MAIDENCOMBE.NET AUTHOR Jim Campbell

MAIDENCOMBE.NET AUTHOR Jim Campbell
Maidencombe resident since 1960. Local historian and author of the 'Coves of Maidencombe'.
Copyright © 2013 . All Rights Reserved.

COMBE WEATHER

TIDES

CURRENT MOON

KESTREL CALLING

BUZZARD IN MY GARDEN

RESERVE

NST

The bowl of the coombe as seen from Sladnor heights

The bowl of the coombe as seen from Sladnor heights

Maidencombe point

Maidencombe point
as seen above Maidencombe cove.

Blog Archive

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lack of posting since Monday due to illness.

Monday, October 28, 2013

AFTER THE STORM - CHECK ON VESSELS OFF MAIDENCOMBE

video
The Argosy got underway moments after this video was shot.

Maidencombe Village - in the lee of the storm

I stayed up most of the night monitoring Storm Christian and ensuring my property was secure, but down in the sheltered  bowl of Maidencombe and the village, we were in the lee of the storm.
There were a few strong gusts which threatened to build but they died away.  Across Lyme Bay, gusts of 81 mph were recorded at Portland as well as over 60 mph at Brixham and Plymouth.  Rainfall was somewhat less than I thought; I recorded just under two inches falling throughout the night.  I even managed to go out on the Night Patrol and, despite the rain and wind, a few brave but hungry animals were waiting for me.  The strongest of the winds were funnelled in the corridors of Steep Hill and Rockhouse Lane.

Pretty tired but mightily relieved, here at Cruisedog Towers in Maidencombe.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

TUG MORE & VESSELS RIDING OUT STORM CHRISTIAN

Since leaving Rotterdam en route for Dakar, Senegal on October 18th with two inland tankers, the Novara and Flot 5, the More has been 'holed up' east of the Cherbourg peninsula and is currently riding out the gale force winds whipped up by Storm Christian.  Metcheck Europe indicates winds of up to 63 mph in its 'sheltered' mooring off the French coast.  With hindsight, probably not a good idea to start this expedition at this time of year.   The Ferox group, to my knowledge, remains in the safety of Poole Harbour.

STORM CHRISTIAN APPROACHES - AND A LITTLE STORY

video
Reflecting on the dreadful Great Storm of 1987 as we await Storm Christian's landfall.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CHINA PEACE SHELTERING IN TORBAY

The Hongkong flagged cargo vessel China Peace is currently sheltering in Torbay en route to her destination of Rotterdam.

DOOMSDAY WEATHER FORECAST FOR THIS MONDAY

The 'Storm of the Century' is forecast for this Monday and is expected to bring severe or storm force winds to Wales and south-west England in the morning and across central to south-east Britain in the afternoon.  It's little wonder that the Ferox flotilla has scuttled across Lyme bay to seek shelter in Poole Harbour as its former anchorage in Babbacombe Bay would have been rendered unsafe in such winds which may be in the order of 70-90 miles per hour.
The relevance and possible danger to us in Maidencombe will become clearer on Saturday, but I will be preparing for the worst in case this forecast is accurate.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FEROX SPOTTED IN POOLE HARBOUR

This webcam capture of the Ferox and her tow in Poole Harbour approach sent in by my Dutch contact.

AIS ON VESSELS

AIS or Automatic Identification System is required on all international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more and all passenger ships regardless of size.

This requirement may not be stringently enforced if the vessel in question is under tow as evidenced by the two towing operations we are currently following here.  BUT, and it is a big but, it is a major concern that the inland tankers/barges/what have you that may be accompanying such tows, are not operating  AIS transceivers/transponders.  This is of grave concern to agencies and authorities who need this information should the vessel in question get into difficulties and a rescue operation has to be mounted.  An example follows.  This is a translated fragment from:

http://www.schuttevaer.nl/nieuws/zeevaart/nid16369-tanker-vestland-breekt-en-zinkt-op-weg-naar-nigeria.html

On September 5th 2011, the tanker Vestland, an inland tanker which was recently sold to a Nigerian, became detached from the Panamian tug Courbet during a storm, broke in two and sank.  The French authorities found the events surrounding the transport irresponsible and are seeking redress from the insurer.  The French were also very concerned about the Atlantic Trader (in the same convoy) making its own way because it was not equipped with AIS and could not be traced.

The United States are tightening their requirements for AIS on shipping this year and other countries may well follow suit.

