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, a tough act for incoming chairman Sally Pawson to follow though we all feel Sally will continue to build on Calshot’s success enhancing it further still.
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.
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.
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.
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 : https://www.nci.org.uk/content/royal-patron-national-coastwatch)
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: http://www.seatern.org.uk/SeaternDiaries/diary_2017_aug.php …and, yes, I was keeping watch on our local area as well!
The US aircraft carrier moored in Stokes Bay looks impressive even when seen from the distance of Calshot Tower. Here are some photos taken from closer to the ship. She has a 250m exclusion zone and there are Police launches on hand to chase boats away! I’m told that having all the planes on deck is the modern version of “showing the Flag” – it emphasises the fire power she carries.
Graham Pearson, (The Master of PHENIX, one of our Terminal Tug ‘friends’ based on the Exxon Jetty) recently climbed the Tower to familiarise himself with what we do. One and a half hours later having been ‘hosted’ by the team on watch, he offered to show some of us over his vessel.
Subsequently six of the lucky ones in the draw, went on board after being collected from the Jetty by ORYX, one of the smaller tugs, which was interesting with force six blowing and a one metre swell! Graham gave us an amazing in depth presentation of the bridge, engine room and a vast array of equipment which covers everything from towing to fire fighting to oil spillage protection. We also saw the accommodation for the six crew which consists of very comfortable en-suite cabins for each person, necessary considering that they all spend two weeks on (24 hours) and two weeks off. We look forward to organising another visit sometime in the future.
Have a look at the Company website. http://www.ostensjo.no