Tuesday, 11 January 2011

"View through a jetty"

Just a view from the shingle beach by Calshot Castle at the entrance to Southampton Water, Hampshire, UK, looking northward towards the city of Southampton about eight miles away in the distance. One of my favourite places to be at sundown and only a few minutes from the cave where I lurk.

As a boy in my early teens, I was often thrown off this jetty, even at this time of year - and sometimes at very low tide - by my close and trusted friends. Much to the delight and applause of our guardian adult canoeing and sailing instructors from the Calshot Activity Centre that has occupied this famous maritime peninsular since the mid 1960's.

Those were the days....when involuntary pupil drowning's were considered an acceptable part of the 'elementary life saving course' foreplay - ie: when the 'drownee' ceased to have a discernable pulse, you had roughly 15 to 20 minutes to practice your revival and recussitation techniques, unless it coincided with lunch, in which case you had an extra thirty minutes or so.

If however, you were unable to bring your real 'drownee' patient back to life, even if he or she was now your ex best friend, you would be recorded as a 'technical fail' and invited to perform the test all over again on a fresh new 'drownee' until you either got it right - or - you ran out of 'drownees' - as happened in my case. For which, as a penance, they made me come back again the following week as part of the next fully stocked course intake. I eventually got it right when they pointed out I should 'blow' rather than 'suck' during the mouth to mouth part. Well my last 'drownee' did have a great pair of bluey grey lips on her.
Oh for the manic joys and confused innocence of boyhood puberty all over again. Or maybe...not. Reckless and life endangering pranks by ones peer's were actively encouraged by the senior instructors present, and specifically for their own amusement - young pupils complaining of hypothermia were left to stand outside the hot shower blocks until the rest of us had used up all the hot water - and 'water boarding' was one of the most popular team sport 'straight after dinner' contests, especially when there was an all girl team present. "Back in the day", when there was life, adventure and politically incorrect gaiety for free... without even a hint or threat of litigation.


And this is the reverse view 'south' taken from the above jetty, looking at Calshot Castle, the NCI Watch Tower, the RNLI station and.... on the horizon just between the pointy end of the big boat and the castle wall is a slither of land which is the north eastern end of the Isle of Wight. Yes really.

Sunrise at Calshot Castle - April 2011


The bike shed said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your comments - I hope you enjoy following. It is important I think to write of what interests you and not follow trends.

My experience of Calshot is limited to the velodrome and watching my son ride round and round and ... but wonderful times, for in a sense it was not him racing, but me.

I blogged about sea kayaking here, that you might find interesting.


Bish Bosh Bash said...

Fascinating to hear about the velodrome, and I completely understand your perspective. When I was fifteen, I used to regularly cycle on the original timber velodrome and loved it. The feeling the G's, as you compressed into the bankings was an exciting experience. During the Madison distant races, I remember how we often had to use the services of the puke bowl rider, who once signalled, would ride out along side you with a bowl so you could throw up and then carry on without stopping - a resultant of the effects caused by prolonged centrifugal forces. I can still hear the pronounced juddering noises as we hit the end bankings and the reverse G's as you catapaulted out of the turns. Thanks for your comments Mark. I'll be over to view the posting in your link here very shortly.

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