Daily Picture – 6

Another rather bleak day but this interesting feature towers above the ramparts at Fort Regent.  It is thought that the first signal station was built here, in 1708, to warn the Islanders of a possible invasion.  Eventually there were 10 built around the Island and it was possible to communicate with the other islands via the one at Grosnez.  In the past information was indicated about commercial ferries, naval ships etc.  After a huge storm in 1859 Admiral Fitzroy introduced a number of coastal stations which sent their weather data to London and in 1861 he introduced the storm cone.  A triangle to be hoisted when winds of Force 8 and above are predicted.  In Jersey the ball was introduced in about 1971 and it is hoisted when of Force 6 are expected.  The apex of the cone indicates the wind direction, so here it is pointing up so strong winds from the north are indicated.  Although I can state at the time it was blowing from the south west.
As far as I am aware it is the only signal station left in operation and as a kayaker it is always interesting to look up when heading through town as it gives a very quick indication of possible conditions out at sea.