Isle of Wight Circumnavigation

Passing the Needles just after dawn

This one had been on the cards for a while, but on Sunday everything finally lined up for a one-day circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight with James. We had a big spring tide to speed us on the way around the 91km coastline and near perfect conditions were forecast. Setting off at 4.25am from Fishbourne after a brief bivvy by the ferry terminal, we had a good tide behind us, no wind and few boats with which to contend. A quick breakfast happened at the Needles about 3 hours later, after a damp landing, before starting the long crossing to St Catherine’s Point at a rather more sedate pace.

There we picked up an unexpected stiff headwind which slowed us somewhat, but that disappeared after a few hours and following a welcome rest among the fishing boats at Ventnor we slowly picked up speed again. Eventually we turned the corner at Foreland in the shadow of what turned out to be an enormous container ship on its way to the docks. The final 10km was hard work but spurred on by the sight of Ryde pier and the new hovercraft (since I was last there) it passed suprisingly quickly. No record at 11 hours and 42 minutes, but a perfectly respectable time nonetheless and perfect training for a trip around Ireland!

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