Club Newsletters

Kingsbridge Estuary Boat Club
[The Club]
Notice is hereby given that the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Club will take place via the “Zoom” video conferencing platform, at 19.30 on 10th February 2021.
The Agenda will be circulated not later than 2nd February 2021.
Any member wishing to nominate an Officer or Committee member for 2021/2022 should do so on the nomination form set out below, and ensure the form reaches the Secretary duly completed and signed by all parties before 27th January 2021.
Any Member wishing to move business at the Meeting shall give notice of the proposed business to the Secretary before 27th January 2021.
The Secretary’s address for service for these purposes is:
(a) and/or
(b) 41, Kenwith Drive, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1DU.
Dated 9th January 2021
John Elliott
Hon Sec.

It has taken me a week to overcome the euphoria felt after the hugely succesful wine tasting evening last Wednesday.  Admittedly attendance was  not high but, for a Zoom meeting, the enthusiastic crowd were easy to manage, discipline was good and we all learnt a lot.  A repeat, by popular demand, will take place in the New Year.

Next on the agenda is a quiz, compiled and compered by Norman Hore on  Wednesday January 20th on Zoom at 1930.  Details from Norman as follows:-

In January there will be a non-technical, nautical quiz to help to bring our brains back to matters maritime. No special knowledge of the mechanics of boating is required, just a knowledge of geography, history, nature and a few other diverse subjects. The quiz will be held on Zoom and we will be happy to organise a training session in advance for anybody who would like to do the quiz but is not yet confident with Zoom on the computer. It is likely that conference calls will, increasingly, become a fixture in the future, so if you have not yet had the opportunity to become familiar with the technology, this will be a good opportunity to do so.

I will open the doors at 1900 to give you time to settle down, I will close the doors when I think the room is full so be early.  The Zoom invitation will follow closer to the date.  Jan. 20th also happens to be my birthday, I would have bought you all a drink in the 7 Stars, unhappily this won’t be possible this year.

An up to date calendar of events for 2021, as far as we are able to predict at the moment, will be displayed on the Club web site.  Have a Merry Christmas, while sticking to the rules, so that the New Year will be Happy with falling numbers of Covid  infections.

All the best,

Tony Watson

Your committee met on Wednesday November 11th by Zoom in the shadow of the latest Covid lockdown.  We have much to tell you and I apologise now for being a bit long winded.

In view of the timescale, and the distinct possibility that things won’t change much in December, we unanimously decided to cancel the Club’s Christmas Dinner which had been scheduled for December 9th.  We will look at the possibility of having an event early in 2021. 

We have a volunteer to take over the role of Treasurer on January 1st.  Piers Rogers’ offer to take over the job from Alan Purchase was gratefully accepted by the committee, this will have to be approved at the 2021 AGM, presently scheduled for February 10th.  The committee would like to thank Alan for his reliable and accurate services to date.

This of course left the post of Membership Secretary open and Penny Masters has offered to fill that role.  The committee accepted her offer and she will take over on Jan 1st with approval to be sought at the AGM.

We now have room for a couple of new committee members.  We would like more female influence and contribution from younger club members if possible, call (07831 692652) or email me if you would like to discuss the implications.

Membership has been kept at £10 per family and subs are now due.  Details of how to pay, terms and conditions, etc. are on the website, hover over the Members heading and click on join.  As most, if not all, of you will be paying electronically it would be helpful if you could notify that you have renewed your membership.  We also need to know if any of your details have changed so a short email saying no (or any) changes and date subs were paid would be helpful.  We will try to make this easier in future.  Payment indicates your acceptance of Club policies.

Boatwatch coordinator Richard Benton has a message for all members:-
“The seven month Boatwatch season finished at the end of October, and more quietly this year without the gales that gave some boat owners grief over the last couple of years.

