The Eventider's News

Issue Four, Spring/Summer 2005 


Page 6

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This page will be a collection of snippets and information, gleaned from owners and friends, newspapers, magazines and scurrilous here sayas well no doubt,  hopefully all factual, as far as can be ascertained, and maybe humorous, we all need a giggle some times!  Have you found a snippet we could add?



Further to my comments about the Montgomery off the Medway, it seems to have caught the attention of the national press yet again. 



At last there is a picture of her, before the accident.  This one courtesy of the Daily Mail.

This  picture from the mail shows what is still visible as we sail past, the mast and the top of the deck house.  I used to meet these  divers at work, and they told a very interesting story.  I wonder how long it will be before all the truth about this wreck will be revealed! 






Thames barrier celebrates

21 years

4 May 2005

Thames Barrier


1984 is memorable for many reasons - the first Terminator movie, Tessa Sanderson's Olympic gold medal, and Dungeons and Dragons. 

However 1984 also marks the opening of the Thames Barrier, and on 9 May the Environment Agency will celebrate twenty-one years of protecting London from major flooding  - saving thousands of lives and millions of pounds.

The police duty boat just up stream during the Queen's official opening ceremony, ( or was it a closing ceremony?) was skippered by your Web coordinator John!  John watched as the first dredging took place in 1973, till the opening in 1984.  He has also circumnavigated at least one of the gates!  You work out how he did it!

The Thames Barrier and associated defences, including the Barking and King George V Barriers, provide London with a world class level of protection from flooding. Since it was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen, the Thames Barrier, the largest movable flood barrier in the world, has been used to protect London from tidal surges a total of 91 times - placing a wall of steel between the sea and our Nation's capital.
However, the story of the Thames Barrier is not just confined to its use during flood events. 

The Royal Yacht, HMS Ark Royal and the competitors in the last of the Tall Ships race to visit London have also sailed through its distinctive piers.

The Thames Barrier has also proved a popular filming location over the years, with programmes such as The Saint (1989), London's Burning (1992) and most recently Spooks (2005), not to mention Noel Edmond's Christmas TV show (1984), all wanting to use the impressive structure as a backdrop. 

Don't forget the James Bond Film where the barrier was shut to stop the crooks, being chased by two high speed Police boats.  Yes it was John again, he was on the boat nearest the north shore.  Did you see the other police boat get caught on his swell, lose it and ram his starboard quarter???  He He.

Thames tidal manager, Andy Batchelor said: "The Thames Barrier has done us proud over the past 21 years. It has proved to be an incredibly versatile tool in protecting 1.25 million Londoners from flooding, and has become a significant landmark for the city as well." 

He continued: "The Barrier is only at the start of its life - we expect to use the Barrier more and more frequently as climate change progresses, and are already looking at the continued protection of London over the next 100 years through our project, Thames Estuary 2100."

First printed, in part, in the British Waterways web site.



  In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire.......

Or do they.........

Out recently, May 11th 2005, when the weather was bad, I commented about the odd shape of the cloud formations and said I was keeping a close eye on them for tornados.  My crew scoffed, but I maintained they were not unusual. 

I have only seen one funnel cloud, it was on a still hot day off the Kent coast, it reached to the sea and scooped up tons of water before collapsing in a heavy down pour, probably of fish too!

On this day the cloud was very active and the wind F6 gusting F8.  The wind was northerly and the day before possibly one of the same clouds had produced a tornado in Preston, doing damage to houses.

Yesterday I received this link...

Try it, but do not forget to come back.  I was right tornados are common in this country, but I had little idea how common!



A Lot of Hot Air???


In the village where we live there has been a very heated and I would argue, biased, protest going on.  It is about wind generators.   Now I quite like the sight of them, they do not look terribly out of place, especially when viewed against the back drop of electricity pylons, which I think are an abomination, and the power lines that could, at a cost be buried...   but they are never going to do that.  Industrialise the rural scene, I have seen some huge barns go up that would look well on a city trading estate, but there you go....

Our government has decreed that there will be a percentage of renewable power, wind being top of their list.  The old Bradwell Nuclear power station has retained it's link to the National Grid, leaving some, like myself, to speculate that a new power station was a likely possibility.  We bought our cottage on the understanding this was likely.   However we are now informed there will not be another nuclear one there.  For whatever reason, it has been ruled out.  So have oil, coal and gas,  they are ruled out as well,  either because we will have run out by the time the power station was built, or because it is just too dirty, (coal).

What does that leave?  Renewables... 

What are they, well we are aware of windmills, but there are also tide mills, and wave energy devices,  but no the Blackwater does not either have enough tide nor consistent waves, you have to look to the west for that.   There is another possibility, 'Bio Mass'.

Bio Mass is the burning of a mixture of recycled materials, mostly wood, fast grown locally, could be Elephant grass, that is used in some power stations, but will probably also be rubbish! 

If the locals here get their way, and they think they are winning, there will not be an on shore windfarm.  Fine, I would prefer to see them offshore too, good landmarks for us sailors, they will all be lit too!

However the locals here will be up in arms when they realise what the gov. really has in store for them, hundreds of lorries all day and all night, every day of the year, burning refuse as well......  That is going to go down well, bet a few will be wishing they were not quite so out spoken and over pessimistic  about the wind generators.... 

When I queried the noise claims, made by some of the protesters,  I found most of the protesters had not even bothered to go and hear one!  I did and was ridiculed by the protest organisers.  I found out what they did not want the public to find out, these modern turbines are without noisy gearboxes and make very minimal noise, that is instantly drowned out by the wind noise in a tree or hedge, or the noise of a passing car, or on the day I visited a site, the noise from a flock of sparrows or a passing bumble bee!  No the protesters were more worried it might lower the value of their homes...  I ask you, we live within 3 miles of two very large nuclear power stations, is a windmill going to be more trouble?  Can you see a terrorist aiming his Cessna at one, no, not unless his name is Quixote!

For us sailors the offshore wind-farms will cause no problems that I can foresee. The radar interference can be overcome with modern methods, we just have to watch the auto pilots when we pass over a cable!

This May as we sailed across the Estuary, the Kentish Flats Windfarm was under construction,  one day there was one pylon, three days later there were four!  Thirty are due to go up here.  I hope to get a closer look as I cross the estuary in July, en route to Ramsgate and beyond.

I have found a sketch map of the sites so far, there are more to come.  As you will see some of the sites are huge.  The London Array on the Long Sand is nearly 13 by  10 miles!   The first sites on the Gunfleet will be 4 miles long.  I expect to see wind turbines as I think they should be called, on all the sandbanks, after all, if the old Gunfleet light can survive and the wartime forts, modern technology should be able to sort the footings out?? 

With the wind a healthy F4 today and in the estuary it is rare to find it below F3, the speed they need to start, nor rarely more than a F9, the speed at which they stop, I bet they will prove to the doubting Thomas's that Nature can help.


I don't hear any of the protesters turning off their electricity in disgust!

Click to enlarge, as usual!