Penzance Harbour is a story of many parts…….and Captain Neil Carter has looked after them all for an incredible 35 years! The harbour is split into three, a large basin which dries out, an inner harbour or “wet dock” behind a lock gate and an inner, inner harbour which is a dry dock.
The wet dock lock gate is manned 365 days of the year, by a team of three: Shane (see photo) Simon and Rodney. Shane is a relative new boy – he has only been the job for 29 years! The team open the gate ( a huge metal door which lies horizontally on the sea bed when open) 2 hours before High Water and close it 1 hour after High Water. Bearing in mind, that the gate is therefore open 6 hours out of every 24 hours….. and that the time of High Water shifts by approximately one hour each day….. and they have lots of other duties to attend…. that is quite a complicated rota to work out! Despite suffering from permanent jet lag, they are all very cheerful and welcoming to visiting boats.
The boats in the wet dock range from yachts, large “live aboard” motor boats and fishing boats, all the way up to cargo vessels supplying the Isles of Scilly. The largest of these loads up anything you can think of from farm animals to fire engines. It is a very busy environment. Thank you Neil and team for giving me a slice of your valuable time!.
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