Living aboard in Portsmouth Harbour – October

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I can hardly believe that we have already been here for 4 weeks!  In some ways it is strange to be here – the choppy sea instead of the calm river; the gulls and fish instead of the coots and herons; the warships, ferries and yachts instead of the narrow boats, barges and sculls.

But in other ways it is familiar – our home waters, especially mine, having been brought up here, watching the ships in the harbour from an early age.

So what to report? I think four topics; wildlife, ships and boats, skies and family.

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Wildlife

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Amazingly we still see a kingfisher, skimming the waters of the marina and occasionally perching on a pontoon or rail. And there are heron and cormorants in Haslar Creek, further up where it dries out at low tide.

There are gulls a-plenty, sparrows, crows and starlings in the shore, egrets stalking the pools amongst the rocks, and the war of the show, Whistler, a harris hawk.

 

IMG_6697.JPGOf course she is not flying wild here. She has been visiting with her handler to scare the starlings away from roosting on the rigging!

Shoals of tiny fish (no idea what they are!) constantly swim through the marina waters and much bigger grey mullet have been seen.

Then there are the jelly fish!  I did not expect this at all. Of the six types of jellyfish known to inhabit the UK waters we have had two in the marina in the past fortnight!

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The compass jellyfish, seen swimming between our boat and the pontoon, quite toxic apparently, and about 10 cms across …..

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….. and a barrel jelly fish, IMG_6827.JPGabout 50cm across, but so diaphanous and wobbly that the camera just could not pick it up distinctly.

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Ships and boats

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Countless categories of ships and boats, moving and changing by the minute, have become our entertainment and education.

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Naval warships glide into harbour, with their radar domes appearing first above the roofs of HMS Dolphin…

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… to reveal their full glory as air defence destroyers (HMS Daring, Diamond, or Dauntless) ….

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IMG_6777.JPG.… or a patrol ship to protect our fishing interests (HMS Tyne) …

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…. an Antarctic research and survey vessel (Sir Ernest Shackleton) …

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… or even one of our remaining frigates (HMS St Albans).

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Huge freight ships and cross channel ferries move as gigantic chess pieces around the harbour board, sending their washes to rock us night and day.

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Tall ships and small ships, arriving and departing, rushing and dallying, 24/7.

 

 

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Ocean going racers, training ships and living legends, our everyday vista.

 

 

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Skies and family

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quite often a spitfire buzzes about

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The sun comes up and goes down amongst the masts of hundreds of yachts.

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The family flow in and out like the tide, sometimes all together!

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We do our duty, sometimes go to sea, and delight in the lights of nearby Portsmouth.

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One thought on “Living aboard in Portsmouth Harbour – October

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