An island that is definitely worth a visit. We spent our first evening at anchor in a bay on the Solent. Just off the bay was Osborne House, a beautiful castle where Queen Victoria spent a long time and also died. We were surprised how quiet the anchorage was, with all the traffic on the inlet. The next morning we drove the rest of the way to Cowes. We moored at a pontoon in the Medina River. To get ashore we used the rubber dinghy. Cowes is the third largest town on the island, and a real paradise for sailors. The town is famous for its sailing events. One of the most famous is Cowes Week, an annual regatta week that attracts sailors from all over the world. Cowes has a rich maritime history, as the town was once a popular place for royal yachts and has one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world. The town has many cafes, restaurants and good pubs to stop at.

As we still wanted to get to know the further surroundings of England, we made a day trip to Portsmouth by ferry across the choppy sea, which was still choppy after the previous storms. We saw the famous Spinnaker Tower, the landmark of Portsmouth, from afar. After a 50-minute ride, the ferry docked directly at an outlet centre. We strolled through the shops and saw one or two bargains. The city has a beautiful waterfront. In the weather, the waves hit the city walls with a vengeance and the onshore wind carried huge masses of water right onto the pavement. Hendrik tried to make dry progress along the promenade, but it didn't quite work 😀

We spent our last day on the island in the Newton River, an impressive nature reserve. However, our arrival was not without challenges. The place was busy with other sailors and yachts, and the combination of wind and current led us onto a shoal where we got stuck after trying to anchor. Patiently we waited for the tide to come in to get us out of this situation and luckily we found a better spot. Although the available buoys were occupied and many were anchored, it was very quiet and we could enjoy nature to the full. From our anchorage we could watch seals only 10 metres away from us, sunbathing and grunting. The next morning we sailed on past the famous Needles towards Swanage.



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