Week 8 Isle of Wight and Weymouth 

8th - 14th April 

Well we have certainly started this season with a little less pressure than the last. A mere 7 mile run by motor from Hamble to Cowes Harbour was our first “sailing” challenge of this season. No complaints I can say from anyone onboard given the chill in the air.

Playing tourist on the Isle of Wight...

Day 1 - On Foot

150409 9 Osbourne House Garden Isle of Wight150409 7 Osbourne House Garden Isle of Wight150410 3 Bike Ride Isle of Wight Andrew

We set out from the marina down the hill to the Chain Ferry, that was unfortunately for the next 48 hours out of operation, but thankfully a courtesy ferry was in place to shuttle us across to East Cowes. From the ferry a short 15 minute stroll up a hill - a gentle one at that - saw us arrive at Osbourne House. 

Osbourne House was constructed in 1845 by Queen Victoria at her own expense to provide her husband Prince Albert and their nine children a summer escape from the every day pressures of royal life. Most unique on the property is the Swiss Cottage built under the supervision of Prince Albert with the focus being to allow the family to spend quality time together learning the basics of life including how to cook, tend a garden, explore the forest and swim in the sea. With the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 the house was returned to the nation with the exception of the upstairs rooms which became a private museum, unchanged and accessible only to the Royal family until it was opened to the public some fifty years later. 

We noted with some interest that Queen VIctoria was seen as being the Grandmother of Europe with her children going out and marrying across the continents, one of whom, was the daughter of  King Christian IX of Denmark whose Glukesburg Castle we had visited just over a year ago and who was considered to have produced “The Cradle of Europe"

Walking the gardens, buildings and beach area provided for a really nice day out. 

Day 2 - On the Bike 

Well it had been a while since we had been on the bikes so we decided with all the bike trails around Cowes there simply was no excuse. We rode to the town of Newport following the scenic bike route along the Medina River before returning after an attempted tour to Wotten. Signage was not exactly clear. Some 20 plus kilometers later Lee had had enough of her bike seat and was happy to be back in port. A little of toughen up required no doubt!

Day 3 - Hire a car

150411 14 Drive Day Isle of Wight Quarr Abbey

With the weather forecast to be intermittent rain we opted for car hire on our last day on the island and a good choice we did. Cold windy blustery pretty well summed up the morning but thankfully as the day progressed the weather improved. So with our trusty Kia we literally spent the day circumnativaging the island from Cowes to Yarmouth out to The Needles, through Freshwater down to Blackgang before finding a quaint pub in the pretty village of Shanklin. Last stop for the day was at the Quarr Abbey near Ryde where a monestry belonging to the Order of St Benedict it was built in 1912 alongside the ruins of the original twelfth century Abbey. The cafe on site sold fresh produce and baked the best scones that of course we had to indulge in.

Sailing Past the Needles

150413 3 Passing The Needles

Monday 13th we dropped our lines and headed out past The Needles for Weymouth, a run of around 45nm. Andrew had calculated the tides well and we found ourselves at times with just over two knots of assistance from the current, always nicer to be going with it then fighting against it. As we approached St Albans Head we could hear distance gun fire which was a little disconcerting. Sure enough as we rounded the headland we were approached by a Military Boat happy to have a chat but also recommending that we take a wider course particularly given the size of our Mast. We were certainly happy to oblige. 


150414 10 Weymouth Harbour

Arriving into Weymouth the sea fog threatened to close in but mother nature was kind and we came in under just a light mist. Weymouth is a fishing and tourist village with a beautiful white sand beach stretching out along its shoreline. Just around the bay is Portland Harbour where the 2012 Olympic Games were held. For two nights we have had a 56 Foot Grand Solei Boat rafted up as the harbour has been busy - yet summer hasn’t officially started! We first met Lisa and Simon of Brixham in Hamble where their boat “Oceanaire"had been under repair for the winter. 


So tomorrow if weather is as forecast we plan to leave Weymouth and the UK and head south east for the Channel Islands and the port of St Peters on Guernsey. 

The weather has been far kinder then we had possibly hoped with patches of beautiful sunshine just have to work on the thermostat now but certainly no complaints.

(Click for more photos of Isle of Wight and Weymouth)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain