After a week of winds and bad weather we were blessed with sunshine and balmy conditions on the Solent for our trip with WetWheels. Led by one of our trustees, Alex, and attended by our Ops Officer, known as …the other Alex….we were treated to a fantastic couple of hours on the water.
WetWheels is fully accessible to all comers, including electric wheelchairs (your wheels will be lashed to the deck for safety) and the team made sure we were properly dressed with lifejackets for our trip.
Leaving from moorings at Gunwharf and surrounded by expensive powerboats felt pretty special and quite a crowd of tourists watched on. Our skipper, an RNLI volunteer, and the WetWheels volunteer gave us an informative tour up harbour- we passed HMS QE, HMS WESTMINSTER which had just returned and looked a little tired in comparison to a couple of T45s which were also alongside. After cruising past Whale Island we picked up speed past HMS DOLPHIN (who uses that fantastic building now I wonder) and headed out into the Solent.
Heading for the forts we stopped a moment at the Mary Rose buoy and reflected on fellow shipmates and the drama that must have accompanied the sinking of the Mary Rose. There was a gentle swell from ferries heading in and out of Portsmouth but also caused by the mighty Wet wheels boat as it hit 20/25 knots per hour. Pretty exciting! Again we were so lucky with the weather and bathed in sunshine for our entire trip. Those who wanted were able to have a go at the helm just off the coast near Fishbourne, IOW. In the distance it was easy to spot Osborne House and the glorious woodland surrounding the royal holiday location.
This really was a great couple of hours and we all enjoyed getting to know each other as part of the VOS Family. Thanks to the WetWheels team and the VOS Wellbeing Team for organizing this trip. We ALL want to go again!
(Written by A. Watts)
If you’re a veteran from the UK Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy (from any time of service) or a partner to one, VOS would love for you to join our community. We are here to offer our support: call us on 02392 731 767, visit an upcoming drop-in, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
VOS is immensely grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, as without their support and funding we would not be able to provide activities such as this one.