How it all began and where it's all headed
Coastwatch was born in 1989 when Ken Brown, Brownie to his mates, began broadcasting live reports on coastal conditions into 7 News from on board one of his many boats "Spirit Of Brisbane" when he was was returning from his marlin charter fishing expeditions.
These Brownies Coastwatch live crosses quickly established a reputation for accurate weather forecasting and providing useful information for boaties, surfers, divers and fishermen.
Brownie joined 4KQ, The Courier and Sunday Mail and started Coastwatch Publications which produced the street directory of the waterways, "Brownies Beacon to Beacon Directory" and two Sally Jenyns' seafood cookbooks, "Fishing and Feasting" and the "Coastwatch Cookbook".
In 1994 the Coastwatch reports in 7 News were joined by a weekly half-hour coastal information and entertainment show, called Brownies Coastwatch.
For more than 5 years, 5.30 Saturday afternoon saw most people in Queensland who loved coastal life sitting in front of the telly watching "Brownies" as the show became known. Those who couldn't watch it, recorded it on VCR's and there are stories of tapes being sent to Aussies working abroad, in remote mine locations and even to the Australian research base in Antartica.
Despite it's popularity, in mid 1999 the show became a victim of budget cuts and although there have been attempts to emulate it's formula and success, Brownies Coastwatch remains the benchmark of innovative, informative coastal television.
Nearly a decade after it ceased production, people still refer to the information quality and entertainment values of the show and request copies of particular segments. In response to this, users of this new Coastwatch web site will be pleased to see that many of these segments from Brownies Coastwatch will be seen on the featured weekly videos.
Success was very hard earned and despite most people thinking Brownie had the best job in the world, he worked incredibly long hours 7 days a week to keep up with his television, radio, newspaper, book publishing and internet commitments and this heavy workload eventually took its toll on his health.
He had to back off and since the television component was the most work intensive, after producing and presenting almost 2700 Coastwatch Report live crosses in 7 News and 300 Brownies Coastwatch half hour shows over a period of 17 years, he reluctantly departed Channel 7 in late 2005.
Now, with his health problems under control and thanks to several key staff and business partners, Brownie now takes it a lot easier, but is still able to use his extensive knowledge and experience of coastal life to inform and entertain users of this website, listeners to 4KQ and Sunday Mail readers.