By TheBaronof Scotland
Again from Belgium Sept 2012 with Scattergun
This place was 1/2 day and we only managed the main part, the site is freaking huge !!!
I`ve noticed I`ve never processed the externals, get on them soon
There was an amazing room that soldiers had drawn out a full 24hrs on the walls, brilliant insight into daily living for them
I've been looking at getting up here and doing this since 2012, when I was living in Southend at the time. Through the madness of jumping about between counties and jobs, I never got round to it and it just sat on my list for years. When my mate started talking about it, I decided to YOLO it and just drive up there. I was really up for a chilled mooch after all the high pressure/high security stuff late last year, so this trip was most welcome. I forgot some filters and a lot of my outdoor shots had blown out sky though...oh well
The battery site itself has been about for donkey's years, with the first defence workings built there in 1534 and it saw continued redevelopment and use until the end of WWII.
This place is trashed. The local chav community have really enjoyed mindlessly wrecking the buildings and spraying crap on every surface. The site seems to be too big to keep secure and my guess is that they've just given up.
Nice, big OP!
...With great views!
The shit poetry type crap everywhere really got on my nerves though
Nice old magazines.
I love the little sets of stairs on the Cornwallis battery.
Interesting ironwork too.
Wonky GoPro shot.
Time for a cup of coffee before the next mooch!
The time flew very quick and although we didn't get as much done as we wanted to, it was still an ace day out Big ups to Pb for coming along!
Thanks for looking,
24 hours in a derp!
Shout outs and thanks to Konrad and his old man on this one
Yet again another explore and overnighter that's been bouncing around in conversation for a long time! Me and Konrad were determined to do another camp out on a site and end the summer with a bit of a bang. We scratched our heads for a while over different places before Darnet cropped up during a chat. Thinking about it now, I'm not quite sure how it all came to fruition, it seems like a dream, but with a bit of planning, some improvisation and Konrad's Dad kindly loaning us some equipment, a vessel and a bit of advice we were sorted!
I had my doubts...I really did. I even messaged Konrad in the early hours to express my doubts and apprehension over the trip. By the time the morning came and we arrived, I felt much better and we just went for it!
Setting up before setting off. I dumped all the kit and Konrad by the launch point and left my car in a dodgy looking neighbourhood hoping it wouldn't get nicked.
We're about halfway there at this point, just parallel to the shore of another island. I liken the kayak to being in some sort of giant tea cup. It's heavily laden with gear and handles like a drunk pig. We later found out that it had a fair bit of water inside it too! Jelly fish are floating in the current and it's cold as owt...you don't wanna go in the drink here!
We're greeted by plenty of old concrete barges on the way through and on the island. They use them to minimise erosion.
Looking over at the fort from the other side of the moat.
Setting up a bit and having a brew before exploring. The loopholes for the guns were made of some seriously thick iron. I'm wondering how they moved them around. Steam crane I suppose?
Space in the middle of the fort with what appears to be an OP on top.
The lower level has about 4ft of water in it. It's said that it was done deliberately to "prevent vandalism". We were both scratching our heads as to how flooding something would be a logical way to reduce or prevent vandalism because to us it's essentially vandalism in itself. We came to the conclusion that the land owners (Port Authority) are basically just a bunch of stupid, indifferent bellends with no appreciation for history or heritage We managed to squeeze the canoe down there anyway so up yours Port Authority goons!
Time for a beer and a ruby! I'm in my boxers because I soaked my trousers and didn't take a spare pair! Oops! Oh well, at least I can say I've done a derp in my pants now too! You can also see the construction of the interior of the fort a little better here. I didn't get many internal photos, but got plenty of video so have a look nearer the bottom of the post!
Walking around the island I stepped onto what I thought was a solid patch. Turns out it was super soft, stinky silt deposits of some sort and it all just swallowed my foot! Good times
Sunrise the morning after. There was very little ambient light, so night shots weren't possible. I got a few shots of the power station and the lights, etc during the night, but the wind wobbled my tripod! I actually slept really well...the best I've ever slept in a derp or any stealth camp! Got a reasonable 8 hours or so!
Getting back was a bit more dodgy than getting there. A stove fell into the water, but luckily floated and the rubbish bag was trying to get away. Never-the-less we made it back to shore ok without capsizing!
Here's the video to go with the report:
Honestly though, I never thought we'd make it here, just because of the pure faff-factor, my disliking of tidal water, lack of willing participants, etc. It was an absolute joy to get out here and cross another one off the list and also end the summer on a good note. More pics on my Flickr!
About Fort Gilkicker
Fort Gilkicker is a historic Palmerston fort built at the eastern end of Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire to dominate the key anchorage of Spithead. It was erected between 1863 and 1871 as a semi-circular arc with 22 casemates, to be armed with 5 12" guns, 17 10" guns and 5 9" guns. The actual installed armament rather differed from this. In 1902 the RML guns were replaced by 2 9.2" and 2 6" BL guns, and before the First World War the walls were further strengthened with substantial earthwork embankments.
It was a pretty chilled visit, very quiet as its situated away from residential areas, no problems getting in or around the fort itself. i did however manage to fall down a set of concrete stairs with my camera on my tripod, in my hand, luckily we both survived with only loss of dignity. the photos aren't the best as i was trying out a new HDR software, Enjoy
^^ the stairs i fell down
Thanks For Looking