I know that both Boat Club members and other Estuary users value what Boatwatchers do, and also that the Harbour Authority find having extra pairs of eyes on watch around the upper Estuary reassuring. My contacts with the local Police team about Covid 19 lockdown arrangements for Boatwatch made me aware that they recognise what we add to the general level of safety and security locally.
As always, we must thank our Harbour Office contacts, especially Amanda Sparks and Phil Goodhead. They always respond swiftly to our messages about boats or equipment at risk by contacting the owners, or by arranging for Harbour staff to investigate if it seems urgent.
On behalf of the Club Committee and the membership I thank all members who gave time to Boatwatch duties in 2020.  I know that Boatwatch duty added a sense of purpose to lockdown exercise outings for many Boatwatchers when everyone’s activities were particularly restricted.

Looking ahead to 2021, I will be starting the process of recruiting some additional club members to Boatwatch for the new season. As with all voluntary activities there is a core long term group of participants and a selection of others who join in when they can. Both are welcome, but the natural turnover of individuals due to changes in personal circumstances means that we need some new volunteers for 2021.
There were a significant number of additional members who indicated when they paid their 2020 subscription that they were willing to do Boatwatch, but whom I did not contact earlier this year because Covid 19 restrictions made planning difficult until well on into the season. I will be emailing these people in the near future to ask if they are interested in joining in for 2021. I will include details of how we organise the duties and how often individuals cover these in that message, but there is a lot of information in the Boatwatch section of the KEBC website.
If readers of this newsletter who have not participated before would like to volunteer now, feel free to contact me on

Richard Benton, Boatwatch Coordinator. 14.11.2020.

The following from Nigel Mortimer:- 

Dear Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary Conservation Forum members 
I am forwarding you the email below on behalf of the LIFE ReMEDIES seagrass project targeting the opinions of motorboaters – please do forward this email to anyone else within your group, club, etc. that might also have an interest and be able to help.
With best wishes 
Nigel Mortimer      
Estuaries Officer – South Devon AONB Unit

My name is Lizzi Gabe-Thomas and I am an environmental psychologist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. I am working with Collingwood Environmental Planning and Natural England on the LIFE ReMEDIES project.
If you are a leisure motorboater in and around the South Devon area, we’d like your views as we explore the relationship between boating practices and seagrass. Please CLICK HERE and register to join our online conversation, which will take place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Monday 23rd November (please register by Friday 20th November).
The meeting is being organised as part of LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES, a four-year marine conservation project to improve the condition of sensitive seabed habitats within five Special Areas of Conservation along England’s south coast. The project is led by Natural England in partnership with Ocean Conservation Trust, Marine Conservation Society, Plymouth City Council/Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum and Royal Yachting Association. [& South Devon AONB Estuaries Partnership]
Independent research consultancy Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP) will run the meeting. If you have any queries, please contact All discussions will be anonymised and will follow CEP’s GDPR and ethics protocol. You can also view the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES privacy notice on the Natural England website.
Best wishes,
Dr Elizabeth Gabe-Thomas
Environmental Psychologist
Sea and Society (SAS)
Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Finally KEBC now has a Zoom Pro account and we hope to be running on line events this winter.  Keep your eyes open for more emails from us.  The for sale section on the web site is going well.  Members might like to offer jumble/single items – one photo image per item and everything at a reasonable cost with the option of donating cash received to the Club’s charity account.

Thanks for your patience (if you got this far).

Tony Watson

Twenty six members enjoyed a beautiful Estuary Cruise on the Lady Mary last Thursday evening.  The weather was perfect, there was enough room for us to be Covid secure and the ‘new’ ferry is a perfect boat for our waters.  Thanks to Linda Lee for the organisation and to the ferry skipper for a comprehensive cruise of the harbour, Frogmore and South Pool creeks. 

Your committee met by Zoom on the preceding Wednesday evening.  Again we had little to discuss as Covid is still restricting our activities.  We agreed to book Christmas Dinner at the Cottage Hotel for December 9th., put that in your diary and we will circulate details nearer the date, Covid permitting. 

Membership numbers are slowly rising, thanks to all you new and loyal members for sticking with us in these awkward times.  Boatwatch continues and plans to hold a get together for existing and new participants are on hold until we reach a time when such events are made possible again.  On the water there have been a few alcohol related rowdy problems. SHA have reported that, in conjunction with the Police and Coastguard, particular craft and helms have been stopped, reported, logged by the police and interviewed.  The results of which have led to particular persons not having access to their craft, other boats being removed from the water and particular situations being run past SHA’s legal team. Salcombe Harbour office have thanked us for our vigilance around the harbour including pontoon checks and reports.  

