Two recent conversations, one about hovercraft and the other about Southsea / Posrtsmouth, reminded me of a trip I took with my mum to the Isle of Wight. Raymond from Portsmouth provided some corrections so I have update this entry accordingly.
In 1988 a relative had been seconded to Plessy's facility on the island and had a few hours in which to meet us whilst we were in the area.
We had stayed with a cousin and spent most of the day visiting the D-Day Museum in Southsea before proceeding to the hoverport.
RfP reckons that this was taken from the viewing area as one craft arrived or prepared to depart ( the skirt is not inflated until everyone is onboard ):
A hydrofoil against which we "raced" to the island. Here it appears to be exerting itself to lift up onto the foils, note the plume of black diesel smoke to the right. Futile really, as the hovercraft won!
This is a view of the pad at Ryde on the island ( RfP recognised the pier in the left background ) having arrived. Both craft are Hoverwork AP1-88 type.
Me, on the island, watching the Red Funnel Line drift past.
I recall that my cousin had a small apartment and we slept on an air-bed, which seemed very decadent at the time. Her husband was a Royal Navy catering officer and ws away on cruise. They later divorced and I often wondered what happened to him afterwards.
Anyway... I hope you agree that my photography skills have advanced somewhat in 24 years. Framing and focus were irrelevant to an 11-year old.
Addendum: happily I can report that Hovertravel is still operating across the Solent.