton Boat Show attracts billionaires and yacht-racing enthusiasts from all over the globe. This on-water boat show is one of the largest in Europe and the biggest of its type in the UK. It started in September 1969 and is held annually in September in Mayflower Park on the Town Quay.  At £22 a ticket it does not attract locals. However Super-Marine who sponsor the event allow any local senior citizen free entry…

P1120839

P1120865

coloured ropes

boat show 3

P1120821

P1120911P1120903

P1120853

P1120832

… so I went.