The Isle of Wight is an island on the south coast of England. It is where I spent a large portion of my childhood and my mum lives there now. It is a very pretty place and a popular tourist destination. The Island has a chalk spine which, at its western end, is marked by a rocky outcrop called The Needles. This is one of the more recognizable features of the Island. A number of chalk columns rise out of the water at the end of the headland near Alum Bay. One of them was actually a thin needle shape but that fell in to the sea decades ago. However, the name has stuck.
The area has been treacherous for shipping over the years so a lighthouse is on the end of the rocks. When I was young, this was manned permanently and the crews had to access it by boat. Then a helipad was built on top to make access more reliable. Now the light is automated so there is no need for a permanent crew. The view of the Needles from the cliff top is very cool on a sunny day. We had great weather to see it. I also got to fly over the top so some of these shots are from a view that is not available to everyone. Many thanks to Pete, my pilot for the trip.
My relative Pete shares a number of interests with me with flying being a big one. He is an airline pilot currently flying 747s but he also has a Piper Arrow that has been in the family for decades. He maintains this on the Isle of Wight and, with us coming across to see my mum, he was keen to go and play. As has been the case a few times recently, the weather was not ideal but we still had enough to go so we took a trip around the Island.
One of the Isle of Wight’s most famous landmarks is The Needles. A chalk outcrop at the western end of the island with a lighthouse built on the end of it, I am by no means the first person to photograph it. When I first learned to fly and took people on trips around the Island, this was always the bit everyone wanted to see.
I was shooting through the windows of the Arrow which is not ideal but they were in pretty good shape and I managed to avoid too many reflections. The Needles looked as impressive as ever and we got a pretty good look before heading on to Alum Bay, home of the multicolored sands. On an overcast day, the colors were hardly popping but you can take my word for it, the colors really do vary!