Weds 2nd May 2012

Martin Claridge's photo of the two ships in Bideford this week (c)

The huge amounts of rain water flowing to sea through Bideford have brought many large and small logs and trees with it. One was wrapped around the Bank End moorings endangering boats, which was towed to Bideford Quay yesterday by the Harbour Master. Today a fisherman reported a near miss of a 'deadhead' right under the Torridge Bridge. This was towed to the quay today by the Harbour Master, with a yacht spotting it at the last minute. The large log had become submerged at one end. Both will be lifted out next week after shipping activities have ceased.

Vasiliy Shukshin has been loaded with 3000 tonnes by Bideford's Fuchs rehandler driven by Michael Pryer on Monday and Tuesday last. After silt movements in the river, the absence of salt water (water less dense)  and the desire by the ship owner to load to the recently modified (increased capacity) maximum capacity of the vessel the last 250 tonnes will be left until Friday morning so that fresh water levels, and atmospheric pressure effects on the tidal heights can be more accuratley assessed.

The earliest sailing tide will therefore be Saturday afternoon at 1730 hrs.

Baltiyskiy 202 will load tomorrow (Thursday) starting at 1300hrs with completion the following day at midday. She will then lash her deck cargo and possibly sail on Friday pm tide at 1650hrs or if not ready then  at 0510hrs on Saturday or possibly at the same time as the Vasiliy Shukshin on the Saturday pm tide. The JST crane arrived at 1730 this evening.

A ship is due (name not yet advised) for loading on Tuesday next with clay for Castellon on the last of this set of Spring tides. She may arrive on Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday.

Appledore Ferry has a new Skipper tested satisfactorily today by the HM / TDC licencing department, and is in full swing with steady passenger numbers already!

On Bank Holiday Monday an art group are floating a small raft up river from Appledore to Weir Gifford loaded with a movie camera and sensing equipment as an art project. the following day it will be floated down river. All dependant on adequate flood streams with the amount of rain experienced beforehand.