Friday, 15 May 2009

Falmouth estuary fills up

Falmouth estuary fills up.

What's so special about the estuary of the river Fal filling up? It has done so twice a day ever since the end of the ice age 10,000 years ago, when rising sea levels drowned this and other south coast river valleys.

The difference is that this sheltered inlet is being used as a giant boat park, sheltering seagoing freighters from the economic storms, as well as the meteorological turbulence usually associated with the North Atlantic.

This inlet is popular with tourists who like to take pleasure trips down its wooded length. I remember taking such a trip in the early 90's and was shocked to be confronted by rows of cargo vessels lashed together and laid up like narrowboats in an inland marina during the winter months. Some find this sight unpleasant, but given my fascination with things boaty I was fascinated to see these great leviathans up close and personal.

Well, they are back
. Different craft of course - but they can be found towering over the surrounding trees and providing an unusual spectacle for boat watchers like myself.

Whilst there are some signs that the recession is bottoming out, I suspect that it will be many months if not years before these hulls resume their purpose in life, and return to ferrying consumer goods around the world once again.

Worth a look if, like many, you are planning to holiday in the area this year.

1 comment:

NB Willawaw said...

I work with ships and you are right. Many ships are being laid up as the daily rates drop. Most hard-hit are container ships as consumer demand for electrical goods, etc drop. The Fal is always a favourite because of its deep water and close proximity to the English channel.