Passage 48, Cowes to Portsmouth
Up at 7am, away by 8am, in Portsmouth soon after 10am, off to the museums by 11am.
In other words, same pattern as yesterday where I had a very short trip to get somewhere interesting. The wind was a little more consistent this time, though light, which allowed me to sail with reasonable speed pretty much all the way back across the Solent to Haslar marina in Gosport - opposite Portsmouth. Yesterday the autopilot was on quite good behaviour but today it went completely wobbly on me. For these short trips I don't really mind and, quite frankly, I'm going to have to live with it's temperamental nature for the rest of the venture as there's no quick fix.
I lost precious museum time because the marina people had directed me to one berth only to find, having walked into the office, that they needed me to go to another. So I had to go back to the boat untie it, motor over some place else and tie it back up. Turns out they think that the neighbouring marina had picked my call up and were directing me to a berth in their marina. Apparently they get that problem all the time. Perhaps they should find a solution.
I bought an "eat all you can" ticket that allowed me to see all the exhibits. I got to see: HMS Victory, HMS M.33 (A WW1 gunship with a rather uninspiring name), HMS Warrior (Victorian battleship), the Mary Rose and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. These exhibits are world class in my opinion. The restoration on these ships is phenomenal and the experience is just as it should be without silly gimmicks like that "Titanic Experience" employed in Belfast. Top Notch. Only downside is that my sciatica (aka bum/leg problem) does not like standing and walking slowly so I got through them all quite quickly and was done by 4pm. I'll be visiting HMS Alliance (WW2 submarine) tomorrow morning.
I had a disgusting fish and chips in the main eatery within the museum. I was just thankful I'd ordered a "kids meal" which, frankly, was plenty for a fully grown adult. Poor kids, what we feed them these days. Criminal.
Before heading back to the boat (via the ferry across the harbour) I quickly toured the nearby Gunwharf Quay which is billed as a "Premium Retail Outlet". Which, to my mind, could just as well have been billed as "Shop here and pay through the nose". Indeed, all sorts of shops competing to make their prices as high as possible in order to prove to their gullible customers just how premium they were. I confess I've often succumbed to that marketing trick - the more expensive it is the better it must be.
Another gentle 9 mile sail with force 2 northerlies taking 2 1/4 hours. Main objective was to see all the restored ships in Portsmouth harbour. Very impressive exhibits, every one of them.