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They do exactly what it says on the tin. Situated on Portland Bill, not far from the lighthouse, the Coastwatch team keep an eye out on everything that moves on the sea around Portland from their Lookout Station. Often manned by those who used to work with the sea in some way – from admiral to harbour master, submarine captain to sailor – the atmosphere in the lookout was quite infectious: precise observation mixed with banter. If they spot anyone in trouble, then they inform the coastguard. I also discovered that just below the Coastwatch Lookout there is a building in which the Earth’s magnetic field is measured: checking that north is still north, and hasn’t suddenly flipped to south, which it is supposed to do at some point I believe. I must go and see for myself. This island is full of unexpected wonders!

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