Sunday 22 May 2011

stormy weather

Today we reached the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, around 5 km off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by the strait called the Solent. The island is well known for its sailing based at the town of Cowes , for its natural beauty and its resorts, which have been holiday destinations since Victorian times. The island has a rich history, including archaeological sites. These range from prehistoric fossil beds which include dinosaur remains, to dwellings and arte facts of the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman period. In 871 the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings after they had “ ravaged the Isle of Wight”.
The weather forecast was bad for our visit on the Isle. Strong wind and rain.

In the morning Anja informed about the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and Sark plus landing with the ships owned Polar Cirkle Boats. Friederike had a lecture about seabirds.

At 12 pm the FRAM reached the town of Cowes which is situated in the northern part of the island. Cowes is a gateway town for the Island of Wight with a population of about 9.500 inhabitants.

The MV FRAM anchored in the Strait. The wind was blowing more than 20 m per second from west . One Polar Cirkle boat was lowered just for to see how it will behave in this stormy weather. The forecast was increasing wind in the afternoon. A decision was taken not to land on Isle of Wight. Safety first.

The anchor was pulled up and we set sail towards the east cost of Isle of Weight, where interesting rock groups could be seen. Friederike informed the passenger over the PA system about this geological phenomenon. At 3 pm Klaus gave a lecture about ships in distress. “Change the perspective“ was the title of a lecture given by our photographer Barbara.

In the evening our guest lecturer Captain Langbein was interviewed about ships and seafaring in the Observation Lounge.