I first crossed The Solent to the Isle of Wight by ferry a couple of times around 1977, back when I worked in Portsmouth, and lived a few miles further north in Catherington. I remember crossing as a foot passenger to Ryde and then taking the train as a part of a geology field trip. And on another occasion we drove my parents over on the Fishbourne route to spend a day driving round the island and having a fine hike to see the Needles.
Back then the ferries were run by Sealink, a part of British Rail. Now the Wightlink company operates frequent high speed passenger catamaran services from Portsmouth Harbour to the end of Ryde pier, and car ferries to Fishbourne. I've not had a chance to use these recently, but when I took the hovercraft service to Ryde in February 2018 (when all these photos were taken) the Wightlink ferries were constantly crossing the Solent.