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vanessan

Anyone For Hickling?

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I was having a look at Herbert Woods webcam just now (2pm) and was pleasantly surprised to see a boat (with pilot) going through the bridge. It was one of Richardson’s Gems, probably something like a Bounty 37. Not something you see very often these days so the time is right if there’s anyone close by and interested. 

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Similarly, there seems to be a country mile under Wroxham Bridge, Just watched one of those ugly Alphas go through with at least a foot to spare!

 

Wroxham Bridge 27618.jpg

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That's good to hear...

My first thought, when hiring a boat is 'will it be likely to got through Potter Heigham bridge'... I don't care if the boat hasn't got a  bow thruster, or a Jacuzzi, a DVD player, or even a telly... If it doesn't stand a chance of going under the bridge, I don't want it...

If I haven't got the chance to go to Hickling, Horsey or Somerton Staithe. If the boat won't take me to Belaugh or Coltishall. If a bridge stops me going to Geldeston or even Thorpe St. Andrew. Then it ain't the boat for me... :10_wink:

West Somerton Dyke 2....JPG

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Since it would appear that Albion ran aground this morning according to FB. I assume in an area she normally wouldn't. We must therefore assume water levels are LOW

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1 hour ago, w-album said:

Since it would appear that Albion ran aground this morning according to FB. I assume in an area she normally wouldn't. We must therefore assume water levels are LOW

It would certainly seem so... I haven't got a clue what the tide phase is (springs, neaps etc.) at the moment. But, in my little bit of East Anglia, we've had no rain at all this month, which could partially explain the low water levels.

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Water levels were very low at Womack on Sunday.

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So, what is the clearance under Potter Heigham bridge at the moment?

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1 hour ago, MauriceMynah said:

So, what is the clearance under Potter Heigham bridge at the moment?

Is this a sweepstake?

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We went through Sunday 5pm, about 6'7", reckon we could have got through one of the smaller arches either side.

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I would hazard a guess that there was around 6ft9 to 6ft10 at 5:30 this morning. 

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Low tides last week and probably this week as well.  Seawork was delayed a week due to low tides in Southampton and another week due to clashing with another show.

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Full moon tonight so we are on SPRING TIDES at the moment, they rise the highest and fall the lowest of this set of the lunar calendar. Subject to weather variations of course.

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The tidal range at Potter is 4" High to Low at every tide cycle irrespective of neaps or springs, BUT, after a full moon the High tide gets higher, the Low tide will remain stubbornly 4" lower than the higher High tide level.  The tidal range is not increased.  In theory, of course, the range should increase.  It does at sea. 

Some people always assume that because we haven't had significant rainfall, the tides will be lower.  The tides AND the rainfall are determined by air pressure.  Low pressure means rain.  High pressure brings sustained dry spells.  No rain DOES, indeed, mean lower tides, but the lower tides are caused by the High pressure.

The above observations are, of course, based on almost forty years of living on the river and ten piloting at Potter.  They are empirical rather than being based on theory.

The largest hire boat through Potter bridge over the last few days has needed 6' 7" air draft.  Three or four such have been successfully piloted through.

 

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I agree with Ex pilot, I'd also say if we suddenly go from High air pressure to low, there will be a rush of salt water up with the following high tide and a likely fish kill..

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Repps shows 0.26m at 5.30am that equates to a shade over 6 foot 9"

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Good to hear from you, expilot, thats very useful info.

In years gone by, certainly until the 90s, the pilots were kept busy taking boats through most of the time. I recall a holiday in 1993 where we moored at one of the public moorings on the way to Hickling and we were one of 7 or 8 hire boats there. Why are the present clearances now such a rarity? Is it all due to lack of dredging? 

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I started my ten year piloting career at Potter bridge at Whitsun, 1988.  Each season, Easter to November, we piloted anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 boat passages between us.  Prior to that year, Hoseasons employed two pilots and Blakes two also.  In 1988 the pilot service was combined - joint Blakes/Hoseasons. 

I suspect the pilotage figure is nearer 1000 a year now.  Yes, the boats are bigger, yes they are wider at their tallest point, but, more importantly, in the thirty odd years I have occupied a riverside bungalow above the bridge at Potter, water levels have most certainly risen by at least an average of four inches.  Back in the day, Bounty/Solar 37s, Hampton Safaris, Connoisseurs, Broom Skippers, Bounty 27s, Seamaster 27s and Elysian 27s were almost certain to get through the bridge - often even on high tide.  Occasionally we even put through boats needing all of 7' 3" air draft.

Water levels have risen to such an extent that I have lifted thirty-two Thurne bungalows, at the last count, to clear them of the high Winter tide levels.

Dredging?  I don't know if it would help.

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Thank you for that expilot, its always good to have an experienced voice on these matters on the forum.

Regards

Charlie

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And Horsey and horseying ?

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On ‎27‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 16:54, kingfisher666 said:

That's good to hear...

My first thought, when hiring a boat is 'will it be likely to got through Potter Heigham bridge'... I don't care if the boat hasn't got a  bow thruster, or a Jacuzzi, a DVD player, or even a telly... If it doesn't stand a chance of going under the bridge, I don't want it...

If I haven't got the chance to go to Hickling, Horsey or Somerton Staithe. If the boat won't take me to Belaugh or Coltishall. If a bridge stops me going to Geldeston or even Thorpe St. Andrew. Then it ain't the boat for me... :10_wink:

West Somerton Dyke 2....JPG

And now getting under Somerleyton is a regular consideration.

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The last time we managed to get through Potter Heigham Bridge in a hire boat was in June 2013.

It was Swan Royale which from memory needed 6' 10"

I don't suppose you see clearance like that much these days!

Pilots Office June 2013.JPG

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Similar for me, Howard, April 2013 on Bright Horizon 1. I did enjoy 4 hours on Bittern from Whispering Reeds since then though. 

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