Saturday, October 04, 2008

"All along the watchtower" - the Westhoofd

All along the watchtower, Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, Barefoot servants too,
But huh, outside in the cold distance A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching and the wind begin to howl
Lyrics - Bob Dylan, 1967

Today good news! Part of the policy of the Dutch Traffic department to economize, modernize, centralize and automatize traffic control and coastguard tasks along the Dutch coastline, was the closure of the manned post on the Westhoofd (the lighthouse near Ouddorp) on the 1th of October this year. From this date on the lighthouse keepers would have been ordered to abandon their post. Traffic control in the Voordelta region should be coordinated from a central post on Neeltje Jans. But according to the latest messages the closure of the Westhoofd-post has been postponed for a undefined period! I am told that one of the reasons to keep this post manned for (at least) the next few years is the intensive recreational traffic. So the lighthouse will stay a "watchtower" in the true sense of the word...

Needless to say (?): The Westhoofd post delivers not only a welcome service (very detailed and specific information on weather, sea state...), but is also a safety issue for the busy recreational traffic in the Voordelta region. Amongst Dutch seakayakers it's a good habit to inform the Westhoofd post about their trips. Kayaks are hardly visible on Radar-screens, but from the 50 meters high lighthouse the keepers can overview a wide part of the Voordelta - which proved to be useful in many coordinated rescue- and search operations...

The picture of the seakayakers above this post is taken from the lighthouse post (through the lens of a telescope) on Saturday, September the 13th. Please contact me if you know which group this is - I would like to get in contact to sent them more pictures. You can leave a post on this blog or contact me via the NKB-website.

"All along the Watchtower" is a Dylon-song. Jimmi Hendrix made it immortal. The Rolling Stone: "Hendrix constructed a tumultuous four-part solo that transformed Dylan's concise foreboding into an electric hurricane". Click and enjoy this hurricane ;-)

No comments: