Bonita has been resting in Gosport for a few days but we returned today with invigorated crew ( D ). The hot sunny weather with mostly Easterly or Northerly winds seems to have gone for good and we had an overcast day with a brisk SW wind today. We left Portsmouth harbour just before high water and had a lively beat under full sail the few miles to the river Medina. We tied up at East Cowes Marina, which usually has ample space for boats that are difficult to manoeuvre. We took the chain ferry (known as the 'floating bridge') to sample the delights of an evening in West Cowes.
There has been a chain ferry here for many years but this was our first experience of the new one, installed last year. The previous one was getting a bit tatty but seemed pretty reliable. However the new one, rumoured to have cost around £3m, has had loads of what might charitably be called teething troubles. It has been out of action for prolonged periods due to breakdowns, there have been damaged cars and problems attributed to siltation that did not seem to trouble its predecessor. When we travelled on it, the ferry was working OK but there was a tug employed to push it sideways against the pressure of the tide to ensure that the ferry ended up where it should on the other side of the river. Perhaps this too is one of the teething troubles which will be resolved when the new ferry has settled in.
We saw lots of small gaffers arriving today and expect to meet up with some of the bigger ones soon.