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Friday 15th March 2013

mv Rig loads at Yelland. Euroforest abandons Bideford, but stays in estuary. Oldenburg starts season early. Bideford seeks new cargoes. Yelland expects additional sand imports. Appledores Babcock shipbuilders prepare for another aircraft carrier parts shipment. UK Port Advisors on fact finding visit.

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Pitch dark at Yelland mv RIG approaches the jetty Paul Gyurgyak Pilot. Paul Jury's photo.
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Rig awaits her log load at Yelland Quay - Norman Hardakers photo

Euroforest have decided to abandon Bideford as its log export port after nearly two years of operation in favour of YELLAND QUAY stating reasons of easier log storage closer to the berth, a larger sailing window due to 1m deeper water, the on site weighbridge resulting in less expensive forwarding costs. Also delays in obtaining Forestry Commision licences may result in less logs being exported overall so consolidating the operation was the result.

Toridge District Councils' Pilotage service remains as the only service now provided to the ships that use Yelland. The log exports were a popular spectacle for many locals and visitors alike, and raised the company profile of Euroforest.

Euroforests excellent local staff ran the loading of the ships with the agents Pike Ward of Teignmouth at Bideford and this arrangement continues at Yelland.

The moving of Euroforest to Yelland opens up the possibility of another cargo for the the quay at Bideford, and harbour staff are actively seeking a commodity that continues to help relieve the congested long distance road routes by using coastal shipping (Each ship saves over 100 lorry loads) and provide local work and spending at the port.

Overall the use of Yelland has raised the profile of the estuary as a whole, and together with Appledore it is now possible to simultaneously load or discharge five ships at the same time (two at Bideford, two at Appledore and one at Yelland.) Should the need arise.

mv RIG was safely berthed at Yelland by the Pilotage team of Paul Gyurgyak (Pilot) John Pavitt (Pilot boat helm) and Thom Flaxman (Pilot boat crew and relief helm.) Paul reports that the entry on March 6th night was calm but pitch dark, and that the newly installed buoys in the river Taw were well positioned. Subsequent sailing at 0340 hrs on the Friday night was equally as dark, but calm. He had minimum water availability with a draught of 4.9m ford 4.8m aft and all went well.

The Official draught surveyor, who determines the amount of cargo on board by comparing light and loaded draughts was a lady from South Molton. The ship laoded around 2650 tonnes of spruce logs for WISMAR in North Germany.

Yelland Quay owner MR Paul Jury is seeking additional cargoes and will continue to import sea dredged sand and hopes to expand this operation for his companys own use from the site. Next log ship for early April.

Impasse seems to have occured at RICHMOND DRYDOCK where partly dismantled wrecks lay pending the current operator (South West Metals) gaining approval of the Environment Agency to continue operations with a quieter machine. Owner Mr Simon Maunder hopes to continue the commercial use of the dock he said yesterday.

mv OLDENBURG has an early sailing to Lundy on Sunday next with a specially cheaper rated cruise to the Island for the day.

Appledore's Babcock shipbuilders are moving large steel sections onto the quay at the Middle Yard in preparation for a shipment next month.

The popular Appledore ferry starts on April 1st with two  ferries in operation throughout the season. They reportedly carried 14,000 passengers last season! Presumably this also reduces road usage by motor vehicles, and is a much faster journey between the two waterside towns than the bus,

Local yachts and leisure craft are starting to be launched at the North Devon Yacht Club ready for the impending season.

Torridge District Council have employed UK Port Advisors as consultants to produce a report on the Harbour at Bideford and estuary within the Pilotage area as a whole. During their first visit over two days, they have spoken with a large cross section of the estuarine community users both commercial, statutory and leisure.