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Monday, 15 February 2010

Oil Sharks and Suffolk

I am from that wondrously flat county of Suffolk, and my family has been visiting Southwold each and every December since the early 1990s to celebrate my Mum's birthday.  Last December, I was the last of us to arrive and was greeted by my brother's declaration that you could see a wind-farm being built off the coast of the town.


"It's like a whole new town", Sean enthused.  "and as if the Belgian coast had been moved closer to Britain".  I nodded and took his word for it. 


On the way back from the chippy, my Dad took us on a detour so that I could see the spectacular sight.  Lo-and-behold, there it twinkled in the distance.  It was dark, so all you could see were the flashing and blinking lights, bobbing away out at sea.  What else could it be but a wind-farm under construction?  I found the prospect of one being built off Southwold an exciting one.  I think they're far from the eyesores that many consider them to be.  They are elegant tributes to engineering.  Dad and Sean even talked about a company taking boat tours out to see the turbines.


The next day, our friends who own the house that we always stay in popped by to say hi.  My Dad piped up to ask David if he knew more about the wind-farm.  Surprisingly, he shook his head and instead told us that there was no wind-farm.  The mini-town of lights was in fact a fleet of oil tankers moored off the coast waiting for the most profitable time to get rid of their cargo.  I looked it up, and by jove he was right!  There are others scattered (or "loitering", as the ever low-key Daily Mail put it) around the UK coast, but Southwold's is the largest.






I had a search on the news wires earlier today, and found this latest story from the Lowestoft Journal.  Those pesky Norfolk Pirates are bound to come and have a go soon.  Be on guard, people of Southwold...

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