Round Britain for Xmas - Portsmouth Page

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Portsmouth for the Naval Museums

Friday 23rd December

Porstmouth Naval Base

A destroyer

A frigate

Several frigates

As this was an unexpected port until shortly before the cruise, we decided to use it to visit the Historic Dockyard & visit HMS Warrior, the first ironclad warship & the Mary Rose. While it was warmer than in Germany, these things are relative!

Entrance to the museum yard

HMS Warrior

Warrior's figurehead

Warrior was fascinating, as it had been partly preserved thanks to Jacky Fisher, the eccentric Ruler of the Queen’s Navy at the turn of the 19/20th century. It was 400-odd feet long & had a crew of over 700. The guns could traverse quite a lot but it never saw action, as other ships avoided certain sinking. Clearly, going around below decks, it had been absolutely state-of-the-art, with a modern laundry & galley.

The Wheelhouse

One of the guns

Carpenter's workshop

The Galley

One of the lifeboats

The Naval Museum area

We went on to the Mary Rose Museum. While not as much ship has been preserved at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, conditions were not so advantageous & it is a miracle there is so much. It took 30 years to get it into this condition, washing out the salt for ten years & spraying it with polyethelene glycol to preserve the wood. A lot of artefacts have been preserved as well. We went by the port shuttle, which was very efficient.

The 17thC buildings

“Mary Rose” from the stern

Across the “Mary Rose”

Corroded cannon

Gunner's chest

The“Mary Rose” stern

Decks from above

A formal evening, the new captain did not turn up, the excuse being he was wanted on the Bridge. However, despite the risk of getting lynched, Alan announce that conditions in the Irish Sea were too dangerous for shipping & we would indeed go to Plymouth tomorrow but turn round & go up the North Sea, stopping at Newcastle, Dundee & Edinburgh. Naturally, jeers broke out as Alan is a Geordie, if from Alnwick. He did suggest that he knew the topic of dinner conversation tonight!


Port 2 - Plymouth

Port 3 - Cobh

Port 4 - Dublin

Port 5 - Belfast

Port 6 - Edinburgh


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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
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