Digging for lugworms
Crescent Moon Sunsdet
Wednesday, 16th June
Yes, you guessed right; ‘Ladybird’ is still at anchor this morning off Goathorn Head, Poole Harbour. It seems that for as long as the ridge of high pressure remains over England, strong NE winds will persist. They are in the right direction for Weymouth, and if I were in a bigger, more powerful yacht, I would up the anchor and be away. However, the Coastguard forecast a north-easterly occasionally reaching Force 8! I don’t like sailing in a Force 6, much preferring 3 or under, and a maximum of 4. Why should I move from this lovely spot?
You wouldn’t believe it, but Furzey Island, a half a mile away to the WNW, has an oil well gathering station for the largest onshore oil field in Western Europe. I can hear no noise from the Island or see any sign of such activity. A small ferry visits a slipway two or three times a day, and that’s it. Pine trees hide the structures from view, but to the SW, if I look carefully, I can see a rig sticking up above trees on the mainland. I believe this is the location of the Wytch Farm oil field in the Purbeck district of Dorset. The beleaguered BP Oil Company own and manage this field. Oil is pumped from there via Furzey Island to Fawley fifty miles away. Natural gas is also piped to Sopley. So, right in the midst of this area of special scientific interest and beauty, there lies hidden an industrial complex.
Life goes on around as if nothing has happened. An hour or so ago at low water, a fellow wearing Wellington boots and wielding a fork was digging for lugworms. A half-dozen windsurfers zoom by on a downwind course. A jaunty red trawler bobs along and the colours of the scene are fabulous with white caps breaking on olive green waves.
The wind eased off; therefore I took advantage and sailed for Weymouth, where I am tonight.