Last week, I took advantage of a glorious October day to cycle to Sandbanks in Dorset. I was accompanied by Davina, my “(ir)responsible adult” for the day, seen here taking in the view from Mudeford at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour. We were shortly to board the ferry to take us across the Race to the spit of land, with its hugely expensive beach huts, that becomes Hengistbury Head.
The paddle steamer “Waverley” going astern from her berth at Southampton at the start of last Saturday’s cruise. She’ll continue astern turning to port before going ahead and to starboard to head down Southampton Water.
PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. Built in 1946, she sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar on Loch Long until 1973. Bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), she has been restored to her 1947 appearance and now operates passenger excursions around the British coast.
Since 2003 Waverley has been listed in the National Historic Fleet by National Historic Ships UK as “a vessel of pre-eminent national importance”.
Waverley’s operators claim she is “probably the most photographed ship in the world”.
Yesterday I was due to go on a cruise on her from Portsmouth along the south coast via Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to Lulworth Cove and back. However, we’ve had a week a very strong winds (“Storm Alison”) and the cruise was cancelled. That was the last opportunity this year as she is now heading off to the Thames and Southend areas before going back to her home on the Clyde for the autumn and winter.