If you want a real eye-opener on casualties at sea, take a look at this site:

 http://www.cargolaw.com/presentations_casualties-11.php


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

FEROX STILL IN POOLE HARBOUR

I can confirm the Ferox remains in Poole Harbour even though she has turned off the AIS.  My backup site (I've registered) of FleetMon shows her there.  The More remains anchored to the east of the Cherbourg peninsula (see map).
© OpenStreetMap contributors http://www.openstreetmap.org

Monday, October 21, 2013

NOW WE WAIT

The Ferox and her charges are now moored in the entrance to Poole Harbour  and the More operation is sheltering east of the Cherbourg peninsula.  It's now a case of waiting and watching for movement of these expeditions. 
The Ferox saga is such that it has now been at sea for over a fortnight, with all the attendant costs mounting up, with little to show for it. 
The More is apparently bound for Dakar but that is open to speculation.  There may be further developments to this story which I will keep everyone informed about.

FEROX & MORE TUG OPERATIONS: OVERNIGHT DEVELOPMENTS

The Ferox operation is now in Poole Harbour and the More group is currently moored (presumably sheltering) some four miles off Grandcamp-Maisy to the east of the Cherbourg peninsula.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

TUG LATEST

The Ferox and two associated vessels are now about twelve miles southwest of Weymouth and making 6.4 knots on a heading of 93 degrees.  Meanwhile, the More and its tows are now virtually stationary some 25 miles northwest of Fecamp on the French coast.
This is most curious and if the Ferox remains on this course it appears it is heading back to the North Sea from whence it came.

FEROX UNDERWAY

video
Seen here an hour ago heading north east (variable) across Lyme Bay.  Just caught them as they were at extreme range.

FEROX ON THE MOVE

Flurry of activity here as the Ferox is underway, making 4.2 knots on a heading of 108 degrees.  She is in tow to one vessel and the other is accompanying under its own power.  Video to follow.  From her heading north across Lyme Bay it may be that she is going to link up with the More convoy fast approaching.

NOW WE'RE CATCHING UP HERE IN THE UK

I am indebted to the binnenschifferforum (see link below) and the kustvaartforum for keeping  me up to date on the nefarious goings on with regard to the export of vessels to Nigeria and the strong links to oil theft that exists there.  The Dutch and Germans are well aware of this situation and now, thanks to them, we will be catching up here in the UK

http://www.binnenschifferforum.de
http://www.kustvaartforum.com

This is particularly interesting and reinforces the strongly suspected use of such tows to the African coast:
http://news.naij.com/32451.html

TUG MORE CONVOY UPDATE
The More is presently making 3.5 knots on a heading of 221 degrees - thirty miles south of Eastbourne.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ETA TUG MORE

The More is currently underway in the English Channel and about 30 miles away from Eastbourne.  At her current speed (about 3 knots)  she will reach the Ferox sometime on Tuesday - if indeed she is linking up with the Ferox operation.

FEROX BACK ON STATION

video

 My outside source has told me that the Belize flagged tug More has left Rotterdam with two inland tankers in tow en route for Dakar, Senegal.  The More  is now entering the English Channel making two knots.
It will likely link up here off Maidencombe with the Ferox group.   The Teignmouth NCI  (coastwatch) will now be alerted to this ongoing situation.  High winds are forecast for next week so the tugs and their tows are most likely to shelter here for some time yet.

Friday, October 18, 2013

OCTOBER 6TH AND OCTOBER 16TH TOWS IDENTICAL SHIPS?

I've just been comparing the videos from October 6th and October 16th and the two vessels under tow appear to be identical ships.  The only difference is that the other tug, the More has gone, leaving the Ferox the sole tug in charge of the operation.  The plot thickens.

INTEREST IN THE FEROX OPERATION

I've just seen some interesting stats for viewing figures since October 16th when I've been covering the Ferox operation taking place off Maidencombe.  It's been highlighted on:

http://www.binnenschifferforum.de/forum/showthread.php?45551-Binnentanker-in-Nigeria/page11
http://www.kustvaartforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6505&start=1200

TUG FEROX


ShipSpotting.com
© Manuel Mohedano Torres

Interestingly, the Ferox was formerly the Spanish flagged Gran Canaria (see thumbnail image) berthed at Santa Pola, Alicante.  The Ferox was involved in an incident involving the Falmouth Lifeboat on October 11th.
The lifeboat was alerted and launched to standby when the Ferox's propeller became fouled and one of the two barges it had been towing had to take over the tow.
This could well be the same operation that was involved a week ago.  It is confirmed that the tow originated from Immingham and was en route to Nigeria.
A suspect operation indeed ..

