An interesting and "character-building" day lies ahead, but starts on a sad note, with Salvina and Candice passing the baton (AKA car key) to Sheila Bailey, AoS Fundraining Director who will drive the car as far as Exeter. The organisation and detail into which Salvina has put into making things run so smoothly for the entire ride is remarkable. You have both been so kind and ever-supportive. I am looking forward too, to the party afer the ride is over, when a certain person will definitely be encouraged to demonstrate how to gurgle blazing Sambukas!!
We left from the Seafarers Centre and again as pilot, Andy led the way out of Southampton and towards the New Forest and Christchurch. We made reasonable progress but the SW wind was increasing. incessant and in our faces for the entire day. Such a pity as the ride provided great and varied scenery. Bournmouth and Millionaires Row - Sandbanks - took us to the chain ferry and across the entrance to Poole Harbour. The wind at this point must have been in excess of 25kts - ever from the southwest. It was interesting to encounter a lady on the ferry who was riding from Bournemouth to Land's End for a charity. The shared experience among cyclists generates comararderie and the three of us chatted like old friends about riding for our charities and the foul weather for all of the 10 minute trip across to the Purbecks.
All of this part of the country is so new to me and the experience of entering Corfe Castle just as a Swanage Railway steam train was pssing over the bridge provided a "Wow, look at that!!" moment after the long morning's slog. Soup in Corfe was very welcome. A bit of a respite from the wind as we headed NW up to Wareham but it attacked us with renewed vigor as we agained turned towards Weymouth. The original ETA of 1530 was never going to be achieved and we eventually rolled towards the Paviliion rendezvous at 1710.
Dist: 106 km
St Time: 5.5hrs
Spd: 19.27 km/hr