Mark Crilley must be in Britpop heaven, with me following the Spandau Ballet reference with a pun on our favourite Northwestern chiming guitar moptops (Oasis, I think).

With two nights in Pompey, I made Tuesday “Isle of Wight Day“, just edging out “Southampton Micro Day”.  Southampton will always be there, but Wight is probably drifting further out to sea each year and will soon be lost completely.

Tuesday was also one of the designated days when under-60s are allowed onto the Island, which I presume BRAPA has factored into his own plans.

How exciting

So, after that assault on the west of Wight back in February, could I finish it today ? Do you care ?

Let me be honest.  I was thrilled as I boarded the 10:30 from Southsea to Ryde.  My first EVER trip on a hovercraft, and only a fiver more than the slow crossing from Lymington.

Here we go

It was the week after schools went back, and well after rush hour, but I was still surprised there were only 33 fellow travellers.

At least that meant the queue for the bar would be short.


Oh, there is no bar.  You just strap in and pray for ten minutes.

I thought I’d need to use the plastic bag protecting my Isle of Wight Pub Guide for less pleasant purposes.

A top class CAMRA pub guide, that

But I survived. Ten minutes later, I was on Ryde Harbour.

Almsost as exciting as arriving on Papeete all those years ago. And I mean that.

Apart from the extreme heat, the watermelon sellers on every corner and the lack of a Wetherspoons, you could confuse Tahiti with this classic Victorian resort.

Classic hotels

Something tells me Ryde has a sense of humour,


and I can’t wait to visit the excitingly basic sounding Railway with its 200 million year old gingko biloba tree.

But it’s not open till noon, and I could have ticked two pubs in Sandown by then.

So I followed the official graffiti trail to the bus station, where the 10:50 is about to depart.

Not Dead Yet.  Not even in Wight

Aren’t bus station murals great ?


Twenty minutes after standing on Solent Harbour, I was in a different land, wondering if my bladder would last the 30 minute journey.


  1. Yes, I think I read that Portsmouth is one of the most deprived towns in England, yet it’s just fifteen miles from Chichester, one of the poshest.


  2. Surprised you’ve not been on a Hovercraft ! We ventured on one across the Channel in early 80’s -outbound -fine but noisy- about 40 mins.Return about hour & half as the weather had cut up rough -tossed about like a cork & extremely scary & all for the miniscule amount of alcohol you were allowed to bring back then

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Pauline, I went on one in 1983. I sympathise with Martin’s experience – it was pretty nausea-inducing as I recall. I’ve not been tempted to repeat it.

      You’ll perhaps only be able to bring back a small amount again soon eh?


    2. So if this is now all about the one time we’ve each been on a hovercraft I shall add that for me it was from Portsmouth to Ryde on 10th July 1974 for a pint of Burt’s in the Stag Inn at Lake, the Ventnor brewer’s most northerly pub.
      I spent the previous night in Patcham, just opposite Harvey’s Black Lion, and the next night in Litton Cheney, just yards from Palmers White Horse.
      Then it was to Cornwall for Helston and St Austell.


      1. I think that it’s what’s called a “sub-thread”, Paul. It does seem to be one of those things that many folk only do once though. (Unlike morris dancing – best avoided altogether).


      2. The Grove must realise that insects are legal and incest is not.
        You’ve reminded me of the pint of Harvey’s Armada Ale I had in the Grove in March.


      1. Did you know, that Paganini once played an ENTIRE violin concerto, finishing, with no fewer than three of his four strings broken?


    1. Quite….. a worrying weekend with few posts….. plus I didn’t get the badge and balloons the subscription promised, just some dodgy out of date spoons vouchers……

      Liked by 2 people

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