Penzance Harbour Newsletter – Spring 2021
Welcome to our Spring Newsletter updating our harbour users on the latest from the team at Penzance Harbour.
Throughout the recent lockdown Penzance Harbour continued to operate for the commercial sector, providing all services and facilities as usual with the harbour team splitting into two watches to ensure resilience and Covid compliance.
The fishing fleet continues to operate throughout with regular landings. Several visiting fishing vessels have also landed catches through this period. Penwith Marine have had a steady stream of fishing vessels for repair and refit throughout the period.
Gry Maritha maintained her regular lifeline link for supplies to the Isles of Scilly, and has recently completed her annual refit in the Dry Dock, and then straight back into service as cargo builds towards the start of the holiday season. Scillonian III commenced sailings on April 5th and carried additional cargo during the dry docking of Gry Maritha.
We also saw several cargoes carried by the landing craft MTS Terra Mare directly to Bryher , Tresco and St Martins in recent weeks.
The local Angling and Tripping boats have started their season, although hampered by the continuing unsettled weather. Operators are anticipating a busy summer season.
A welcome addition to the resident vessels at Penzance is the square-rigged ship Phoenix, currently under refit. It is anticipated that there will be plenty of visitors wanting to see her in the floating dock. As well as the Phoenix becoming a new addition to the harbour, we will be welcoming the Blue Schooner Company vessel De Gallant throughout the year, off loading an array of sail cargo which can be bought straight from the ship shop. This is an exciting start to opening up the harbour to events local businesses and tourism.
The harbour team organised several lift- ins for the leisure vessels in the outer harbour, several of which had to be postponed due to high winds. This should be completed towards the end of May, and we then plan a tidy up and re- organisation in the Boat Park to maximise the park and float area, and in readiness for the Sailing Club National Championships later in the Summer.
Please may we remind boats that have returned to their moorings you to check the condition of mooring gear, including chains. The Harbour Authority will be undertaking inspections during the season.
Following concerns raised by harbour users a wild swimming zone has been agreed with the Abbey basin being purposed for this, as well as stand up paddle boarding. This is of course dependant on vessel movements to and from the Dry dock. A swimming zone will also be established between South Pier and Battery Rocks marked by buoys during summer months.
Penzance Sailing Club have started racing once again, although the early summer weather has not been good for sailing.
As lockdown eased we’ve seen a few more visiting yachts, although the weather has been changeable. We expect a busy Summer season as the weather improves with many enquiries for berths already.
Maintenance/ improvement projects continue with the recent completion of the pointing works in the Wet Dock, North Arm and Abbey Basin. A survey has also been undertaken of the revetment pending future works. Replacement of manhole covers and void filling on the South Pier and Lighthouse Pier have now been completed.
Replacement, and increasing the number of ladders in the wet dock continues with most in the Wet Dock now fitted. Final fixings for the ladders, underwater, is planned for June.
Plans to upgrade and improve lighting around the Harbour continue to develop and works will soon commence with safety improvements including barriers etc to improve segregation. Please ensure you follow signage and walkways where marked.
New automatic barriers will be installed on South Pier and North Arm. Access to South Pier is for permit holders only.
Through the storms in February a large granite facing block was displaced from the outer Lighthouse Pier, and plans are now in place to re- fit the block with Seawide Services in the near future, and also repair and replacement of the Gry Maritha berth fendering.
Electricians continue with fault finding and repair around the inner harbour and boat park. We are also working on the addition of more power posts around the inner harbour to ensure more versatility with berthing.
Since joining in February Harbour Master Matt Wheeler has been kept busy with preparing for the season ahead and managing the programme of works around the Wet Dock amongst a busy period for commercial activity.
Two new members of staff will be joining in late May and early June, with one person working tidal shifts and another at the slipway.
We have recently launched a new website for Penzance and other harbours operated by Cornwall Council. This can be found at www.cornwallharbours.co.uk . The website will be updated regularly with News, Notice to Mariners and other documents relevant to Harbour Users.
Future harbour newsletters will be sent via email, displayed on the harbour notice boards and uploaded to the website.