Thursday, October 17, 2013

OCTOBER 17: FEROX SAGA CONTINUES

video

FOLLOW UP TO THE FEROX TUG OPERATION

Many thanks to our reader 'Watcher' who sent this in as a response to 'Ferox returns to Maidencombe waters'.
'It's one of the horrible towages with old inland tankers from Holland to Nigeria. This time with one old English vessel . These inland tankers are not built for transport or towage over the seas'.
I must admit that this does seem to be a dubious operation and perhaps there should be tighter controls on the towing of vessels through UK waters as we've already had a similar disaster when the Emsstrom under tow foundered off Hopes Nose. 

FEROX RETURNS TO MAIDENCOMBE WATERS

video
Strange goings on in the bay as the tug Ferox has returned  (see October 6th post: Another tug operation in the bay) with yet another hulk in tow.  What is puzzling is the presence of a beat-up looking coaster which is lurking nearby.  It looks suspiciously unseaworthy and may be part of the same towing operation as it doesn't appear on the Live Ships map.  I'll monitor the situation.

Monday, October 14, 2013

GOLFING FROM SUICIDE POINT

An archive photo of Bluebird (who was unaware he was being snapped) driving off the notorious 'Suicide Point' near Walls Hill, Babbacombe.  An act of bravado as the author of this site suffers acutely from vertigo and his hobby of cliff-scaling does little to alleviate his malady.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

BRACE YOURSELF FOR A SAVAGE WINTER

The weather pundits are ominously predicting a savage winter for the UK, possibly the worst in a hundred years and that snowfalls can be expected as early as next month.
A slender hope for Maidencombers is the protection afforded to us by the recognised 'micro climate' that exists in our privileged position.
However, I recall some desperate winters here in the early sixties when Maidencombe was cut off from Torquay, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot with snow drifts that defied attempts to clear by the council.  I can vividly remember my dad placing breeze blocks in the boot of his rear wheel drive car to get better traction up Brim Hill and then clawing his way up the hill sideways like a crab.  How about walking along Honey Lane level with the top of the hedge as the snow had drifted over six feet high? 
If this prediction is correct, I can only echo the words of Del Boy:  "Brace yourself!"

Friday, October 11, 2013

ORION RISING

The majestic winter constellation of Orion can now be seen rising in the east over Lyme Bay as seen from Maidencombe..  For the past few nights, I have paused near the top of Brim Hill and gazed spellbound at this most distinctive of star clusters.  It was the first constellation that my late father taught me about and provoked my continuing interest in astronomy.  The  constellation is now in view as shown above but with one missing component, Sirius or the Dog Star which will soon appear as Orion climbs higher in the heavens.  Look for it below and to the left of Saiph which is the bright star at bottom left of Orion.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

QUEEN MARY 2 IN VIEW FROM MAIDENCOMBE

A bit of excitement here from Cruisedog Towers as I noticed that the Queen Mary 2 was proceeding down the English Channel from Southampton en route to New York.  She could be seen just outside of Lyme Bay  at 22:30 hours making 19.6 knots and lit up like a Christmas tree.
And yes, you're right, I don't get out a lot these days.

MFT PATRICIA MOORED WITHIN EXCLUSION ZONE OF THE WRECK EMSSTROM

An interesting newcomer to Babbacombe Bay is the MFT Patricia which has entered the buoyed exclusion zone over the wreck of the Emsstrom.

Trinity House’s Multi Functional Tender (MFT) Patricia works around the coast of England, Wales and the Channel Islands undertaking navigation maintenance work, towing, wreck location and marking.

video
From what I can observe, this is a routine examination of the marker buoys.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

ANOTHER TUG OPERATION IN THE BAY

video
This operation has been observed moored a mile and a half off Maidencombe in Babbacombe Bay.  Looked like a single tug towing a hulk until I zoomed in with the reliable Canon Powershot SX40 to discern two tugs,  the More (Belize flagged) and the Ferox (Vanautu flagged) lying next to each other with each in tow to a hulk (two hulks).  Destination appears to be the coast of Spain.  The mooring site is close by the exclusion zone of the ill-fated Emsstrom which also was being towed across the bay when it was holed by its tug and subsequently foundered.

