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Aurora off Ryde

Aurora off Ryde


We had the pleasure of spending a couple of days in Portsmouth this last weekend, a visit which exceeded our expectations. We spent almost all of Saturday in the Historic Dockyard, visiting HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Mary Rose, the Mary Rose museum, doing a harbour tour – and there was still lots there we didn’t get around to. And on Sunday morning just before the drive home we walked along the old defences from Southsea into Portsmouth, past the Round Tower, the Square Tower and all the way to the Point. This was one of the best historical trails I’ve ever done – of course the setting helps greatly, with the Solent on one side, old Portsmouth on the other and history under our feet.


But on the Friday afternoon we went over to Ryde on the hovercraft (weren’t they going to be the ‘next big thing’, about 40 years ago? Having now been on one, it’s obviously a case of brute force over gravity.) We walked gently up and down Ryde sea front all the way to the Dell cafe (Dell teahouse?) and back, and then decided to wait for Aurora and Black Watch to come past us. In the event Black Watch was delayed (both were scheduled to depart at 5pm), but Aurora slipped gently past us at about 6:20. She looked very beautiful and sophisicated, and we both felt very envious of all those on board her, on their 16-night cruise to the Adriatic and back. I took lots of pictures, and that’s one of them above. (For this with the technical interest, the camera was a Nikon D80, quite possibly in P mode, and the lens was a 55-200 VR, at 200mm. The location was the end of Ryde Pier, in front of the railway station.)

Black Watch was about 30 minutes late, by which time I’d put the camera away – another time perhaps. I’d like to cruise in her one day – I know someone who, despite having cruised in many ships both large and small, old and new, still regards Black Watch as her favourite.

One Response to “Aurora”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    That Hovercraft route is the longest established in the world: some 30 years, I think?

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