Portsmouth Harbour - 50° 47' 53" N 01° 07' 11"W

Spending time on Portsmouth Harbour, or more specifically, Gosport (GOS-port, rather than GO-sport) which is the west side of the harbour, has been a blast.  Safely tucked into the Marina we can listen to the tempest rage.  With the wind whistling through the forest of masts we can relax, snug and warm on shore power with the electric heater bringing the boat to tee-shirt temperatures.

Looking across the harbour to Portsmouth ... with a squall coming from the southeast

Okay, maybe not a tempest but we certainly have had some wild weather and a lot of rain.  The marina may be hard on the pocket book but is very easy on the nerves! Having easy access to shore has meant exploring, too!

Gosport, and to a lesser extent, Portsmouth, shows the downside of Brexit with vacant shops and tired high streets.  Contributing to this rather dismal feel, may simply be the time of year, rainy and chilly and with the darling buds of May still a few weeks away.  The High Street was within handy walking distance and sported the supermarkets Aldi and Morrisons.  We could nip down and stock up on fresh fruit and veggies as well as a few British favourites such as chocolate biscuits.  We also had a chat with the folks at the chandlers and bought a few more bits and pieces for the boat and a much needed Cruising Guide.

Portsmouth is home to the amazing National Museum of the Royal Navy. We had bought an annual ticket and spent a couple of days in the pre-Chinook days and were excited to explore parts of the museum we hadn't had the time to do before.  It is quite the extraordinary place.  The Historic Dockyard is right next to the naval base so a modern aircraft carrier is the backdrop for the historical ships.

Ceremony and pomp are in no shortage here.  A whole floor of a museum devoted to figureheads from old ships.

A creepy figurehead in the shopping district.

Looks like the Alberta government has been here and set up an advert.

HMS Warrior, the first metal-hulled warship.  So intimidating that it never had to be used in battle.

The HMS Warrior was Britain's first iron-clad warship launched in 1860.  Aboard, the interpretive guides are all 1860s Royal Navy Servicemen and will regale you with stories of their lives.  It is a hands-on exhibit so you are able to climb into a hammock and sit at the mess tables set with all the paraphernalia the crews would have used at the time.  Basically, you can fiddle and touch anything! The crew will give you a lesson in how to fire a cannon and use the small arms.  We had a guided tour of the sick bay and the common ailments treated there.  The influence of Florence Nightingale and sanitation was getting a hold within the Navy hygiene was part pf daily routine.

The deck on this thing is HUGE!

We are going to talk to Garcia about getting one of these mounted on our foredeck.

Kate gets comfortable in the crew quarters on the gun deck.

Another favourite was the HMS Alliance at the Submarine Museum.  The guides are all ex-submariners and tell fabulous stories.  Again, you can fiddle and touch everything (except the fire alarms!!) - hop into a bunk, peer into the galley and of course, use the periscope.  We have spent days at the museum and are yet to cover it all.

HMS Alliance, a submarine that is one of the most hands-on naval displays we have ever seen.

We continue to fit out and tweek the setup of Chinook, but we need to spend more time out at anchor.

Stay tuned.


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