This blog post is about an afternoon out on the Isle of Wight waiting for and viewing the incredible USS Theodore Roosevelt.
I had heard that the American 100,000 ton aircraft carrier was going to be visiting the UK, and would be anchored near Gosport in the Solent. My fantastic girlfriend and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see it, so decided to head to Ryde seafront.
We made a packed lunch and strolled to the seawall near the Hovercraft terminal, and grabbed cups of tea nearby, and enjoyed the sea air and chatting. We couldn’t of asked for a better March day, with clear views, sun shining and a lovely breeze. Many others were out enjoying the weather, and kids were taking the opportunity to enjoy the skateboard park near the seafront, whilst others were strolling along Ryde beach.
Later we strolled around the harbour, found a bench and relaxed waiting for the massive ship. We also were expecting another ship to arrive earlier, but didn’t spot it, but in the distance we saw the aircraft carrier arriving into the Solent. We had packed a couple of pairs of binoculars, and as the ship came closer it was easy to spot the impressive aircraft sitting on deck, and what appeared to be a helicopter below deck, viewable due to side panels being open.
The ship is too large to enter Portsmouth harbour and as it continued to slow, we headed off down the Pier for a closer look. Others were already present, taking the opportunity to glimpse this mighty American warship. Afterwards we slowing strolled down Ryde Pier, not in a rush, enjoying the sea air and views. We saw a coastguard helicopter.
The ship will be anchored for around five days in the Solent, and I suspect those using the Ferry service between Fishbourne and Portsmouth have incredible views. Even without the motivation to see the warship, a quiet stroll, chat and packed lunch at the seafront would have been good. Sometimes slowing down, enjoying the fresh air and good company is the perfect tonic for a hectic life.
March 2019 update: I apologise for the quality of the photos in this blog post.