Marine Reports‎ > ‎

October 2006

Taw Torridge estuary and Bideford Harbour October 2006.

The port of Bideford has had its normal number of large vessel visits during the summer. Additionally we have had several medium sized work boat type vessels calling from time to time, including one visit from the motor vessel Balmoral with over 200 passengers aboard. She also called at Appledore (Barclay Curle yard) to land a sick passenger to ambulance. The privately owned Dawn Monarch which was hitherto on the bank at the shipyard, has been brought to Bideford quay and painted ands awaits a weather window and tug availability for the tow to Manchester docks. The activity on the quay with the visiting ships and smaller craft has been unanimously welcomed by the general public. Other shore based activities have been successfully held on the quay eg farmers markets, car rallies and the usual regatta and rowing events in the river.

The berths at Bideford have been partly dredged and we have one much improved berth which is about 30 cms above chart datum, making the operation of ships much safer in the estuary. One further berth urgently needs to be dredged to accommodate the seasonal increase in shipping during the autumn and winter. 

At present we are determining, in co operation with the Environment Agency and Natural England etc, whether we can exercise our 1925 Act of Parliament rights and obligations, without falling foul of other legislation, and sell the sand to pay for the dredging and harbour funds. 

The welcome rains seem to have helped clear some channels, or at least prevented further build up of silt and sand.

Trinity House are to do a site survey for the new navigation lights at the entrance (Greysand Hill etc) to the estuary that was requested in August last year. The new lights should appear next year, all being well. (regretfully not for this winter.)

Captain Roger Hoad Pilot Harbour Master.