Skip to main content

Five Find a Lost Island - Pt 2 Nemesis in the Vectis

There was a little silence as the FOF looked out over the bay to where the island lay in the distance. The tide was going out. It almost looked as if they could wade over to the island. Dick asked if it was possible.

"No," said George. "I told you- it's only possible to get to it by ferry boat. It's farther out than it looks-and the water is very, very deep. There are yachts all about too - you have to know exactly where to steer a boat, or you bump into them. It's a dangerous bit of coast here. There are a lot of wrecks about." 

"Wrecks!" cried Julian, his eyes shining, "I say! I've never seen an old wreck. Are there any to see?" "Not now," said George. "They've all been cleared up. Except one...

From Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton (with minor misappropriations...)

Last week we left the FOF adventurers setting out to explore the lost island (ok just the Cowes bit of it).  

Coincidentally (no really) since part one, you may have heard in the news that the Red Funnel car ferry also lost the island in foggy conditions on an otherwise routine crossing, ran over and sank a moored yacht and then ran aground.  All was well though - no-one was hurt and the ferry was re-floated soon after and luckily had no significant damage, which is more than can be said for the yacht when the wreck was raised from the seabed.  

There is going to be an official inquiry - so it may well turn out that the captain hadn't lost the island at all, and just veered off course to avoid the 'Black Pearl' which suddenly loomed out of the mist (who knows...) 

Yachts flee Cowes harbour after rumours spread that a Red Funnel ferry will be arriving shortly....

Anyway enough of Red Funnel's adventures, let's get back to the story....

Expecting a long and tough inland route through streets full of hostile islanders the FOFs had had taken the precaution of fortifying themselves with fish and chips and Goddards Crew Brew (or Stella for the lager drinker - but we're not going to mention that) in the Fountain Inn.

Finally...we reached a place with signs of civilisation, The Vectis Tavern...

The Vectis Tavern

Actually the first part of our journey into the island wasn't quite as difficult as we expected...and when we looked back we could still see the Fountain Inn (next door)...

The Vectis Tavern is another ancient hostelry dating to 1757 originally The Robin Hood.  The pub's website explains that it used to flood regularly on the spring tides with the sea coming up through the floorboards.  This must have made for an interesting evening at the pub once a month and the flood level sign, at about head height on the wall by the bar, indicates that standing on your chair would have been essential to stop the contents of your pint glass becoming salty.

The pub is wet led (which apparently is nothing to do with it's historic flooding) and has a decent selection of real ale on the hand pumps...

Old favourite Courage Best Bitter was on offer together with island brewery Yates' offerings and West Country Dartmoor Brewery's Jail Ale.  Making up for what it lacks in taste these days, the Guinness chrome keg tap monument blinged and towered above the hand pumps.

While we deliberated over the real ale selection, the big screen was showing an interview with one of tens of thousands of people who had painted a nice picture to show how worried he was about Brexit (whatever that is), while the reporter enhanced his worries, by asking him lots of scary questions...

One of 'tens of thousands' proudly shows his anti-brexit picture....

In the end, it was a no-brainer as Yates had produced a beer which referred to the namesake of one of the FOFs.  A meeting with a nemesis perhaps...and so in celebration of the fact we all had a pint of that (except the lager drinking one who had Amstel).

The 'I Hate You Butler' beer was very good, and had been produced by Yates as one of their 'On the Buses' series to celebrate the annual CAMRA Beer & Buses event which had happened the previous weekend on the lost island.  The beer name is taken from the catchphrase of long suffering Inspector Blake, played by Stephen Lewis, often uttered when his nemesis, the cheeky bus driver Stan Butler (Reg Varney) usually got one over on him. 

This happy coincidence was marked by the pump clip being presented to our namesake - only temporarily mind you, before being returned to it's rightful place on the hand pump...

Namesake (but not a bus driver...)

We settled down for a quiet quaff after all this excitement, and admired the fine example of a pub mirror and bench seating...

Classic Bass mirror but Courage is the classic on the bar...

...and a troubling early suggestion of Christmas decorations on the window cill...

Subtle attempt to put the Christmas decorations up early...

I really should have had the courage to try the cask Courage Best - but perhaps there would be time for that later...

...continuing our journey of discovery on the lost island, we took the precaution of leaving the Vectis Tavern before the next spring tide arrived...


  1. Sigh. Let's try this again.
    (three hours ago, whilst manning the front door for trick or treaters, I posted here via my phone only to find, sadly, like Si and Paul Bailey's blogs, my comments get eaten) :(

    "which is more than can be said for the yacht when the wreck was raised from the seabed. "

    Crickey! I hadn't heard about that on this side of the pond.

    "There is going to be an official inquiry"

    Let's hope they don't find the reason is the same as a similar incident over here a few years ago.
    (will dig up the info and post it here later)*

    "and when we looked back we could still see the Fountain Inn (next door)..."

    LOL, well played sir! :)

    "would have been essential to stop the contents of your pint glass becoming salty."