Friday, October 04, 2013

NIGHT PATROL EARLY HOURS

Embarking on our Night Patrol, the horizon was lit up with multiple sheet lightning flashes way across Lyme Bay to the north.  No accompanying thunder was heard.  As we entered the top meadow, the flashes continued unabated every few seconds.  Usually,  we could expect to encounter five or six animals at this first checkpoint but the meadow was eerily empty.  After calling, a solitary dog fox emerged from the hedgerow but seemed loathe to approach into the open.
The sheet lightning had evidently unsettled the denizens of the night.  It was certainly eerie in the combe.

REPOSTED FROM MYFOXESANDBADGERS

KANDAA'S SECRET

For a few weeks now, Kandaa the vixen and the only fox that takes food by hand, has been acting most strangely.  She appears in my garden at the allotted feeding time and devours her food.  Then, after our Night Patrol around the combe, she invariably is waiting for me as So Cruise and I return, some distance from my garden.

However, I have recently observed her taking the food into the same field, pausing to look back furtively at me to ensure she's not being followed or observed.

Well, tonight I discovered Kandaa's secret.  The first clue was a young fox appearing in the lane in front of us and immediately fleeing into a field.  This in itself was unusual as virtually every fox and badger know of our existence and habits.

Around the corner, Kandaa was sitting, awaiting our return.  She advanced and gently took the piece of chicken from my hand, turned and entered the usual field.

This time, I waited for a few seconds, tethered So Cruise my collie cross, and entered the field with my head torch turned off.  Moments later and I heard the usual sounds of  a young fox calling for food. 

It then dawned on me that Kandaa was still taking food to one of her offspring but away from the scrimmaging and fighting of the other first season foxes.  A very sensible choice as all the other mothers and aunties (vixens who care for other cubs/young foxes other than their own) are constantly plagued by foxes several months old who constantly beg and steal food rather than forage themselves.

Kandaa,  a beautiful and wise vixen ...

BURNING OF THE BAMBOO MAN JUNE 5 2016

SLADNOR PARK CHALETS

SLADNOR PARK CHALETS
Eerily shrouded in mist, two of the lower chalets of Sladnor Park.

AN ODE TO SLADNOR PARK

(sung to the tune of 'Home on the Range')

Oh give me a park where the badgers can roam
Where the deer and the wildlife reside
There never is heard the developer's word
To disturb where the denizens abide

Oh give me a park where the diggers are banned
And the architect can't earn his fee
Where the noise of the town
Is a far distant sound
And conservation is all it can be

For when houses are built
The council covered in guilt
And all the animals forlorn
Now the only sounds to be heard
Are vehicles absurd
And the cries of a motherless fawn

Jim Campbell

BLOG CONTENT

BLOG CONTENT
The twinning of Maidencombe with Comeinbemad reflects the light-hearted nature of this gentle blog. The articles posted are written by the author alone and have no connection with any official body or association.

Search This Website

OUR MAIN LINK - CLICK ON IMAGE TO REDIRECT

OUR MAIN LINK - CLICK ON IMAGE TO REDIRECT
THE ENDANGERED CIRL BUNTING - SYMBOL OF THE MAIDENCOMBE COMMUNITY GROUP

PUTTING MAIDENCOMBE ON THE MAP

PUTTING MAIDENCOMBE ON THE MAP

OUR LOCAL LINK

I came across this fascinating and informative guide to St Marychurch and Babbacombe recently. For many Maidencombers, these are our local shops and first 'port of call' before venturing into the urban jungles of Torquay. There's a local news feed which is regularly updated. Well worth a look. Here's the link:



CLICK HERE FOR BABBACOMBE & ST MARYCHURCH GUIDE WEBSITE

MOST VIEWED POST ON THIS SITE

MOST VIEWED POST ON THIS SITE
The old Toll House on the west side of the A379 Teignmouth Road, stands at the junction of Claddon Lane with the A379 about 50 yards from Ridge Road and the former position of the black and white Solomons Post sign (see side panel right). This early photo shows the open porch (lower left) - now blocked off and the blanked out toll-board recess (top right). Under the angled roof on the right, there is a small shop and working post office. The building probably dates from 1827 when the new road was built. Originally named Solomon's Post Gate when there was a gate across the road for the toll collector to open upon payment.

