I have to confess, I had not heard of Hayle before, and it nearly got missed on my planning map. That would have been a disaster as Peter Haddock (great name for an HM) was a fascinating man. Ex RN aircraft carrier air traffic controller, and Health and Safety specialist, Peter has a total of 71 ladders requiring monthly inspection….amongst a lot of other responsibilities. As ever my eyes are being opened to the variety of work an HM gets involved in.
Hayle has been famous for different things over the years. A deep water port in Roman times (long since silted up), Hayle harbour was well suited to prosper during the industrial revolution when coal was imported from South Wales to power the booming iron, tin and copper smelting plants. The chain links for Brunel’s bridges were made in Hayle.
Recently a number of developers have tried to build on this vast, 600 acre, brown-field estuary, but despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nothing has yet materialised. Sluicing (the washing out to sea of river silt to keep the channels clear) has long been a part of the harbour’s traditions and the Harbour Master’s job, but Peter de Savary did not help matters when he sold off the ancient sluicing ponds to the RSPB during his ownership. Peter (Haddock) now has to manage this carefully at every spring tide in consultation with the RSPB. .
As HM he has had several unusual events to cope with: Yacht Nora (look her up!) had to be rescued 9 times in 7 months by the RNLI when two hapless Americans attempted to sail her from Scandinavia to USA. She ended up in Hayle harbour on fire and the pair flew home. The second one (see final photo) was a recently restored bilge keeler which got caught in storm Hanna when on the mud….and simply blew over!
About the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge: I am circumnavigating the #UK attempting to visit every #harbour with a #harbourmaster #fundraising to #support @Seafarers_UK and their work in the #martime industry, supporting #seafarersand their #families. You can #sponsor my #challenge by visiting the link in my bio. Thank you for support!
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