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A month into the job…

Just a month has passed since I officially took over as harbourmaster on the Dart, but already a lot has happened.  After a frustrating first week where I had to work at home due to covid (after surviving 2 years unscathed!), I have been concentrating on getting out and about and meeting people, talking to a wide variety of stakeholders about our mutual love of the Dart and how we can work together to make our river an even better place to enjoy, to work on, to visit and explore, and where wildlife can thrive.  A particular highlight was visiting the opening ceremony of the new South Devon College campus at Noss, where Tim (our chair) and I were bowled over by the impressive new facilities, and even more so by the passion and dedication of the team there.  We are sure it will be a hub of the vibrant marine community here in the South West.

Just as exciting was the launch of two of our new patrol ribs.  Built here in Dartmouth by Ribeye, Apollo and Poseidon will soon be joined by Zeus and become a familiar sight on the river.  There are a few final jobs to do on them before I get to have a play!  But by far the best moment so far was the appointment of Jack Handley as our new Assistant Harbour Master – Compliance.  After putting a great selection of internal and external candidates through a very thorough interview process, everyone was really impressed with his knowledge and passion, so I was delighted to be able to offer Jack the job, and am very pleased with how quickly he is getting into his new role.  His promotion from River Officer means we are able to recruit a new person to work on the river, which is currently advertised on this site.

Other highlights this month included the Head of the Dart races, and the visit of the beautiful French sail training schooner Belle Poule (pictured)

Although I have only been sitting in my office for a few weeks, it is one of my favourite times of the year – being able to see the river come alive, yachts being launched, ferry services starting up and visitors returning.  Good Friday saw a very busy day on the river – after a misty start we had glorious sunshine, and it was lovely to be able to get out of the office and help visiting yachts with their moorings.  Let’s hope it is the start of an equally glorious summer.

As our recent stakeholder consultation (which you can still add comments to here) has identified that we need to work even harder to communicate well with you, I plan to give regular blog-style updates here, to make sure you know what we are doing, and how we are working to make the harbour better than ever.


Harbour Master

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