Although Sunday morning is a regular time for kayaking the forecast for this Sunday was less than favourable. Force 6 from the north accompanied by continuous rain was enough to put an end to any thoughts about paddling. A meal out on Saturday evening resulted in the opportunity to help out with a co-ordinated count of the Brent Geese in Jersey. These are always interesting and have been taking place for so long, that it has been possible to build a reasonably accurate picture of the status of the birds.
In just two locations yesterday (this was written in November 2014) there were 1340 Brent Geese present, which is really healthy total, it will be interesting to see the total figures when they are available.
18th December 2005 1280 ( this was the highest monthly count since 1989)
19th February 2006 1131
21st November 2007 1528
13th January 2008 1267
19th December 2009 1243
16th January 2010 1566
20th February 2011 1547
Can’t find the data for 2012, if I can put my hands on it later I will update the blog
12th December 2013 1375
23rd November 2014 1795
22nd February 2015 1635
16th January 2016 1590
West Park Pool is the colloquial name for the Victoria Marine Lake, located on the sands at West Park. Constructed in 1897, it was officially opened on the 9th June that year, with the most of the great and the good of Jersey on the beach that day. At the time it was probably the largest such pool in the British Isles.
Over the next 100 years the lake was used by thousands of visitors and residents for a variety of watersports. In the late 1980’s I had a personal interest in the pool as I had the concession from Jersey Tourism to operate in the pool and rented out what were probably the first sit on top kayaks to be seen in Jersey.
From the 1990’s onwards the condition of the pool started to deteriorate, very little, if any, maintenance was undertaken and eventually the gates were left open so that instead of water being retained within the walls the water drained out in sync with the falling tide.
What we were left with was a crumbling Victorian wall on the beach. Fortunately a group of locals, less that two years ago, had the vision to restore the Jubilee Marine Lake. Finance was secured and restoration undertaken.
Today, quietly and without any public announcement it opened for activities to begin. There is an official opening at the end of next week but it is good to see it up and running and will hopefully provide a valuable resource for the residents of St Helier and those who live further afield.
The pool with Elizabeth Castle behind
Looking west across the pool towards Noirmont.
Sit on tops, stand up paddleboards and pedalos all for rental
The plan is to have sailing on the pool in the not too distant future.