Welcome to our blog!

visit-nci-ct-official-siteHere you will find informal news about events at and around the NCI Calshot Tower Coastwatch Station…

Visitors – for official information about NCI Calshot Tower, the National Coastwatch Institution, and useful Solent and Southampton Water marine information, please visit our main web site – https://nci.org.uk/calshot

Calshot Watchkeepers – you can contribute to this blog – please email Peter Taylor to find out how!

Posted in Media

Calshot at the Boat Show

IMG_2549Watchkeepers from NCI Calshot were manning the NCI Stand at the Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 16th September 2018. This year NCI has a good location and we did a good trade in handing out NCI balloons, while promoting NCI to many interested visitors.

And, in case you are wondering, passing Mermaids are entered as “Other” on the Calshot Tower Vessel Count Sheets!

[photos: A Walkling & P. Taylor]


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Charity Model Boat Show

Milford_poster-2018-320x453There’s a Charity Model Boat Show next Saturday 1st September from 10am to 4pm at All Saints’ Church Hall, Greenbanks Close, Milford-on-Sea, SO41 0SQ.

It’s in aid of the RNLI and Hampshire and IoW Air Ambulance. As well as the Model Boats there will be an  RNLI Stall, a Sea Safety Display, National Coastwatch Information (featuring Calshot and Hengistbury Head), Refreshments, and more… Everyone is Welcome!

Come along! …tell your friends!

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Anatomy of a Squall

Each month Calshot Watchkeepers are given a set of Exercise Questions as part of their on-going training. One topic this month was about squalls and by coincidence the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) web site recently featured a picture of a rainstorm which I’ve used to illustrate the formation of a typical squall. I’ve numbered the various processes taking place in the photo to correspond to my explanation below.


  1. For clarity I’ve reversed the original photo so the rain storm is travelling from left to right.
  2. Some of the rain falling from the storm cloud evaporates into the drier air below and/or to the sides of the main cloud. This cools the air making it more dense. This denser air sinks and spreads out as a squall across the sea surface.
  3. The squall runs ahead of the rain area and lifts the warmer, moist surface air ahead of it, this further feeds the rain storm.
  4. Sometimes, when the rain fall is intense, this lifted air will form a marked “roll cloud” as can be clearly seen in this photo. If you are sailing and you see a roll cloud approaching it’s definitely time to reef!

(before I retired I worked at the NOC and studied what happens in the region between the sea surface and the lowest clouds)

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Veterans from the past!

Seen from Calshot Tower on Sunday (19th August), the gaff cutter Jolie Brise was built in 1913 and has been sailed and maintained by pupils from Dauntsey’s School for 40 years. While the Jolie Brise approached in force 5 to 6 winds, the watchkeepers were surprised by three planes of the RAF Memorial Flight passing over the Tower. I only managed to photograph the Lancaster, the fighters were too illusive!


Posted in Seen from the Tower

Echoes of another time

The Jubilee Trust tall ship Tenacious inbound past Calshot Tower on Sunday. Tenacious is designed to allow people of varying physical ability to build confidence through the challenge and adventure of Tall Ship Sailing.

Posted in Seen from the Tower