Today was our departure day from the Isle of Wight. It was also the day that Storm Eunice arrived just as predicted. We did of course need to get back to the mainland by ferry and unsurprisingly Red Funnel Ferries were not able to give us definitive answers far in advance as whether or not we could sail. The Lodge Park staff were conspicuous by their absence: the reception was firmly locked up and keys had to be returned to a key drop box. I pity anyone who was continuing their stay over the next day or so, who required maintenance help of any sort.
After rather an anxious morning we were informed that we could make our way to the ferry port where we were loaded on not long after our original departure time of midday. We had a wait of an hour or so until the ferry boat was given the all clear from Southampton and off we set. We expected the journey to be rough, as the boat is flat bottomed, but it wasn't. We arrived safely in Southampton and made our way home to Essex with only the odd shower and gusts of comparatively moderate wind. We arrived home at about 6pm to be greeted by a rather aloof Peggy Sue, who has not entirely forgiven us for leaving her.
My main picture was taken when we arrived in Southampton and the worst of the storm had passed. The black things are birds who were having a whale of a time riding the winds.
My extra is a collage of our ferry journey: it is hard to convey just how strong the wind was when it gusted, but trust me it was!. The often clear skies add to the false impression that not much was happening!
We are very grateful to the Red Funnel Ferries team and their very skilful captain for operating in such challenging conditions and get us home safely.
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