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About Salcombe Harbour

I write regularly about Salcombe Harbour for local residents on the east side of the Harbour. If you would like to follow the blog, please click on follow in the right-hand menu. You can also email me through the contact form. There is also a think-piece which I gave at Salcombe Yacht Club in March 2014 on the future of Salcombe Harbour. This is the last of my speeches in the side-bar.  

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Fishing and the death of African elephants

The summer was fine, the people returned, and the Harbour was busy. Much of the financial crisis which loomed over it in June may have largely (but not completely) melted away, which is a big relief as it reduces the need for steep increases in fees next year. However, sadly, September’s traditional yacht-club rallies did not happen. They were always going to be problematic as many crews involve people from more than one household, but any hesitancy about whether they…

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Laws apply to everyone

High summer sees the Harbour at its busiest, but there are always parts of it that are quiet, relaxed and beautiful. This is in large measure because the ria is quite heavily regulated by byelaws for the Harbour, byelaws for the nature reserve, regulations because it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, regulations in respect of fishing, and requirements under the Port Marine Safety Code. It is no surprise, then, that as the new website is being developed, the…

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Difficult decisions post-lockdown

That was quick! All of a sudden the Harbour has filled up, boats launched, moorings taken, beaches buzzing and even the sunshine has returned (at least while I am writing this) and our solar panels are producing hot water. It was a speedy transformation brought about by the coming together of the pent-up energy of the boating community, some of whom would normally have gone abroad at this time of year, and the astonishing hard work and preparedness of the…

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Clean waters and history

In these difficult and troubling times, there is a need to seek out good news and cheer. So let’s start with the fact that the sea water temperature around Salcombe is 14°C, which is the average for this time of year; and the 15°C water has reached Ushant and is nudging north towards us. The even better news is that the Harbour’s certified bathing beaches – North Sands, South Sands and Mill Bay – have all tested “Excellent” for water…

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Welcome to the Lady Mary

At last the Harbour is being brought back to life again following the partial relaxation of lockdown which came into effect in the middle of May. At this stage, the idea is to open it up mainly for locals and hope that, if all goes well, there can be a further relaxation in early July. At least this level of loosening allows boats which are high and dry on Batson car park to be launched and put on moorings. One…

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Problems in Polynesia

Well, I’m still here and feeling a great deal better than when I wrote last month. In these strange times, the Harbour Board has met virtually – or should one say, has virtually met? Each of us was sitting at home trying to figure out what on earth is going to happen over the course of this year, pretty inconclusively, as you might imagine. The staffing has obviously been reduced but, although the Harbour is empty, there is still work…

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Covid-19 strikes

It’s the Covid-19 season and we have been in self-isolation feeling more unwell than we have ever been in our lives. It’s not easy to tell when or where you pick up this disease but, for us, it could well have been an hotel in Carlisle. As I post this, it is day 22 and there are finally the signs of a let-up: so much for the “it’s all over in 14 days” lark. The implications for society at large…

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Silting

It has been a wet, wet winter, absolutely in line with the predictions that climate change would bring warmer, wetter winters. We had better get used to it. The north of England has had terrible floods but our problem in the Harbour is not so much flooding – although the water has indeed been lapping up to the Harbour Office recently – but the huge amounts of silt that get washed off the hills. We see this in the bright…

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The good and bad in water quality

Let’s start the New Year with some good news. The bathing water quality in Salcombe Harbour’s monitored beaches – North and South Sands, and Millbay – has been consistently “excellent” for three years running – like Thurlestone, Torcross and Blackpool Sands and better than Hope Cove. This EU standard of “excellent” is about twice as demanding as it was before 2013; so all that is good or, one might say, excellent. What is not so good is the continuing threat…

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Some eco New Year resolutions which are easy to keep

I don’t often do a blog in January but I was asked to write this piece for a publication in the Home Counties, so thought I would post a version of it here by way of wishing everyone all best wishes for 2020. When I was at school there was a report which would upturn the norms of society. This was the Royal College of Physicians’ report which concluded that smoking causes lung cancer. Of course, there were some, and…

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