Since around 1993 the Wood Clan have been going on holiday together every two years to Cowes in the Isle of Wight. The Wood Clan consist of my Dad’s side of the family (3 generations) and my Uncles side of the family (4 generations) aged between 78 and 1 year old.
This week we once again packed up and drove down to Southampton to take the most expensive ferry crossing in the world to East Cowes.
We arrived on Saturday in sunny weather and drove the short journey from the Red Funnel Terminal to the brand new Chain Ferry that connects East and West Cowes (although they seem to be trying to re-brand it the “Floating Bridge”) – Interesting fact: when the citizens of Isle of Wight were asked to suggest names for the new Chain Ferry they started voting for “Floaty McFloatFace” – which just shows a) The British have the best sense of humour and b) didn’t anyone take note about the “Boaty McBoatFace” naming debacle?
This year, like most years my uncle sails his yacht “Oban” over from the mainland to Cowes so we can do some sailing during the week, nothing major, just to Yarmouth or the Folly inn mainly. However this year, as Cowes Week did not finish until the day of our arrival he had no space at the marina until Sunday. This meant that My Dad, My Son and I all agreed to come back to the mainland on Sunday morning to sail back to Cowes with him.
To be honest, it sounded like a good idea two months ago, however when we got up at 7am on Sunday it did not really feel that great.
So – our trek back to Emsworth to sail at 12 Noon back to Cowes required the following:
1) Walk with sailing kit (including wet weather gear) to Cowes to pick up lunch (and breakfast) from Tiffins – I can highly recommend this place for all your sandwich needs!
2) RedJet from West Cowes to Southampton
3) Bus from Red Funnel Terminal to Southampton Central Train Station
4) Train from Southampton to Emsworth
5) Walk from Emsworth train station to Emsworth Marina
6) Sail from Emsworth past Hailing Island, Past Portsmouth and the Forts and into West Cowes
7) Walk back to Rosetta Cottage
So we got the 08:45 RedJet and got the FREE bus service (with your RedJet Ferry Ticket) to Southampton Central which was uneventful and an easy crossing. Our 09:30 train was cancelled, which meant we had over an hour to wait for the next direct train and would be arriving there at 11:30. The train had some interesting characters on in on a Sunday Morning – including a man being passive aggressive at a lad who kept his bag on a seat and feet on another (the train being basically empty) and then another man getting the hump at the constant moaning and both of them having a set too… A normal weekend on the UK railway system.
We arrived on time and walked to Emsworth Marina, however we completely forgot to stop off at Tesco’s to pick up some beer, so it would be a moderately dry sail!
We met up with my Uncle at 12 Noon, had a quick cup of coffee and then we set off around 12:30. So far we have spent 4 hours getting to the point of coming back again – the things you do for family!
Our sail was not as smooth as it could be we had south-westerlies all day which meant serious tacking all day long. It was tiring and the sun was out, but we needed our wet weather gear because of the spray and the number of waves we hit head on. It was all in all a good sail though.
We arrived in Cowes at around 6:30pm, we left my Uncle to “potter” about and close up and walked to the Globe pub on the front of Cowes for a well deserved pint.
The drinks were cold, the weather warm and we had re-hydrated ourselves and then walked the 10 minutes back to Rosetta to arrive for a second time in 24 hours at our holiday home for the next week.