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July 2009

Taw Torridge estuary and Bideford Harbour July 2009.


Ball Clay shipments from Bideford have been steady at one ship a month since March last after a four month period with no exports. 

The search for alternative cargoes for the port is still underway, and prices have been given by us and submitted by Danish logistics company for the importation of wind farm turbines for local projects imminently due.

The Babcock/ Royal Devonport Dockyard at Appledore is working to produce the bow sections of the Navy’s new aircraft carriers. Extra ship movements for ships carrying supplies for the project, and taking away sections will start in a small way this year, with an increase planned for early next year.

Major works on the Long Bridge at Bideford are continuing, with minimal disruption to river and road traffic.

Further to an application to the Bideford Harbour Committee for the operation of an amphibious craft to serve as a ferry between Instow, Appledore and Crow point the vessel has undergone slipway and car park turning trial at Appledore car park. Some difficulty was encountered with mounting the slipway before High Water, though drive modifications to the craft are being investigated. 

The MCA are doing the hull and safety equipment inspection, and the Bideford Harbour Master is conducting competence tests afloat for the operator early next week.

A request for dredging works has been received from Hanson Marine following the Bideford Pilot and Harbour Masters intervention last year as mud was pushed into the main channel – discussions are going ahead with a view to investigating other, more sustainable methods of berth clearance that will maintain the channel depths both at Hansons Bidna yard and at the shipyard.

The new Waverider Buoy deployed on Wednesday June 17th by Emu Ltd of Southampton at the 10 metre contour off Westward Ho! Is transmitting data as planned. The wave height live information is used for coastal erosion monitoring and will be available to the general boating public via the company website www.emulimited.com Mariners should give it a wide berth as it is tethered by a flexible rubber mooring connection.

The Pilot Boat Two Rivers II is undergoing maintenance and re-engining work at Brunswick Wharf at present, and was lifted by Bideford’s new all purpose crane which is also undertaking other lifts while it is at East The Water. The crane will be available for boat and other lifts on the right bank until the Pilot Boat is returned to the water in a week or so.

Bideford’s Water Festival was a success on Sunday 19th July thanks to the Rotary Club, and the Babcock pontoon (normally towed by the Pilot boat) was brought up to town by courtesy of Atturm at Instow with one of their fast landing craft.

Several events have taken place on Bideford’s ever popular quay including Farmer’s Markets and a car show. Youngsters have also enjoyed swimming off the public steps at the quay during the warmer weather, with just a small minority causing a nuisance by mounting moored boats and jumping off, necessitating the attendance of the Harbour Master and sometimes the Police also.

Captain Roger Hoad Pilot Harbour Master. July 20th 2009

 
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