Diary - Academy on the right track at last

Into the office for a short flurry and then to Portland to catch up on the latest news around the Atlantic Academy. I was tempted to take the bike as I'd heard roadworks on the Portland beach road were causing problems, but resorted to the car as I looked at the weather. Arrived on time and walked into the Academy to be met by the new Principal Jonathan Heap and Executive Principal Claire Addis. I was taken on a tour first and then we retired to an office for a chat in confidence. I can honestly say that the difference between now and the last time I visited was chasm-like. All was calm and controlled, with neatly dressed students in clean and bright classrooms. Jonathan explained what they'd been up to and clearly it's working. Portlanders have had a rough ride with this new Academy and at last it's being gripped to the huge benefit of the students. Hurrah! I left positively inspired and look forward to watching the Academy continue on this upwards curve. Afterwards, I headed round to Portland Bill to meet up with my friends at Coastwatch. There were three volunteers on duty, as always smartly turned out and observing everything that moved out at sea. To my great pleasure HMS Ocean sailed past, although she's been sold to the Brazilians, which really is not right. I thanked the team for their brilliant performance on New Year's Eve when two Watches at both Portland and St Alban's Head helped the rescue services deal with a drifting cargo vessel. The seas were mountainous and the wind was blowing at 70mph and the risk to life and limb was obvious. The combined efforts of the watchkeepers, RNLI and a tug from Poole averted a disaster and the inevitable loss of life had the ship hit the rocks. Inspirational stuff and I have written to all those concerned to thank them.