Back to Southampton - Day 1: Sightseeing!

For the next four days, we'll be spending time in Southampton while visiting family who still live down South. We used to live in Hythe in Southampton but moved to Cambridge for reasons regarding my parent's job. For the seven or eight years we lived down here, we never had a boat but I always had an interest in the ocean. My Grandad had a Searay 220DA moored in a little area called Ashlett Creek not too far from our old home. I remember sitting at the helm of his Searay holding onto the steering wheel which back then seemed huge!

Today is our first day down here and we've been to the local beach called Calshot and spend a good hour down there watching the boats and having a good look around the beach. I collected some interesting rocks and plenty of shells that we can take back to Cambridge and keep aboard Bandit as a reminder of Southampton and the Solent, where Bandit should really be and somewhere where we wish to eventually take her. My Grandad used to work for the RNLI lifeboat service located at Calshot and when he passed away in 2003, my Nan had a bench engraved with his name which since then has sat on the balcony at the lifeboat station. It was nice to sit there and be reminded of him and the work he used to do.
Calshot beach
Calshot Castle
Calshot RNLI base
Grandad's bench
Panorama at Calshot
Looking out over the RNLI lifeboat pontoon

Next, we took a trip to Hythe Marina where I went on a Sealine hunt!! Before purchasing Bandit, I never took any interest in Sealine boats but Fairline boats instead. Since going on the hunt for Sealine's in marinas, it's amazing just how many you come across. They are as common, if not more so than Fairline boats. We saw a load; S23, S37, 290 Ambassador, 220 Senator, 218 and plenty of F33's too. Amazingly, the marina was packed with people sat on their boats. All I can say is you lucky lot who get to sit on their lovely boats and watch out over Southampton Water... I would love to moor at Hythe. We also waited to watch some massive cruise liners leave Southampton Docks and also learnt how Hythe Marina lock works. It's far different to our locks we face on the river. Far larger and quicker.
Looking over Southampton Water from Hythe Marina
Aida Prima cruise ship moored up at Southampton Docks
Looking out over Hythe marina
Sealine S29 - Just Imagine
Sealine S38 - Wavedancer
Sealine S38 - Wavedancer
Sealine S23 - Sowenna
A throwback to the mid 1980's
Sealine 22 Sport - Athena
A panorama looking over Hythe Marina
Looking at Hythe Pier
Overall, a fantastic first day and of corse, alongside all the boaty things, it's lovely to see family that I haven't seen in what feels like years. Plans for tomorrow are getting the Red Funnel ferry from Southampton over to the Isle Of Wight to spend the day watching Cowes Week! I simply can not wait! It's going to be fantastic to witness.

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