The Fleet's In
Residents and visitors to Lyme Regis this weekend, 17th to 19th May, are in for a nautical treat as two large and very different ships visit the Dorset resort.
It is perhaps not quite an example of ten buses coming along all at once, but normally the largest object one sees from the town's Marine Parade is a fishing boat or shoal of sailing boats from the Lyme Regis Sailing Club.
There is going to be something of a step change in scale when HMS Edinburgh, a 5,200 tonne Type 42 destroyer known as the "Fortress of the Sea", arrives off the famous Cobb on Friday for a 3 day visit.
Then early on Sunday morning HMS Edinburgh will be joined by a luxury expedition ship, Silver Explorer, just over 6,000 tonnes. This is the first time a cruise ship has visited "the Pearl of Dorset" and the town hopes that other cruise ships will sample all that Lyme Regis has to offer.
Silversea’s visit coincides with an opening ceremony for Lyme Regis’ newly refurbished sea-front shelters on Marine Parade, which have been constructed in time for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. A contingent from HMS Edinburgh will take part in the ceremony.
One of the few things that these two ships have in common is that they carry their own accommodation so that tourists and crew alike will unfortunately not need to sample the joys of a Lyme Regis B&B. But there should be plenty of room for visiting land lubbers who need to stay in Lyme Regis and savour the nautical spectacle in the bay.
Peter Wiles, Peter Wiles Photography
Published on 17/05/2012.