News (Nov 2014 - Mar 2014)
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RSPB Seabird Newsletter
RSPB South West produce an annual newsletter to illustrate some of the work they do, with partners, to help conserve our region's important seabird colonies and seek greater protection for them at sea. Last time they reported on seabird recovery on Lundy and work underway on the Isles of Scilly; the recovery of little terns at Chesil Beach; our views on Marine Protected Areas and our contribution to the ban on the discharge of PIBs. This edition looks at further progress on the Isles of Scilly and Chesil Beach, and they welcome progress towards a new protected area in Cornwall and call for help with their annual winter beached bird survey.
Crash Box and Classic Car Club
Sue Andrews, Teignmouth NCI with Richard Nunn, Chairman of the CBCCC.
Also this month we were given a very generous donation of £500 by the Crash Box and Classis Car Club, Devon.
Established in 1964, the club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. It is probably best known for its annual Historic Vehicle Gathering which is held in the grounds of Powderham Castle. The club has over 500 members who either own or are enthusiastic about classic cars.
This has been a bumper month for our fundraising as we also have to say a big thank you to Lidl at Kingsteignton who very kindly allowed us to make a collection at the store on Saturday last week. This raised a fantastic £255 towards our new lookout. Thank you to everyone who donated.
We have had several dolphin sightings over the last 7 - 10 days. A small pod of not more than 5 dolphins has been appearing regularly and keeping both us and a number of pleasure boats entertained.
Lindy Hingley of Brixham Seawatch is not familiar with this particular pod and wants to know more. According to Lindy these are bottlenosed dolphins and the pods she knows about are larger.
Lindy would love to know if the dolphins are all the same size in which case they could well be "rebellious break-away teens" or whether there are babies amongst the group.
Lindy's contact information is on her website and she would love to hear from anyone with information. Boats fishing off Teignmouth would be well placed to help but please don't get too close and harrass the dolphins in your enthusiasm to see more. Let the dolphins play with you - not you with the dolphins.
RYA Smartphone App
In June the RYA will be launching a new smartphone app - SafeTrx - which will allow boat users to log their passage plans on line rather than by calling the Coastguard.
The advantage of the SafeTrx system, which will be free to RYA members and available for a nominal fee to non-members, is that not only is the passage plan logged on the SafeTrx server, along with details of the boat and emergency contacts, but using the capabilities of the smartphone the passage is tracked and the plan updated as the voyage progresses. Should the worst occur and the vessel not arrive at its destination (as recorded by GPS or by the skipper) the system sends an SMS message to the skipper's nominated contacts who can then call the Coastguard. The SafeTrx server's record of the last know location will be available to the Coastguard minimising the area needing to be searched.
More information can be found on the SafeTrx Website and from June on the RYA website.
Newton Abbot Races
Newton Abbot Racecourse held its first evening meeting of the year on Friday 25th April and Teignmouth NCI were privileged to have the first race named after us, The Teignmouth National Coastwatch Hurdle. Mervyn and Isobel were invited into the parade ring to pick the best turned out horse, which they judged to be Sanctioned. The winning lad, in this case a girl, received a prize of £25.The race was won by Foggy's Wall, owned by Mark Woodhouse, who was presented with the winning owner's trophy by Isobel.
After the excitement of the race it was back to the real business of the day for Isobel, Mervyn, Bill and Stuart who were collecting for our building fund. We would like to extend our thanks to Patrick Masterson and the team at Newton Abbot Racecourse for their warm welcome and to all the race goers who gave so generously and donated over £250. Many thanks.
The beautiful weather last week made for a busy week out on the water. Lots of boats to log and a few hardy swimmers as well. Whilst on watch last week we heard Brixham Coastguard on the radio asking for help for a swimmer in trouble. The Sea Sports RHIB was in the vicinity and answered the call, swiftly hauling the exhausted person into his craft and taking him to the River (Back) Beach.
From our lookout we could see a small crowd of people gathering on the beach by Sprat Sands, but didn't know why. The lifeguards maintain a watch on beach users in the summer and can warn people of dangerous areas for swimming. At this time of year we do try to keep a watchful eye on lone swimmers but our view of the channel and the area towards the point is limited. Hopefully when we get our new lookout we will have a better view over the pier.
Sprat Sands is one of our local hazards as an incoming tide, against the flow of the river, can produce strong currents depending on the direction of the wind. Even strong swimmers can be caught out by this. You can also check the sea temperature on line but at this time of year it is still quite a chilly 11°C.
Missing Yacht Rafiki
The US Coastguard has stopped searching for the crew of this yacht after deciding that the crew could not have survived in the conditions prevailing at the time.
Over 150,000 people (11am Tuesday) have signed a petition calling on the US Coastguard to resume the search and if this worries you then you can find the petition here.
A Barrel Jellyfish ( Rhizostoma octopus ) has arrived in Teignmouth. It washed up on the beach just below the lookout on Saturday afternoon and caused quite a stir. Had it been alive and had its senses about it, it could have sold tickets as a tourist attraction!
It was one of the large - and we mean large - Barrel jellyfish which are appearing all along the South coast. Difficult to say what size it was as the tide was changing it from a flat dustbin lid size to a dome which would just about have fitted into a jam making pan.
Barrel Jellyfish do sting but officially not enough to harm a human. We just hope the Jellyfish have read that but our advice is - DON'T TOUCH - and keep your pets away.
Learn to row for free
River Teign Rowing Club are offering 12 - 18 year olds the chance to learn to row for free.
Monday evenings from March 31st at the lifeboat slipway.
For more information contact: