I managed to avoid buying stuff at the Boat Show but I got persuaded to join the National Coastwatch Institution. I'd been wondering about it for some time but had assumed that they would have had no difficulty manning Calshot, the nearest station for me to get to. However I discovered that they did need new recruits - so Seatern now has a rival for my time!
= Equipment Notes etc. (Of general interest?)
(Of interest to me!)
= Notes on Coastwatch
(from October 2015)
NCI Watch Calshot Tower
I'd visited Calshot Tower soon after the Boat Show to have a look around and to demonstrate I was capable of climbing the ladders inside the tower! However, today was my first watch period (1600-2000). I'm classed as an "Assistant Watchkeeper" - the lowest grade - until I've started the training course and proved capable of the job. It's certainly a good view from the Tower!
The highlight of today's watch (1200-1600) was the passage of the Marco Polo container ship inbound. A catamaran set off from the beach towing objects which I correctly identified as plastic rainwater guttering! Apparently they use them for beaching on shingle.
The met sensors on the NCI Tower are very badly exposed - indeed it would be hard to obtain good exposure on the Tower. The Calshot Activities Centre have a similar Davis system and I spent a couple of days studying whether we could get their data to the tower. On 30th I had a first meeting with Alistair Palmer of CAC to discuss the problem. Then on Saturday morning (31st) we had our first formal NCI training session. I'm now a "Trainee watchkeeper" rather than an "Assistant watchkeeper"!