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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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Kingsbridge Silver Band Carols 2022

The band’s traditional Christmas carol engagements for 2022 are: Saturday  3 December: 1000: starting at Kingsbridge Methodist Church: Kingsbridge celebrates Christmas Saturday 10 December: 1100-1300hrs: Carols in Kingsbridge: Fore Street* Sunday 11 December: 1830-2000hrs: Anchor Inn, Ugborough Thursday 15 December: 1830-2000hrs: British Legion, Kingsbridge Saturday 17 December: 1100-1300hrs: Carols in Kingsbridge: Fore Street* Sunday 18 December: 1830-2000hrs: Sloop Inn, Bantham Monday 19 December: 1800-1900: Cliff House (because of weather), Salcombe Tuesday 20 December: 1830-2000hrs: Ring O’Bells, West Alvington Wednesday 21…

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Gin-clear water, but how clean?

Salcombe Harbour’s golden beaches, with gin-clear water lapping on them, are famous and rightly so. But it has never been easy to find out just how clean the water is. When the bathing water is being tested (which generally didn’t happen in the UK during Covid) we know that North and South Sands and Mill Bay are rated “Excellent” – in other words, up to Blue Flag standard. But what about elsewhere in the Harbour? And is the water quality…

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Stepping back a little

Spring is coming, the sun is shining, it’s a new financial year, and my term on Salcombe Harbour Board has finally come to an end. Not before time, some might say, as you are meant to do only three years, sometimes renewed for another three – and I was on the Board from 2006 to 2022. I started writing these monthly blogs in April 2009 and, counting the occasional extras, they now number over 140. As I am stepping down…

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One way to spend 53 days at sea

Salcombe rowers have done it again! As many of you will know by now, Salcombe yawl sailor Guy Rigby, 68, from Salcombe and David Murray, 56, from Kingsbridge have not only completed the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2021, but have set a world record by becoming the oldest pair to row any ocean. They started from La Gomera in the Canaries on 12 December and headed for Antigua. This route, which has been used for centuries, avoids adverse south-westerlies and…

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Keep an eye on the Thwaites

Nobody could fail to remark how warm it was at Christmas. It wasn’t particularly sunny – compared to four years ago when we has Christmas lunch on the beach in bright sunshine. But the sun wasn’t there this year: instead we had wet and cloudy with a warm airstream. This was, of course, reflected in the sea temperature which, for some time now, has been at or near the maximum ever recorded. As I write, the maximum recorded for Salcombe…

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Storing carbon at the bottom of the sea

In beautiful sunshine, the day after COP26 ended, I ventured into the crystal-clear briny of the Harbour without a wet suit. It wasn’t exactly warm, but the water temperature was 14.1°C which, as far as I have been able to discover, is pretty near the maximum recorded temperature for Salcombe and Kingsbridge in the middle of November. In these troubled times, it is very welcome to have some good news to end the year. First, as the result of fine…

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Defining a vessel

In 1995 the newly-consolidated Merchant Shipping Act, which creates maritime offences, applied to “every description of vessel used in navigation” and this seemed all-encompassing enough until 2005 that is, when the High Court ruled that to be “used in navigation” means making an ordered progression over the water from one place to another. Craft that were simply used for having fun without the object of going anywhere therefore fell outside the law. This led to the acquittal of someone being…

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Golden sand

The disaster at Hallsands in 1917 was something of a mystery at first. The people of Hallsands kept pestering the government of the day about the environmental damage they thought was being caused by removing shingle from the Skerries to build Plymouth dockyard; and the government took little notice, apparently regarding the villagers as vexatious. The government was banking on the shingle on the Skerries being replenished as soon as it was removed so that, in time, everything would return…

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Warming up for COP26

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on 31 October and everyone agrees that this will have a make-or-break quality to it. My first piece about climate change was ten years ago. May 2011’s article ventured that “the aspect of climate change which may affect us first is simply that the weather becomes more turbulent and less benign, because of stronger winds and thicker cloud. There may be fewer days of gentle breezes”. The following…

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Having a safe time in August

August is obviously the time of year when the Harbour is at its busiest. There are more boats and more people around. The sun shines and the East Portlemouth water temperature is 18°C and rising. So August is when we should think about safety in and around the water. The Harbour Board has to review safety regularly and even has a designated external examiner (as a university might say) to help with the task. But it’s not easy: as anyone…

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