We woke up to the sound of foghorns from all directions; local visibility but a few meters. As soon as the tide was high enough we moved to a buoy next to Goathorn Point, with Green Island and Furzey Island to the west, and Brownsea Island to the north.
As we have now spent nights to the east, north and south of Brownsea Island, we thought it’s high time for a visit. So we set off in the rib while admiring a cormorant sitting with its wings splayed in the breeze. We tied up on the beach on the south side of the island and entered the magic of the nature reserve. We had a nice chat with one of the National Trust volunteers, checked out the Visitors Centre, walked through the beautiful mixed woodland with oak, beech and pine and surprisingly a lily pond. And we were very happy to see one of the famous red squirrels. We visited the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s reed beds and the huge lagoon where we saw so many different kinds of birds. Best of all was the black headed gulls with their chicks! Pine trees and red squirrels; well I felt right at home!
Brownsea Island is famous for many things. Though for many of us who’ve had children going through beavers, cubs and scouts, it’s mainly associated with Baden-Powell and the Scout movement. The island still has an active camping ground and we saw several groups walking around
Having carefully calculated the double high tides, we returned to the beach, lifted our rib out into the now much more shallow waters, rowing at first, and then motored over to our boat. A very successful adventure using the rib in more challenging conditions.
We were soon joined by quite a few other boats anchoring up close by, and we all enjoyed a very hot and brilliantly sunny late afternoon in this incredibly beautiful part of Poole harbour.
Interestingly, Furzey Island just in front of us has a slipway which seems rather large for a ‘normal’ private island. After a bit of research, I find that this island is a producer of oil! And the tall structures we have seen on the Goathorn peninsula are in fact oil rigs. I had no idea that for many years this area, which to a great part is designated AONB has been producing oil and gas which is piped to Southampton Water for processing.