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20th August, 2016


An overnight run took us to an anchorage off Bournemouth, to have a grandstand view of the Bournemouth Air Festival. Strong onshore winds and a number of naval vessels all anchored just 5 cables apart meant that discretion was the better part of valour and we were a little further out than I had hoped. Low cloud and rain looked for a while as though plans may be scuppered, but fortunately conditions improved sufficiently that the Red Arrows completed a magnificent display. At times their formation raced overhead, seemingly just a few hundred feet above, as they repositioned for the folks on the beach. Helicopters, stunt planes and even the lovely old ‘Sally-B’Flying Fortress made an appearance, but perhaps the most noisily spectacular was the RAF Typhoon. Flown by Flight Lieutenant Mark Long, this display was absolutely stunning as he made incredible high speed manoeuvres which seemed to defy the laws of physics. I can only imagine that he must have an extremely strong stomach.

We left the area later in the afternoon and headed off towards Portland, docking there for an overnight stay as the breeze started to stiffen. It continued almost gale force during the next day, but didn’t seem to deter our new Saganauts who went off on tour or caught the shuttlebus into Weymouth. There was a ‘Jurassic Coastal Walk’which must have been ‘bracing’to say the least, and a tour off to Minterne House where the present Lord Digby guided the folks through his family home, not normally open to the public. I might have preferred the Bovington Tank Museum, but with safety trainers on board for three days, a run ashore was out of the question.

Captain Philip Rentell

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