RAMBLING GROUP WRITE-UP OF WATCOMBE TO MAIDENCOMBE WALK

Found this interesting little site with a rambling group's write up of walks. CLICK HERE FOR MAIDENCOMBE WALK ARTICLE

MAIDENCOMBER SLADNOR VIDEO AND WRITE-UP

YOUR LOCAL WEB APPROVES DREAMINCOMBES

YOUR LOCAL WEB APPROVES DREAMINCOMBES
After scrutiny by a panel, this site has been added as a reputable source of information about Maidencombe.

ARCHIVE: MAIDENCOMBE TIMELINE EVENING AT THE THATCHED TAVERN

The first Timeline evening took place Wednesday evening March 20th at the Thatched Tavern. Local lad Ziggy Austin's brainchild, it was an endeavour to map out the history of Maidencombe on a ten metre paper scroll. The initiative was first mooted and widely supported on Ziggy's Maidencombe Residents Facebook page. Residents and non residents were asked if they could research local history on the area and bring along any material such as postcards or text to place on the scroll.
The first evening was well attended and as can be seen in the photos on the left, a great deal was achieved.
Longest residing villager, Alan Hunt attended to add his considerable knowledge and was supported by his 'young' student Jim Campbell with a mere 53 years of residence under his belt.
The pub opened up the restaurant area for the occasion and were most generous in providing sandwiches for the studious throng.


SOLOMONS POST AT THE JUNCTION OF TEIGNMOUTH ROAD & RIDGE ROAD

SOLOMONS POST AT THE JUNCTION OF TEIGNMOUTH ROAD & RIDGE ROAD
No known images of this iconic Maidencombe landmark. Post war and up to the late 1960's, sign posts were wooden posts painted black and white. This is a close reconstruction of the sign where buses would actually pull in to for passengers to alight or board.

A UNIQUE VIDEO

A video of one of my foxes being treated for Sarcoptic mange - taking the medication on the food by hand. She recovered completely and my thanks go out to the Derbyshire Fox Rescue who supplied the medication.

DRAMATIC EROSION OF THE SOUTHWEST COASTAL FOOTPATH

Worth a look as Maidencombe's section of the SWCP is also very much under threat.

From myfoxesandbadgers site

ARCHIVE: DANGEROUS STATE OF CLIFF FACE

ARCHIVE: DANGEROUS STATE OF CLIFF FACE
Photo taken from the beach cafe above Maidencombe cove and the arrows indicate the cause for concern. A minor land slip has already taken place and the Environment Agency had a look Christmas eve in case the cove had to be closed.

ARCHIVE: Entrance to Crossways at Maidencombe Cross

ARCHIVE: Entrance to Crossways at Maidencombe Cross
After a catalogue of antisocial behaviour displayed by motorists illegally entering a private area, the police recommended that the entrance be made narrower. A sad indictment of society.

THE FOLLY AT SLADNOR PARK

THE FOLLY AT SLADNOR PARK
Constructed between 1830-1833 by Mrs Groves who inhabited Sladnor Manor House at the time. The hexagonal tower and accompanying arched outbuilding were built of Devon red sandstone. A projecting castellated cornice crowned the gothic apertures and single faux crossbow slit at ground level. A most interesting aspect of the folly is the purpose-built pony and trap winding carriage-way which Mrs Groves carved through the north western woods of the estate to facilitate her passage to and from the folly. The structure is now in poor condition and it is earnestly hoped that Richmond Villages, the new owners of Sladnor, will be able to make safe the folly to enable residents to enjoy in years to come.

FEATURES OF MAIDENCOMBE

Some of the features we will be mentioning:

ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO
THE CASCADE
THE IRON STILE
THE CASTELLATED FOLLY
THE BAT RETREAT
THE PUMP HOUSE
THE PILL BOX
THE 190 OAK
SMUGGLER'S LANE

GRADE 2 LISTED ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO

GRADE 2 LISTED ROCK HOUSE GAZEBO
Circa 1850. Constructed of Devon red sandstone with unfortunately, as is the case with the Sladnor Folly, some cement patching. Sited at the eastern end of the garden, overlooking the sea. A single storey structure with faux castellated parapet. It has a one-window front incorporating a gabled porch on the front to left with a segmental headed and arched doorway. There is a matching arched window to the right. Reportedly, the structure had a flight of external steps for access to the flat roof with commanding views of Lyme Bay. The interior is clay-tiled laid.