4 July 2005
Last week, the Solent became the destination for many boats from around the world for the International Fleet Review and the International Festival of the Sea (there was even one from Uruguay there!). This was part of the SeaBritain 2005 celebrations and particularly to celebrate 200 years since the battle of Trafalgar. It was expected that on Tuesday the city would be in deadlock with people travelling to the fleet review - so all the schools were closed and I decided to work from home to avoid the raffic. Also, Laura’s mum and brother came down to watch and they all went down to the beach to watch from first thing in the morning - I managed to join them briefly at lunchtime and then again for the evenings events once I’d finished work.
As soon as I got there after work, however, it poured down with rain but fortunatley I was prepared with raincoats as Laura had warned me when they saw the clouds heading towards them. The rain didn’t last too long however - it slowed down just as we were considering heading back home - so we stayed down there and were able to watch the Red Arrows before getting something to eat. Once we’d got our food - it rained again, but thankfully we were able to shelter in the programme sellers marquee. Once the rain stopped, we then headed back to the seafront to watch the helicopter display team, which was quite different as I’d never seen helicopters go upside down before! After the helicopters, the evening re-enactment started - quite slowly at first, but it was great to watch the tall ships sailing past as the sun was going down. After the first half of the re-enactment, there was a break to let the ferrys through, and we decided to move to see if we could find anywhere we could sit down and watch the rest, as our legs were getting tired. Everywhere was packed however, so we ended up watching the second half on the big screens instead - which probably meant we got more of a close up anyway!