During The 1970s, Ferry Trips Were Substantially Different

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ZHANG FENGSHENG/unsplash

It brought back memories of how things used to be to read the countless negative comments about our allegedly horrible and unreliable ferry service in the Isle of Wight County Press as reported by County Press.

Constrained service

I haven’t left The Isle of Wight in more than five years since I can’t come up with a good enough reason, but I feel bad for people who are trying to depart, especially if it’s for a need.

When we initially arrived on The Island in the 1970s, the Sealink (as it was then known) boat service was constrained but completely dependable.

The crew could be counted on to make you a cup of tea or coffee down in the only “lounge” next to the engine room, which was comfortable and warm but a little noisy and smelling strongly of diesel. However, there was no catering on board the Yarmouth to Lymington ferry, no cafe or restaurant.

Strong gale

They would even offer to wash your car for you on the way there in exchange for a little payment.

I specifically recall one trip from Yarmouth, I believe it was on the Freshwater.

A really strong gale was blowing at the time. Over an hour and a half passed for the typical half-hour crossing.

The ship nearly came to rest on its head as we clung to our seats while being surrounded by the sound of breaking dishes.

The captain made repeated course changes, occasionally zigzagging directly into the rough seas’ mountains in an effort to prevent the ship from rolling too violently.

He had no intention of giving up and making another try to get back to Yarmouth.

We finally arrived and entered the Lymington River’s secluded waters, a wonderful experience.

How times have changed!

 

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Source: County Press

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