Ferry Night Crossing

After crossing the Solent at night passengers on the Isle of Wight ferry stand on deck and enjoy the view. In the distance the lights of the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth and be clearly seen.

Late winter 2014 and after a photography shoot on the Isle Of Wight I grabbed my cameras and went top side of the Wightlink Ferry as it left the small village of Fishbourne. The light was fading fast and with night drawing in the other passengers soon settled down inside the large cabin with their warm cappuccinos. They must have thought me mad as I explored the deck of the ship stopping every now and again to take my photos. As the ferry sailed out to sea the darkness enveloped us like a cloak, that really dark slightly depressing blackness that only winter time allows, but as my eyes adjusted the light was actually amazing! It was very blue and had an eerie look and feel to it, very unexpected for a dark Decembers night! I had spent all day taking photographs and although tired the light re-energised me as I took my photographs and created a story of my return trip. 

As the ferry forced its way across the solent the wind picked much to the annoyance of the smokers who braved the elements. For me though it just added to the experience. There is something special about being on board a boat especially at night. Your senses come alive with the smell of the sea and the sounds of the ship as it crashes though the waves. The taste of salt on my lips reminded me of happy, long summer days spent on the beach as a young child. As I day dreamed whilst taking my photos everything seemed to become quiet. The engine chugged away in the background but I had now become accustomed to it and beyond this sound there seemed nothing! Even the seagulls who had sung to me upon my arrival earlier in the day had settled in for the night. Sure it felt a little disconcerting at times but a truly beautiful moment.

A ferry passes us by heading back to the island. I wonder who's onboard? Off on an adventure I expect. Shame I didn't have longer to stay. As my ferry neared the mainland the lights of Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower could be seen in the distance. Joined now by a young girl and her dad I took more photographs as they enjoyed the view. As the bright and courfull lights drew closer I felt slightly sad that the journey would soon be over. Back to the urban sprawl. Back to the busyness of life. As a child I used to sail a lot with my parents. Only small dinghies but it was great fun, happy days. So many memories of sailing trips with Dad at the tiller and mum handing out sandwiches often filled with sand.

I must start sailing again!

Till next time Scott the photographer.


The ferry's propeller stirs up the dark water as the night ferry leaves Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight.


As the night ferry sails away from the Isle of Wight the lights on Ryde Pier can be seen on the horizon. The pier was built in 1813 and is the oldest seaside pier in England.  

As the ferry sails further out into the Solent waters the wind gets up.

Although only a short sailing to the mainland from the Isle of Wight one passenger takes the opportunity to get some sleep. 

The dark moody nights sky looks like trouble as the ferry crosses the Solent, luckily the sea stayed calm and the rain held off.

The bow of the ferry pushes it's way through the dark water in the Solent, our destination of Portsmouth and the mainland lies ahead.

Ships passing in the night. A Wightlink ferry sails past us as we near Portsmouth.

A passenger stands on deck as the night ferry nears Portsmouth.

The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth lit up at night. As the night ferry arrives into Portsmouth I get a perfect view.