I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 7 April 2023

Spain 2023 - April 3rd and 4th

Monday 3rd April

We both slept well and when Richard opened the blind there was sunshine and a lovely flat sea.  We took it in turns to go for breakfast and then returned to the cabin for the last 7 hours.

The ship we travelled on is the Santoña.  She is the third new Brittany ship designed for the Spain to Portsmouth route.  She was built in China and is Brittany Ferries' second ship to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).  I was most impressed to see that she has azipods which we first came across on the Celebrity cruise ships. They are a gearless 360° steerable propulsion system, where the electric motor is located in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. By utilizing the azipod system's manoeuvrability, marine vessels can direct thrust in any direction with incredible precision, saving time and fuel.  I knew the ship has azipods as she moved sideways away from the harbour wall as we left.  She was put into service on March 3rd so she is very new and everything on her is new.  The car deck smelt of new rubber and the white paint was still white!  Our cabin was excellent though not much room and I think smaller than other ferried.  Each cabin has a TV and on-demand films.  There is also 90 minutes if free wi-fi on each device.  I used three lots on my phone, iPad and laptop! 

View from the cabin. 

We didn’t have lunch as we had both had a good breakfast.  It was a rather boring day being stuck in the cabin, but we both agreed that it was better than driving up through France.

We went up on deck as we approached Portsmouth so that we could catch our first glimpse of Hayling Island.  We passed the Nab Tower, but someone has taken the top off!  In 2013 it was refurbished and the height was reduced from 27 metres to 17 metres, all external steel and cladding were removed and the existing concrete sub-structure was coated in a new layer of gun-applied concrete.  The Nab was a tower planned for anti-submarine protection in the Solent in World War I. It was sunk over the Nab rocks east of the Isle of Wight to replace a lightship after the war.  The first photo is mine and the second one, borrowed from the internet, is before the refurbishment. 

Pet owners were called to go to their cars 30 minutes before arriving in Portsmouth.  Great idea, but it left people either sitting in their cars for about 50 minutes or chatting to neighbours, which we did.  I had said on Sunday that I thought there were more caravans and motorhomes than cars, this meant a big delay at Border Control as each one had to be opened and a Border Guard had to go in to check it! 

Living on Hayling Island, we only had a 15 minute drive home from the port, which was great.  We had been chatting to people who had to go to Manchester and Derbyshire – we felt very smug!  We were greeted by Victoria who had arranged fish and chips for dinner.  We were in bed early as we were both totally exhausted.

Tuesday 4th April

So, our first day at home.  We were so tired last night that we didn’t unpack the car so it all had to be done today.  I had an hair appointment at 11am and had mistakenly arranged for a Sainsbury’s order to be delivered between 11am and midday.  When I got back from the hairdressers the delivery had been and Richard had more or less put everything away.

Robert came over with the boys in the afternoon which was lovely, but of course it meant that I didn’t do any unpacking.  There is always tomorrow – inshallah.

I will be back blogging in May when we start our summer cruising on Mary H.  We have a busy summer ahead of us 😊

I’ve kept these two photos until last.  The first one is the nicely decorated Indalo man up in Mojacar Pueblo and the second was taken in Cartagena and I just like it with the Spanish flag and a palm tree.

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