Having brought ourselves down from the lofty highs of the Spinnaker Tower, our plans for the rest of the day were quite simple. We would drive back to Hayling Island, where we only had a mile or so to walk to the ferry at Langstone Harbour. We would get the ferry back over to Portsea Island and then walk along its southern shore all the way back to the Spinnaker Tower.
Stage #1: drive back to Hayling Island. Easy!
Stage #2: walk a mile or so to the ferry. Easy! It was actually more like two miles, but it was a nice walk around Gunner Point and into Langstone Harbour.
Stage #3: get the ferry across to Portsea Island. Oh – erm…..?
Although the Hayling Ferry website said the service was operational, it turned out that the ferry had been damaged in the December storms and had been taken out of the water for repairs.
“We’re hoping to be back in the water in one to two weeks’ time,” said the pilot, whose mobile number I had called after seeing it displayed in the office window. He then cheerfully added, “We ought to get the website updated, I suppose…”. On the basis we had driven two hours from London to catch this particular ferry, I silently agreed with him!
Next to the ferry office was the Ferryboat Inn. We decided to drown our sorrows. Is it me or does Ben look a bit happier than Catherine to be missing the rest of the walk?
As we emerged from the pub I gazed across Langstone Harbour. Just off the shoreline lay a section of Mulberry Harbour, built here during World War Two. It was intended to tow this across to France in order to form an artificial harbour in support of the D-Day Landings. This section, however, developed a fatal crack and was abandoned on a sandbank. Here, it presented something of an obstacle to shipping, so it was refloated and towed to its current resting place. This bit of concrete looked like we felt – stranded here without purpose.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Start of Walk: N 50° 47.410 W 001° 00.440
- Gunner Point: N 50° 47.150 W 001° 01.250
- Hayling Ferry Embarkation Pontoon: N 50° 47.777 W 001° 01.507
- Ferryboat Inn: N 50° 47.730 W 001° 01.502
- Mulberry Harbour Section: N 50° 47.940 W 001° 01.496
Walk #64 Statistics (of which this post forms the first part):
- Date of Walk: 11 January 214
- Walk #64 total distance covered: 3.49 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 530.23 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!