Cowes is an old English word for Castles. There used to be two castles, one in East-Cowes and one on our side West-Cowes, or Cowes (the one in Cowes now houses the “Squadron” – the Royal Yacht Squadron). In addition to a lot of historically relevant places, this beautiful town is a sailor’s dream come true. Lot’s and lot’s of boats, marina’s, yacht clubs, chandleries, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants etc; and all very close together.
You can tell that the locals are very proud (and knowledgeable) of their history. The girls met Paul, the Counselor of Cowes, and he shared his wisdom with us over a couple of days. Paul also invited us to his club, the Island Sailing Club, after sending us to the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for their weekly Tuesday dinner the night before. Of course, we exchanged burgees with both clubs. The Island Sailinbg Club is rumored to have the largest burgee collection in the world with about 3500 burgees…. it is also the host of the Around the Island regatta which has thousands of boats on the line every year.
One of the highlights of our stay in Cowes was the visit by Peggy, Sebastian, Lawrence and Simon. They came over by ferry for an afternoon and it was really nice to catch up with them again. They’ll hopefully meet us next year at the Caledonian Canal again.
At the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club we also met Joy and her friends from Birmingham. Amazing to hear all her stories about the history and famous people of Cowes.
One of the highlights that is easily missed is the Sir Max Aitken museum. It is located in a former sail loft and exhibits very interesting artifacts, such as the gaff of Britannia, the crib of Napoleon’s baby, parts of Nelson’s boat etc – one large room; with a huge amount of history.
As with any of the previous places where we rented bikes, it was truly worth the effort as we saw a lot of the Isle of Wight (which is a lot larger and hillier than we expected) and also got a decent exercise.
Now that Bjoern arrived, the fuel is topped up and the food loaded, it is time to say good bye and make our way to Germany.