Southampton is one of the UK's busiest ports, it claims to be the busiest cruise terminal and second largest container port in the UK. With so much shipping right on our doorstep, going past the end of the river I don't really pay it enough attention.
Hamble point is the ideal place to view the oil and tankers which work the BP terminal in Hamble (below) or the Fawley refinery across Southampton Water.
When the Hamble terminal was established in 1924, Hamble Lane was little more than a cart track, George V was on the throne and world was in the grip of The Great Depression, the terminal has come a long way since then but it seems not everything has changed.
The Esso refinery (above and below) at Fawley is claimed as the largest in the UK and one of the most complex in Europe. Situated on Southampton Water, it has a mile-long marine terminal that handles around 2,000 ship movements and 22 million tonnes of crude oil and other products every year
The area immediately surrounding the refinery is unspoilt salt marsh, we often dinghy sail just south of the marine terminal, into Ashlett Creek the contrast with which couldn't be more marked.
The Jester Dinghy: The Known and the Unknown
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