Lade - 1000hrs - mild, sunny, sw 3 - A bright and breezy morning over the pits with little of note apart from seven Goldeneyes across both lakes. I could find no sign of the Slavonian Grebe.
Dungeness - We`ve had a couple of RNLI coxswains staying with us this week in preparation for the arrival of the new lifeboat at Dungeness today and its been great fun nattering away to them over breakfast. The arrival of a new boat is a big deal down here and as a result hundreds of locals and visitors from afar, media camera crews and the like turned out to see the new Shannon class boat, The Morrell, arrive at Dungeness on the high tide. It was all quite exciting and even Mrs PT and Barney joined the throng.
The old Mersey class boat, Pride and Spirit, was launched at 1230hrs and together with the Littlestone boat went out into Rye Bay to meet the new vessel. At 1300hrs all three lifeboats came steaming round the point with The Morrell in the lead; and what a spectacle it made for in the bright sunshine and blue skies.
The crew then put the new lifeboat through its paces showing off the incredible pace (max 25 knots) and manoeuvrability made possible by water jet propulsion, that has replaced the old fashioned screw propeller. Much to the delight of the crowd the crew continued to blatantly show off (and why not) their new toy for a while longer before dramatically beaching the boat up the shingle bank at high speed towards the waiting launching/receiving tractor.
Breathtaking stuff, and full marks to the RNLI, one of our most cherished charitable organisations, for putting on such a superb display of seamanship. Makes you proud to be British.
However, after calling in at the Kerton Road Café for a welcome cup of Reed Warbler tea and crumpets I was musing on the afternoons events on the way back to Plovers, and how fantastic it is to think that most of the RNLI crew are volunteers, and the phenomenal generosity of the public who continue to support and fund this worthy institution.
And then I heard on the radio that a footballer is being paid £300,000 per WEEK for kicking a bag of wind around a pitch!
It certainly is a funny old world...