I resisted the temptation to say ''make it so' while on the bridge of the Wightlink ferry on Sunday

I'm a frequent traveller to the Isle of Wight where some of my novels are set, for example the thriller, In For The Kill and the DI Andy Horton crime novel, Blood on the Sand.  The DI Horton novel I have just finished writing, number seven in the series, called A Killing Coast, is also partly set on the Isle of Wight and partly in Portsmouth, Andy Horton's home patch.

I travel either by Hovercraft or on the Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne.  And I've also carried out two marathon book signings on the Wightlink ferry, travelling backwards and forwards over eight hours meeting travellers and signing copies of my crime and thriller novels in 2008 and in 2007. They were great fun and I'm very grateful to the Hayling Island Bookshop for organising them and to Wightlink for allowing me to do so. During these book signings I was fortunate enough to meet three Captains: Captain Medway, Captain Monk and Captain Marshall and I got to go up on the bridge of  the St Clair.

Here I am with Captain Monk on board the St Clare 2007

So now when I travel on Wightlink I always ask which Captain is sailing and hope it might be one I know. On Sunday, while travelling over to Isle of Wight Arts Festival (sponsored by Wightlink) I was delighted to learn that it was Captain Paul Marshall and even more thrilled when he invited me and my husband on to the bridge of the St Celia, an older and smaller ship than the St Clair so it was good to compare the two.

Pauline Rowson with Captain Paul Marshall 2008

I love being on the bridge and I watched as she made her way to Fishbourne. It's a real privilege. I resisted the temptation to say 'make it so' and 'engage,' after all we weren't going into battle (Star Trek fans will know what I'm talking about). And neither did I say 'full steam ahead.'

Wightlink ferry terminal Portsmouth

Now all I need to work on is how to get invited on to the bridge of the Fastcat to the Isle of Wight and into the cockpit of the Hovercraft though the latter might be a tight squeeze, there's room only for two, the pilot and the co-pilot. Mmm, this calls for some thought.  And the answer?  Research for the new DI Andy Horton, of course.

A busy day in the Solent with the Hovercraft on the middle distance


Andrew Copeland said…
Nice to read about the two book signings aboard the ferry! It's great that you got an opportunity to go up on the bridge of the ferry too. There are many ferries to England from France(prom do anglii)
and I hope I will get a chance to visit Isle of Wight soon.

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