The end of Cowes Week (a huge yachting event in the Solent) there are celebrations, with big parties, fireworks and this year a flying display from the RAF’s Red Arrows and the simultaneous departure of the “three Queens” (the Cunard liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria). We took a picnic to our local beach to watch.
We mostly had to stay in the car at first as heavy showers kept racing along the solent, giving some very dramatic scenes and pretty rainbows.
The Queens arrived and moved into the main channel, spreading out and stopping to wait for the air show. It is hard to exaggerate just how big these floating towns are, and how impressive.
Amazingly, the skies cleared enought for the Red Arrows to fly, and provided some stunning cloudscapes as a backdrop. Like most people, I have seen the Red Arrows a number of times, but small, fast jets in close formation, precisely flown, are always thrilling and the sound is visceral. I hate war and weapons, but there is a thrill in technology like this.
Soon enough it was dark and we watched the fireworks. Too far away to hear them, but bright colours and shapes all the same.