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Hugh Marriage Posts

Do fish like sunscreens?

It is a little while since I had any responsibilities for cosmetics testing, a controversial and much misunderstood subject. Most cosmetics are not tested as they consist of well-known substances and, generally speaking, the cosmetics which need testing are those which have active ingredients, like fluoride in toothpaste, the agents in anti-wrinkle creams and, of course, sunscreens which can involve clever chemistry. The concern in testing sunscreens is to ensure that the chemicals which protect against the sun inflict minimal…

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Some progress on water quality

The quality of the water in the Harbour is important because so many Harbour users come into direct contact with it – swimmers and children on beaches; canoeists and paddle-boarders whose hands always get wet; people who fish; dinghy sailors when launching or recovering, or when they capsize; and sailors on yachts when handling mooring ropes. For all of these people – and more – it is absolutely vital that the water they touch is clean and will not give…

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Choosing what is on the menu

We spent some of August in Iceland rather than Salcombe. While the UK was enjoying its glorious heatwave in June and July this year, Iceland was having the wettest summer on record, with only 5 rain-free days between April and the end of July. Fortunately all this changed the moment we arrived and we had the benefit of lots of lovely Arctic sunshine. Relations between Britain and Iceland have had a chequered history. British troops occupied Iceland during World War…

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Special Jubilee Edition

Last month I raised the question as to why Salcombe has a Jubilee Pier to mark the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The answer apparently is that, although the pier was built in 1871, it was named in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Indeed, the main part of the memorial might well have been its ornate lamp post (note the red light on the right). I posed that question because I knew that this August piece would also…

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Marking the end of the Franco-Prussian War

The breaking news is that Cameron Sims-Stirling is the new Harbour Master. Cameron is well known locally: he was an Assistant Harbour Master for a little time, then Deputy Harbour Master and has been Interim Harbour Master since January when Adam Parnell left for Torbay. He is a Salcombe boy who has worked his way up through the ranks. He absolutely loves the Harbour and we wish him well. Last month I mentioned the number of staff who were on…

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Good use for a washing line

I have written before about the day I try to spend each year with the Harbour staff, which they generously refer to as a Harbour Board Member getting work experience. I have just done my 2018 day. We have a super Harbour staff: did you know that 11 of them are lifeboat volunteers, two are volunteer firefighters and one is a volunteer Coastguard? This was just before the bank holiday weekend and the Harbour was getting busy. Two yacht rallies…

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No cricket, please

The Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary Conservation Forum co-ordinates environmental work in the marine Local Nature Reserve and the Site of Special Scientific Interest. A wide range of people attend including , faithfully, the South Pool Parish Council Chairman and Clerk. Meetings like this are not everyone’s cup of tea. I confess that I have always considered ‘plan’ to be a verb, rather than a noun, and my eyes tend to glaze over when faced with a five-year plan. The Conservation Forum has…

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Storing carbon under the sea

In my May 2011 piece, seven years and over 70 posts ago, I wrote about climate change: “we have just had a freezing winter – although the Arctic had a warm one: we just had its cold air”. Seven years later, we’ve had another severely cold spell, unusually with Devon having more snow than most parts of the UK, and again all because the Arctic had a heat bomb – a temperature rise of between 30 and 50 degrees C…

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The Mighty Amazing

Last June I wrote about how, in 1819, Halwell Point was the first place where pleasure boats were recorded in Salcombe Harbour. I have been marvelling at a huge stretch of sheltered water, three to five miles across and as far as the eye can see from left to right, without irritating rocks, hazards or navigational marks. It has a 3-knot current flows from West to East, balanced by a warm, steady, wind from East to West; and it conveniently…

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Breaking the record at over 30mph

This time last year I wrote about the amazing achievement of Thomas Coville who had just completed a single-handed, non-stop, round the world in Sodebo Ultim in 49 days, at an average speed of 24 knots. In December, another Frenchman sailing single-handed, François Gabart, knocked an extraordinary six days off that record with a circumnavigation in 42 days and 16 hours. Gabart sailed his Ultime trimaran MACIF (named after his sponsors) so fast that he got within spitting distance of…

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