Christmas Greetings


Here are some of the Christmas cards we have received from other NCI Stations (click on cards to enlarge):

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It was windy on Sunday!


Dark green (and green shading) shows average wind speed from the Light Float; blue line is average wind speed from Bramble Met Post.

Fortunately, the force 11 winds which had been forecast for our area didn’t materialise. All the same, it was windy enough on Sunday (10th December 2017), with gale force 8 winds much of the morning.

However, when the morning watch arrived to find the Tower beginning to sway in the wind, they saw that the last wind speed reading from Calshot Light Float was only 3kts! For some time now the  wind direction from the light float has been wrong; was the wind speed now also broken?

In fact the plot above shows that the wind had indeed dropped for a very brief period before the start of the watch – as confirmed by the Bramble Met Post winds. This coincided with the wind direction at Bramble changing from around SE to WSW where it remained until noon. It then shifted to WNW and the wind speed started to decrease. The low wind speed recorded by the light float prior to the start of the watch was correct after all.

Conditions were still rough at 1230 when the Calshot Lifeboat returned from their morning exercise, as confirmed by the photos below.


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Out of the Fog!


A very large container ship, the MOL Triumph, suddenly emerges from a fog bank. That’s Black Jack buoy which is about three cables from the Tower. A few moments earlier, when the bow was where the stern is now, the ship was totally hidden. The Harbour Master’s launch “SP” was busy clearing small boats out of the path of a monster, invisible container ship that was bearing down upon them!

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NCI Calshot AGM – 19th October 2017


Earlier this evening we held our 7th AGM and were delighted to welcome National Chairman Lesley Suddes.   Lesley thanked outgoing station manager Colin Lewis who, after 7 years post has decided to revert to regular watchkeeping duties.  This will allow Colin to devote more time to one of his other passions, namely painting in watercolour and acrylics, in fact, we have posted some of his paintings on this blog over the past few months.

The various reports by officers placed a very positive spin on the 7 years whilst Colin has been at the helm,  We were also pleased to be joined by founder member Ryan Sutton who must be very proud of the way the station has flourished over the years.  These days Ryan walks the corridors of central Government in Westminster but still took time out to come and touch base with us.

Our thanks go to the Business centre staff at Ordnance Survey who arranged for us to host the meeting in the splendid Solent Lecture theatre and watchkeeper Mark Tilley who arranged security and visitor registrations.


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Ordnance found near Warsash


Seen from the Tower: with a Coastguard mobile unit and a Bomb Disposal unit in attendance, a controlled explosion took place off the beach at Warsash during the Saturday afternoon watch, 16th September.

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RNLI Calshot Open Day

Some photos taken at the RNLI Open day on 20th August 2017. The view of the Lifeboat Station is from the Castle; the rest of the photos are from the NCI Station on Calshot Tower.

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14th August 2017. The National Coastwatch Institution is proud to announce that we have a Royal Patron.

On Saturday the 12th August the Charity was informed by Buckingham Palace that ‘The Princess Royal will be delighted to accept Royal Patronage of the National Coastwatch Institution’.

This is tremendous news for the Charity and is a great recognition of the contributions and achievements that NCI makes in ensuring safety around the UK coastline. It is a huge credit to all the NCI members and supporters that the Princess Royal feels she can support us in our endeavours.

The Princess Royal is a keen yachtswoman herself, owning a succession of cruising yachts, and already lends her patronage to several maritime organisations. Her Royal Highness has been a staunch supporter of the NCI for many years, keeping up with our activities and rapid expansion since the early 1990s and even presenting the Dorset NCI stations with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service a few years ago. She is currently Master of Trinity House, the authority which owns and maintains the lighthouses around the United Kingdom,where the NCI held a very successful reception in London earlier this year.

The photograph is of The Princess Royal visiting the NCI stand at the Boat Show.


(Source :



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Fastnet, seen from Hurst Castle (acrylic)


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Seen from the Tower: Fastnet 2017


Actually the photo above (and the photo below of the MOD 70 trimaran Concise 10) were taken from near Houston House on Calshot Spit. By the time I went on watch there was less sun as is evident from the rest of the photos, taken from inside the tower. However you can still see the smoke from the starting gun for the IRC 2 race! More photos are available on my boat blog: …and, yes, I was keeping watch on our local area as well!

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SU10 off Calshot Tower


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