Thursday, 10 November 2016

A day trip to the Isle of Wight

Sunday 6th November 2016

This was to be a day to introduce some new experiences for Solar,  the biggest would be a Ferry ride to the Isle of Wight a special day for many reasons.

Our day started in the usual way, breakfast and business, we were to drive to Lymington for a 11:15 Ferry crossing to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

The journey was nice and peaceful after the initial excited barking, which every car journey begins with, Solar travels well in he car, which opens the door to many opportunities for a dog and their pet owners.

Booked in we patiently waited to board our ferry, "Wightlink" which was called "Wight Light".

We drove onto the ferry from lane 3, ours was not the last car on the ferry, but we were the last one to go on the "Garage deck", which s winched up by cables and hydraulics, to enable more vehicles to embark below.

You are not allowed to remain in your car, your pets can if you choose, can remain, or go with you.

It was always our plan to keep Solar with us, as we opened the back door of the car he began to bark, as we walked to the bow of the ship he continued to bark and pull on his lead, we were heading for the "Sun Deck" which meant a climb of four flights of stairs, Solar is no stranger to stairs, he goes up them everyday at home.

The sun deck wasn't too busy, Solar began to bark more excitedly, intoxicated with all the new smells and objects to sniff, it was good they had mesh across the deck rails, otherwise it was a bit of a drop into the harbour below.

Before we knew it, the ship was moving gently away from the quayside, the ship is essentially in two halves, as there were fewer people at the stern, we made our way aft.

All attempts to keep Solar from barking failed, treats, cuddles, voice commands even his favourite "hoof" was no match, the views won. Sailing out of the harbour Solar barked at everything that floated by, this did not deter other passengers coming over and asking all about him, he was taking everything in like a giant sponge, and telling anyone that would listen how excited he was.

In no time at all we were advised to return to our vehicles, Solar stood at the top of the stairs and stopped, dug his heels in, this little puppy was not sure about descending the stairs, with a little encouragement he began the descent, he was demonstrating his trust in Sue and me.

Back in the car, we waited our turn to disembark onto the quayside at Yarmouth, our destination now was a short drive to Freshwater Bay, to meet up with Molly, Steph and Mark. We come to know them through a chance encounter when attending Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre in Guildford. Sadly our dog Blue did not survive his cancer, but Molly is still attending and responding well to treatment.

At the prearranged meeting point we met and agreed to go to a place called Brightstone, where we could go for a walk on part of the "Wight Way" 

On first meeting Solar barked at Molly, but within a few minutes of us walking, Solar and Molly were soon off lead walking along like old friends, Steph and Mark were impressed at Solar's off lead walking, and how settled he was around Molly.

Solar had discovered "Cow Poo", so in order to distract him we played ball and jollied him up as we approached the cow pats. There is only one thing that goes with Cow poo, and that is cows, Sue was concerned but Mark and Steph said it is ok they are not known for venturing this far up normally.

As the walked progressed, it was great to see how contented Solar was, only needing to go back on lead if other dogs might be too much of a distraction.

Oh and do you remember the cows that don't normally ventured up onto the hill?

Well today they were there just for Sue.

Cows and dogs do not mix well, so we returned back from whence we came, our walk was already been about an hour.

We stopped at a car park along the Military Road to have our packed lunch en route to Shanklin

Shanklin by car is no more than 30+ minutes although it was a bit brisk, it was dry, and in no time at all we were on the beach, Molly and Solar both of lead, oh and you may have guessed Solar was barking with excitement.

Molly soon shared the art of digging, not sure Solar was as efficient as Molly, but he did enjoy it.

If you go to the seaside, you have to go for a dip; Molly lead Solar into the water but he was no match once more, he would bark at the water, and try to eat it, but the crashing waves were a bit off putting, though he did venture in a little way, he was happiest with his paws on the sand.

Molly reminded me of a Polar Bear as she swam contentedly in the water.

Molly swims as a tanker is anchored up on the horizon

Solar continues to play excitedly
Far too soon it was time to say goodbye, as our ferry was due to leave at 5:20, and vow to meet again.
When you are having fun the time flies by, but alas it was time to leave.

We exchanged some gifts, as Molly is soon to be 11 years old, we all had a gift to unwrap.

Sue & Solar Steph & Molly

We arrived back at Yarmouth 10 minutes after booking in time, and were the second to last vehicle onto the ship, thank you WightLink Staff for not making us wait for the next ferry.

We boarded the ferry and were parked on the main deck, our journey to the sun deck was 5 levels up, but Solar took every step in his stride. Up on the sundeck, it was dark, cold windy and raining, we soon returned inside to stand in the stairway.

Upon being advised to return to our vehicles, solar descended the five levels without hesitation, our remaining journey was a peaceful and incident free journey home nearly twelve hours after we set out.

This was a great experience for Solar and everyone had a really great time.

The link below is a Flickr album capturing our day out

Thanks for a great time Molly, Steph, Mark and all the people we met that helped our little puppy Solar have a wonderful day