Solent and Port Hamble 18.7. - 20.7.
From the Isle of Wight we continued towards the river Hamble that is also located on the Solent area. We could clearly see that the Solent is the Mecca of sailors in the UK. We could easily spot more than a hundred boats on one sight during our short trip to Hamble. The 11 miles passed quickly in a wonderful sunshine. We also passed an inviting anchorage, the bay of Newtown on the north side of the Isle of Wight. There were quite a few boats anchored and enjoying the day.
The tide was playing tricks also with local sailors. On the Solent one sailboat took a shortcut and got stuck from the bottom on a rising tide. They were in no distress and still enjoyed the beautiful weather with the sails pulling. About 15 minutes later the boat was lifted from the bottom and the sailing continued. Surely that was no problem unless the shortcut was made on a neap tide in a place where there will not be enough water before the next spring tide. I guess it could be up to a month at worst case.
We sailed north on the Solent and turned to the river Hamble. First we passed the Hamble Point Marina and continued to the Port Hamble Marina that is next up the river. The pontoons were excellent for mooring Suwena and this was no wonder. There are several marinas to choose from and in total there are over 5000 berths. All these berths are located on a 2.5 mile long river stretch and we should not be surprised that there were boats everywhere.
There is a chandlery and several boat service companies in both the Port Hamble Marina located in the Hamble village and in the nearby Hamble Point Marina. Still addition the Hamble Point is more commercial with many boat selling companies. Overall whatever your desire is for the boat, there is a service available for sure on this river.
It felt a bit different, walking on School Lane towards Hamble Point Marina than four years ago. Then we arrived by car from Southampton to see the Nordhavn boats. It was also nice to see that the Finnish boatyards are well presented here with sales offices of Aquador and Swan boats.
It was again great to visit the Nordhavns. They are so wonderful and unbelievable boats. It would still be a same tough choice between Nauticat and Nordhavn as it was four years ago when we made comparisons between the two. Andrus was still missing the perfect engine room of the Nordhavn and sighed “I wish that we would have such a spacious engine room aboard Suwena where every equipment has enough room for installation and maintenance”. Later after visiting Nordhavns we spent a nice evening with Philip and Jessica onboard Suwena enjoying the cider from Normandy. We had a lot to talk about Nordhavns and other things as well.
The village of Hamble seemed a traditional English village. We decided to get ourselves familiar with the English pub culture. To our surprise the beer selection was rather foreign. We were so prepared to taste various British beers that the lack of local varieties stunned us completely. We got an explanation that nowadays people prefer to drink the brew of international brands and many local breweries have had to quit. Dear Friends, keep your culture and even more the manufacturing of the products in the own country! In Finland so many industries have been quit due to our own foolishness. The everyday choices of people have very long standing consequences. It seems that even the beer made us to think more deeply about the world!
Anyhow we had a dinner in the pub. We spotted an ad for rib-eye steak and entered the restaurant. People were sitting on long wooden tables. We heard from the waitress that only the rib-eye steak was on the menu for this evening. This was fine with us and a couple of beers finalized the order.
Only a moment after having a seat a friendly lady next to us asked “Are you Finnish?”. We were genuinely surprised that she recognized our language so easily. She told that she has a Finnish mother who is living in a same city with us. The world is really small despite the fact that we did not know her mother anyhow.
Port Hamble seemed to be an active marina because on Friday evening there were a 70s party. With events like this the intent is to get the annual berth holders to know each other. Of course there were many visiting yachtsmen and locals as well. The tent had a dance venue with DJ and food was served from barbecue of course not forgetting the bar as well.
RYA had also ongoing activities in Port Hamble Marina. Andrus was going to receive the lines from arriving boat but the skipper denied any help. They had an ongoing skipper exam. In the UK RYA training is very well organized and we noticed that RYA certified sailing schools were available in almost all the harbours.
Most of the berths on the river Hamble are rented on annual basis. One reason must be the relative closeness of London that is only a short drive away. In addition Solent is one of the few protected water areas in the UK. No wonder that the visitor's purse gets lighter there. The Port Hamble Marina charged for £3.2 per metre. It was definitely the most expensive marina we have ever been. Thus we were interested quite a lot in the Beaulieu river that was recommended by many locals so we set it as our next destination.