As many of you know, the Tower of Refuge stands on Conister Rock in Douglas Harbour.  The rock is sneaky in that it lies just underneath the water when the tide is in.  Boats which don't know the waters - and a few which do - have been known to ground or even wreck on Conister Rock.  The Tower of Refuge acts as a marker so that skippers of incoming boats know where the rock is.

The Tower is usually only accessible by boat, and then only by boats whose occupants know what they're doing and have permission to do it.  However, at Spring tide it's just possible to walk to the Tower, if you don't mind getting your feet wet.  The walk is organised by the RNLI (its founder, William Hilary, built the Tower) whose members supervise to make sure people don't do anything daft, or at least can be rescued if (when) they do do daft things.

Last Thursday was the day, and getting on for two thousand people enjoyed the unusual sunshine (remember that large round yellow thing?) to slip and squelch their way to the little castle.  It isn't actually so little once you get there.  We're reliably informed that the same number of people slipped and squelched their way safely back again.

Incidentally, the fog bank visible in the background stretched spectacularly across the mouth of the bay.  The white shape in the fog on the left is the Steam Packet's Ben-my-Chree, anchored out of the way to allow new boat Manxman to hoot its way through the fog to the pier.


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