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Easter 2009: pontoons and dredging

Although things sometimes seem to move slowly, there have been a number of improvements around the harbour over the last year or so, most noticeably the residents’ pontoons with their white-capped piles and the new visitor pontoon in Kingsbridge, which makes an easy place to stop for shopping or a meal.

More is planned: work to replace Batson creek pontoons should start in the autumn, but probably without white-capped piles which may look less conspicuous at least until the gulls have done their bit. A couple of the old pontoons will probably be set up in Frogmore to provide easier access there. With a bit of luck – but it’s not definite yet – we might also get an additional pontoon in South Pool to cope with the numbers on high-tide weekend evenings.

On other issues, the 6-knot speed limit – as the result of the Harbour Board meeting in South Pool – is now in place between the Marine Hotel (if we can still call it that) and the Saltstone and, perhaps most exciting of all, we look to have found an affordable way to dredge and have done so in Batson Creek.

Dredging is expensive, not least because of the cost of shipping-away the spoil. But this time we have dredged by using water jets to create a fluid mud layer about a metre deep which slips out with the tide. It seems to take only about 40 minutes for the mud to pass the Bar and the fishing boats report that they see it next off Bolt Head. Best of all, the harbour is left clean.

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