Marine Reports‎ > ‎

January 2006

A small hovercraft will be operating in Bideford Harbour in the week commencing Monday 16th January.  She will be supporting 3-dimensional survey work of the Bideford Longbridge for Devon County Council, and is likely to be on site for 2 days over the low water period - probably on Tuesday/Weds according to wind forecasts. 
The hovercraft is owned by a local company from Holsworthy. (Website www.hovercraftheaven.com ).

No news from the owner of 'HMS Hindustan', the barge moored outside Bideford harbour. The vessel remains up for sale. The owner has been asked to report his intentions ref. applying for permission to enter Bideford Harbour and operate as planned as a tea room, without response as yet.

Bideford exported a record cargo of 4,750 tonnes of clay on two vessels during such small springs of early December. Tides were further impeded by up to 0.5 metres cut due to the unseasonal exceptionally high barometric pressure.

Covered storage to further facilitate the export of clay from Bideford has been located, near the town, and we await developements between the owners and the Clay company.  Usage of local storage will greatly facilitate clay exports. 

Motor vessel Oldenburg is currently on Barclaycurle / Seawind slip at Appledore, and will be relaunched at the end of the month to complete winter maintenance.

The launching of the 60 million £ super-yacht hull and machinery for Middle Eastern owners from Appledore shipbuilders has been put back to mid March. The vessel will be towed direct to DML Devonport for completion. No new order has been received as yet at DML Appledore.

Dredging at Appledore shipyard, covered-dock approach channel, is due to be completed in the week commencing Monday 16th January.  Assurances have been given that a small channel will be dug through the previously-dumped spoil off the entrance channel to encourage tidal flow through the western channel to the benefit of all vessels and berth holders using the ever-shrinking present fairway. 

On completion of dredging works at the shipyard and the hoped-for improvements of tidal flow to the western channel, an assessment of the viability of that channel will be made for the passage of ships to Bideford.

Trinity House has upgraded all existing approach buoys to the estuary, and replaced the damaged bar buoy light, and repositioned the buoy to a safer location, making the seaward section of the estuary a safer and more easily navigated place. Further improvements in the next section of river are hoped for next.

A regular visitor to Yelland - the motor tanker Blackfriars unfortunately ran aground on rocks near the Skye Bridge in Scotland before Christmas, fortunately without physical injury to the crew, and without pollution, since she was in ballast. She will be repaired and be back in service within a couple of months. 

The Fishermen's co-operative have applied to build a jetty into the river - very close to the western channel at Bidna, Appledore - because of the lack of available alongside moorings / quayspace in the estuary, and emergence of larger deeper boats.

There is a plan to import a 400 tonne load of  'shell sand' ('lime sand') from off Padstow to a Chivenor farm. 

I understand that a local houseboat will be assessed for the payment of council tax by an outside agency (NDDC), on behalf of TDC. It is understood that this will be the first houseboat to be so assessed anywhere in the two rivers.
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