Posts Tagged ‘sunday 25th 2011’

An End to Surfing at Freshwater Bay?

A Freshwater Bay Harbour?

A few years ago, there was a storm that was not very well forecast, leading to some boats in Freshwater Bay sinking at their moorings.
I thought then that with two natural arms across the entrance of the bay, with the channel deepened for the salvage of the “Carl”, it would be relatively easy to create a small harbour here.
When researching the history of this, I was surprised to learn that about 50 (?) years ago, the Council offered the locals a choice of a breakwater to protect the road, or,….. a harbour! I find it difficult to believe how the choice was made, or even if the story was true, but I have been told that at least one local has a copy of the plan for the proposed harbour?
I think there is a case for a harbour to be built today.
The advantages as I see it would be as follows………………………..
1. Shelter for local boats
2. Would provide protection for the Albion Hotel
3. Make launching the Lifeboat a lot easier in rough conditions
4. Provide a “Harbour of Refuge” for small boats caught out in storms that would make the Needles Channel dangerous
5. The West Wight economy is pretty dire. Building the Harbour (which would be carried out in the winter “off Season” period
6. Also, when built, there would be employment opportunities for small fishing and pleasure boats, a couple of passenger launches doing trips to the Needles, and other marine activities
7. Increased activity in the area, with a busy harbour, would draw more tourists to the area, adding to the income of pubs, hotels, etc…
The only downside I see would be the loss of the Western arm of the current bay toi surfers, who use it occasionally.
Provided the two arms of the harbour wall have a low enough profile, it should not spoil the view.
While I am sure a government and/or EU grant could be found toward the cost, (which will be substantial), I think it would be nice if it was built by the Isle of Wight locals, rather than a big firm that would cream off the profits rather than keep it in local hands.
What we don’t want is a cock up like the Ventnor harbour, which, for its size, and what it cost, to my mind was a complete waste of money!
There will be a meeting held in the Sandpipers Hotel on Sunday 25th at 7pm to see if there is enough interest locally to take this forward.

By (Dick Downes….phone 740712)