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Hugh Marriage Posts

Two apparently simple questions

Here are two apparently simple, but unrelated, questions: (i) if you see someone having a heart attack on a boat moored in the harbour, should you call an ambulance? and (ii) at what time should South Pool observe its annual two minute silence? The answer to the first question is no, you should not call an ambulance. You should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. This is because the ambulance service’s co-ordination centre at Taunton cannot be expected to…

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New town landings at Salcombe

Another big change is under way: the Salcombe Town Landings at Whitestrand and Normandy are being replaced and reorganised. The aim is to increase access to Salcombe. From April to September, Whitestrand pontoon will become the commercial pontoon – for ferries, yacht taxis, trip boats and hire boats. The extended Normandy Pontoon will become the landing point for private boats – including new “parking” berths for boats up to 5.5m (18ft). The front of Normandy will still, as now, be…

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A busy August, except in visitors to the harbour

Summer has come to a close and we have already had some autumnal weather – strong winds, rain and a drop in temperature. According to my reckoning, although the early part of the summer was very good, because August was colder, the sea temperature did not quite reach 19˚C. As far as the harbour was concerned, the high season visitor numbers were well down, so yet again August wiped out the promising gains of the earlier part of the year.…

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Another dip in August

August should be the month when the harbour earns its money. Last year June and July were good, but visitor numbers and revenue dipped in August. This year June and July were, if anything, even better. But this year the collapse in August (at least at the time of writing) is even steeper. Instead of the 80 visiting yachts on a typical night last August, there are barely 40. Of course the harbour is heavily weather-dependent and poorer weather means…

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The Batson lagoon

This year’s annual inspection of the Harbour took place immediately following the visit of HRH the Duke of Cornwall. His visit was as landlord, as heir of the Black Prince, and will doubtless be well reported in the Gazette. One of the things he saw was a new yawl being built, at an estimated price of £55,000. That is some dinghy! Another was the wash-down lagoon on the Batson boat/car park. This was installed last year as an initiative of…

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Pontoons and dinghies

The Harbour Board met recently for the first time since May’s elections. Although the independent members of the Board remain unchanged, the councillors come and go. Fortunately none of this interrupted the important business of agreeing to let the contract for the replacement pontoons at Whitestrand and Normandy. This work will be done over the winter and the new, considerably enhanced, facilities should be ready for the 2012 season, all of which is very welcome. A reader has (gently) reminded…

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Another forecast – no showers in July or August

The Harbour Board has been trying for 20 years or more to provide showers for the crews of visiting yachts. That’s not a luxury: it’s no more than what a basic campsite would provide. Visitors to continental ports are always glad of the facilities proudly provided by the local town; and showers onshore help keep the harbour water clean. But in Salcombe there have always been objections of one kind or another and, even though the yacht club allows visitors…

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The answer is blowing in the wind

Climate change is important and controversial. Some (fewer by the day) argue about how much of it is produced by burning fossil fuels: but there no dispute that climate change is happening. However, exactly how the climate is changing is not so clear. We know about significant ozone layer losses and that each year tends to be warmer than the last. Yet we have just had a freezing winter – although the Artic had a warm one: we just had…

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Easter 2011

At Christmas, I reported that Kingsbridge, Lincombe and Batson were about to be dredged. Now they are all done, and very successfully too. The water-injection dredging turned out to be fully as clean as hoped: the mud from Kingsbridge dropped dutifully just outside Kingsbridge basin on the inside of the curves of the channel, and the mud from Lincombe and Batson swept outside the harbour, probably to Bolt Head. Natural England now use our harbour as an exemplar of environmental…

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The problems of marketing

Whilst harbour dues and mooring charges for residents obviously provide the major part of the harbour’s income, an important third comes from fees and charges to visiting yachts. What is more, as there is no real possibility of increasing the number of resident moorings, that element of revenue can be boosted only by general increases in charges. However, as far as visitors are concerned, there should be some possibility of increased revenue as the number of visitors has dropped consistently…

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