Thursday, 4 August 2011

wet, wild and on top of the world!

Last Christmas, Steve's present to me was a boat rip of my choice.  I'm not sure what he was expecting me to go for....but yesterday he found out!  I opted for something a bit adventurous - an extreme RIB (rigid inflatable boat) experience. 

The Seadogz website says "Ever wanted to feel like James Bond racing away from the bad guys, with the wind in your hair and adrenaline pumping through your veins?  Then this trip is for you!"  Sounded good to me, so I booked us in for 90 minutes of going wild and getting wet on Southampton Water.

There were a few moments at the safety briefing when we wondered whether I had done the right thing, particularly when the skipper said you might want to think twice about this if you have problems with your lower back or knees (as it gets a bit bumpy out there) or fingers (which you will need to grip tight with). But we decided to have a go anyway and didn't regret a second!

The weather was perfect - hot, blue sky, barely a breeze.  If anything, too calm for a good splash, so after heading out of the marina slowly, the skipper made for the wake of the nearest large boat and cut across it at an angle to skim the waves at speed and give us a taste of what was to follow - jumping the waves, turning and zig-zagging through any bit of rough water he could find.  

It was SO exciting!  Sort of cross between cornering on a powerful motor bike round the bends of a fast race track, riding a frisky horse bareback over high jumps and going down the log flume at a theme park, with added water (speaking from imagination rather than experience!)  We would have happily gone round again.....May be another time.

What do you do after such an adrenaline high? Zoom to the top of a 170m tall structure - the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.  The tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben so the views over the south coast on a wonderful clear day like yesterday were breathtaking. 

We dared to walk on air (or rather step out on to the glass floor) on Deck 1 to look down at Gunwharf Quays beneath our feet and enjoyed the view over a cup of tea in the cafe on Deck 2.  Then we climbed up to the "crows nest" at the top for a last look over the Solent and Isle of Wight before the descent. 

The views from the Spinnaker Tower had whetted our appetites, so before leaving for home we took the opportunity to wander around the historic dockyard - although it was too late (and I confess, we were too tired) to explore the museums and ships. 

We both agreed that was one of the best days out we can remember. We may go back one day - perhaps abseil down the tower to raise money for charity! Who knows? Whatever happens, we have some more treasured memories to share. When the going gets tough, we can look back on days like yesterday in the knowledge that we have enjoyed life to the full in spite of Leo lurking in Steve's lungs.

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