Friday, 23 August 2013

Early Morning Coastal Path Walk

The weather here has been beautiful, not hot like the recent heatwave, but warm and sunny and great for all our moths, butterflies and insects. So here's a quick look at what has been about recently.

The Grey Dagger caterpillar
Lesser Yellow Underwing moth

A misty morning yesterday on the path

The seagull chicks we watch have all left their rooftop homes and parents and are now somewhere out to sea. There are still a few late chicks who are about to leave around Brixhams roofs and I shall miss them. 

St Marys Bay where a lot of the chicks feel the sea under their bodies for the first time

Every morning for the last few weeks I have been treated to the beautiful sight and sound of seagull families flying overhead across the land and out to sea across my garden. The chicks call constantly to their parents and they in turn call back reassuring the chick all the way. Then in the evening they all fly back.

Beautiful meadows alongside the coatal path where the Kestral usually hunts and the swallows fly over

This is what helps to keep the area special for our bat population

Our dog friendly stone stiles, no need to go up and over. Very helpfull when they get older

 Lesser Burdock

 All tucked up

 I never quite know what this is as there are so many similar flowers

A lovely fluffy seed head


So many lovely butterflies along the path. A pretty Speckled Wood and a Meadow Brown

Wild clematis grows all along the path and its seed heads are particularly beautiful in the sunlight

 Here's one of the many spiders with its web amongst the clematis

I like many people have had a large number of bumble bees visiting the garden. These very large ones (the size of the top of my thumb) also appear to really like the white buddleia. So here are some garden photos from yesterday.

Although it doesn't look big this bee is huge

This bee was burried right inside the flower head and I caught it emerging

The beautiful Painted Lady wings open and wings closed. The pattern on the closed wings is amazing

 A Small Tortoiseshell

One of the many Red Admirals having a rest in the afternoon sun after spending most of the day on the white buddleia. They seem to like this variety much more than the purple ones.

I feel that Autumn is not far away as I heard a Robin singing yesterday morning. They must be back in full feather after their July/August moult and are now starting to sing.

The blackberries are starting to ripen all along the path.

Have a great bank holiday weekend

Saturday, 17 August 2013

RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Weekend 2013

We had a wonderful weekend supporting the activities of the local RNLI Lifeboat Station here in Brixham. The weather was brilliant and this year the programme of events was the best ever.

I took a tour of the Lifeboat on Friday. It was facinating stuff! The RNLI update and maintain the equipment to extremely high standards, believing in investing in the crew to save everyones lives. Just as well this is a charity and not government run-or else they'd have them rowing out in wooden boats as part of the budget cuts.

This is just inside the watertight cabin area immediately off the deck. The crew can treat casualties in here and you can see the seats have sports type seat belts and padding to keep you in place.

The pictures above show the control room-it's quite compact and all black to allow maximum vision at sea and to see the equipment. The seats are very comfortable again with serious strapping and padding.

 The outside of the control room

 The boat is in immaculate condition

Love these windscreen wipers!

Brixham has been the base for the Torbay lifeboat since 1866. In 1924 the Brixham Station was renamed Torbay. In 1866 the Lifeboat house cost £175 to build. In 2007 the cost to build a dedicated pontoon for the Severn Class cost over £600,000    

Over 30 volunteers now respond to the emergency call from Torbay. Over the years the crew have been awarded 27 medals.

There are two lifeboats at the Torbay Station, an inshore inflatable D class (named John William Hirst) and an all weather Severn Class (named Alec and Christina Dykes - below) which is the largest boat in the fleet and self righting.

For any petrol heads out there:
The Severn Class weighs 42 tonnes, length 17.3m width 5.9m, max speed 25knots and a range of 250 nautical miles, with two caterpillar marine 1350 hp diesel engines.

Monty Halls is a great supporter of and volunteer with the RNLI and will be attempting a record row of 70 miles from Dartmouth around the Eddystone Lighthouse and back with Rachel Cole. See more about this fund raising attempt here and The Grace Darling Memorial Row-an amazing story!

On Friday night we also went to see the 'Bands at the Breakwater' It was a great night out with Joey The Lips headlining in an open air concert.

On Saturday it was the wonderful Breakwater by Candlelight. I didn't take the camera as it was dark. I'm happy to say it was warm and still and the RNLI ran out of lanterns..but not before we got ours! The Breakwater looked beautiful with hundreds of candles lighting it up, twinkling away as people (over 250) walked the length to the lighthouse and back. It was such a friendly atmosphere with people of all ages taking part.

Sunday-SARs demonstration (Search and Rescue)

A fabulous event with the Torbay Team and so many others helping to put on a fantastic display.

So we sat on the Breakwater Beach with the crowds of people and I took lots of photos which I hope you'll enjoy.

 I have never seen so many people along the Breakwater-thankfully no-one fell off!
A crowded beach in the beautiful evening sunshine

A helicopter demonstration picking up and dropping off crew from the Severn Class Boat

They make it look so easy-Imagine doing this in rough seas

A simulation of a fire on board and the crew jumping out of the boat

This time two crew members are having a fight and wrestling each other off the boat and into the water

Here is the Class D inshore lifeboat speeding in to pick them up

If you watch the news or Seaside'll know this happens a lot. Inflatables leading people into currents and out into danger. So here is a rescue off the rocks.

And finally.... (oh at last I hear you cry) a few of the crew and boats working together

A speed past and goodbye from the crew of the Severn Class

We had a great time and although this was great fun to watch and a fabulous demonstration to please the crowds and raise money, it's quite exraordinary to think this is all done by volunteers and a charity.
Thank you RNLI