    Except for lager drinkers. I mean, they're used to salty beer as they probably cry into it a lot realising it's not ale. ;)

    "The pub is wet led (which apparently is nothing to do with it's historic flooding)"

    (slow golf clap)

    In fact, I chuckled so hard at that I didn't notice the superfluous apostrophe. :)

    "Making up for what it lacks in taste these days, the Guinness"

    You too? I was a huge Guinness fan up until about six years ago.

    "The beer name is taken from the catchphrase of long suffering Inspector Blake"

    I actually understood that whole paragraph. :)

    "This happy coincidence was marked by the pump clip being presented to our namesake - only temporarily mind you"

    Good for them, if only temporary. (thumbs up)

    "Subtle attempt to put the Christmas decorations up early..."

    Bloody hell. That seems to be everywhere. At least wait until after Remembrance Day for goodness sake.

    Oh and what's with the comeback of Jagermeister from the 80's?
    (I see one or two adverts in the photo)

    "we took the precaution of leaving the Vectis Tavern before the next spring tide arrived..."

    A wise move. :)


    * - Ah, here it is:

    1. Hi Russ - sorry about your comment being eaten - it sometimes even eats my replies - the wonders of the internet...;)

      Sad story indeed about the BC mariner - but looking at the date of the article I guess he'll be a free man again now.

      Good observation on the lager - perhaps were crying in your beer was invented...?

      ...and on the Jagermeister - I noticed that too even though I didn't put it in the post. In the UK there is currently a trend amongst young drinkers for 'bombs' which are strong mixes in shot glasses - (a quick way to inebriation on their night out) I suspect this was all Jagermeister needed to reinvent itself...

      I may have mislead you slightly on the 'presentation' of the pumpclip - it was 'borrowed' by one of the FOFs not presented by the bar staff - but they took it all in good spirits....

      To be fair to Guinness I'd still go for it in preference to John Smith's Smoothflow and similar offerings...

      Glad you understood the ramblings about On the Buses, - still on the TV from time to time - but the old slapstick comedy showing it's age now and not terribly PC these days of course...

      Couldn't agree with you more on the Christmas decoration issue ...;)

      Almost got that apostrophe past you then....

    2. No worries on the comment being eaten. I think it has more to do with certain websites when posting from my phone. The same thing happens if I try to reply to Si's blog or Paul Bailey's blog as well. (sigh)

      Re: Crying in ones beer; hah! Never thought of that. :)

      I guess with regard to Jagermeister everything old is new again... including us! (LOL)

      I understood the temporary pumpclip thingy, just worded it poorly. ;)

      And agree on Guinness vs. Smoothflow etc. :)



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Five Find a Lost Island Pt 5 - The End of the Great Adventure

Darkness was drawing in, as our FOF adventurers left the Cowes Ale House, making it even more difficult to find the lost Island of Wight...

...and the next pub....

...luckily the Painters Arms was just across the street so Julian didn’t need his island map or to log into Google Maps.

The pub was a nice building, but there must have been something about it that made the FOFs wary. Fortunately we had a professional decorator in our midst and everyone agreed he was just the right man to do a quick recce.

Unfortunately the Painters didn’t meet his expectations and so we moved on...

The next pub also posed something of a dilemma as there seemed to be a fairly unusual admissions policy in force...
...after a brief assessment of the situation, and quickly eliminating the other options, Julian felt there was a chance we could pass ourselves off as children, especially as it was getting dark... making ourselves look as small as possible (except for Timmy who’s small already) we entered…

King’s Crown...

My Winchester wander continued, past another vacant pub...

...and Handy Villas.... the Winnall Industrial Estate  and a visit to the Red Cat Brewing Co. where I did my CAMRA Brewery Liaison Officer bit, catching up with recent developments etc.  The day’s winter beer theme continued with a half of their award winning Mr M’s Porter, which was very good.

And that’s as good as it got today - I should have stayed there and sampled some more ’never boring' Red Cat beers, but a pub blogger's job just isn’t that easy, and there were other pubs to visit.
It was a nice sunny day and back in the centre of Winchester,  I looked for somewhere to eat my ‘homemade’ lunch.  Thinking the quadrangle area in front of the Cathedral would be a nice peaceful and aesthetic location, I was disappointed to find it had been turned into a building site as the contractors were in the process of dismantling the temporary Christmas ice skating rink. 
Finally I found a bench in Abbey Gardens, and wi…

Five Find a Lost Island - Pt 1 Ferry to the Fountain

On an unusually warm October day, the sun baked down from a clear azure sky as their red boat raced through the waves...

"Look" said Dick excitedly, "There it is -we're here at last - we've found it!"
And he pointed to the cluster of masts of expensive sailing boats in the harbour, as the ferry approached the jetty.

"It didn't take us long to find it" said George* dubiously, underwhelmed at the lack of adventure on their 20 minute Red Jet ride from Southampton. "Is it really a lost island?"

"I think so", said Julian, as he climbed off the ferry, though if it was, he couldn't help wondering why so many other people seemed to have discovered it on the same day. "At least the famous adventurer Retired Martin says it is lost and he's usually right."

"There's the museum!" said Timmy*, running ahead to a large building at the entrance to the jetty, "It's called The Fountain Inn.  Is that becaus…