Nigel Mortimer, AONB Officer has given us this link which takes you to a report on an electric boating workshop.  The whole thing is about 3 hours long but there is some interesting  information there.  He also reports on the red tides (algal blooms) that we are experiencing at the moment.  They are not dangerous to humans.  This time. 

Our Treasurer, Alan Purchase, has given up boating and his membership of the Club with it.  Consequently we are looking for a new Treasurer to take over at the end of this year.  It is not an onerous job and the auditor has agreed to continue in his post.  Any potential volunteers please get in touch with me and we can talk about it.  The Committee thanks Alan for his years of unfailing service, we are sorry to lose you. 

The committee will meet again in early November.  We are unable to hold any of our usual autumn events indoors at the moment and we can only hope for an early conquering of the virus.  In the meantime please look after yoursleves and we will meet again.  Sometime. 

Tony Watson

Good morning members.  Your committee last met on July 15th. and, with things being as they are, very little of importance was discussed.  Our next meeting will be at the beginning of September.  We have decided to reduce our committee meetings to around 7 per year, including the AGM, calling extra meetings should situations arise that require our collective decision.  Salient points will be reported in these newsletters.

Obviously we are still unable to organise any social events but we are hoping that our evening cruise around the estuary will be able to take place in September.  This will be in the new Kingsbridge/Salcombe ferry that has replaced River Maid, the Lady Mary.  She is smaller with, I believe, a capacity in normal times of 50 passengers.  We may look at cruises on two evenings to satisfy the usual high demand.  Lady Mary has commenced running daily services between Kingsbridge and Salcombe if you fancy a trip.  

The South Hams Estuaries Officer, Nigel Mortimer has again been in touch, his message follows:

“Hi Tony Please may I firstly thank your members for their donation of a couple of windsurf masts following my request for some poles to push the invasive oysters down into the mudflats in the mouth of Collapit Creek. 

Secondly, please would your members help with keeping an eye out on the Kingsbridge Creek’s end slipway road drains outfall for a persistent pollution issue – Kingsbridge Town Council have kindly offered to deliver copies of the attached flyer around the local properties within the outfall’s water catchment area. We are asking anyone seeing an incident to ring the Environment Agency 24-7 as a priority, to help them build up a better picture of when and how these incidents are happening – as you may have heard in the local media, this incidents have been going on for some time but they are very short duration and are proving difficult to trace. Your members are welcome to also report these incidents to the Harbour or myself but it is really the EA that should be the absolute priority please. 

With very best wishes 


Nigel Mortimer      
Estuaries Officer – South Devon AONB Unit”
Follaton House, Plymouth Rd, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE
01803 229335
Please note my new number: 07971 544010 (NB not 24/7 & sorry, no signal in the office!)

Our Boatwatch members have been reporting this white discharge from alongside the town slipway for some time.  Its source remains a mystery.  The Environment Agency hotline is 0800 807060 should any of you see another ocurrence.  Sorry, couldn’t attach Nigel’s flyer.

I am pleased to be able to report that membership numbers are still holding up, in fact numbers are slowly increasing, thanks for your loyalty in this strange time.  Our financial situation remains sound.

On our web site members’ advertisements  are working well with articles selling.  It is easy to use for buyer or seller, do keep an eye on it.

Having nothing else to report I will conclude with hopes that we will all be able to get together in the not too distant future.

Tony Watson.

Good morning members.  As you will all probably know, the way we are allowed to use our boats looks like being extended to, almost, normal conditions this weekend.  Salcombe Harbour Authority will be publishing its new guidelines this week, look out for them.  Your committee is due to meet via Zoom again on July 15th., by which time things might have moved on enough for us to consider social events.  We will let you know.

In the meantime our Boatwatch teams have been out and about, working to strict Covid regulations.  The guidance notes on the web site have been updated to reflect the present conditions.  In spite of our efforts it appears that criminal activity has stepped up with a number of outboards having been stolen from around the estuary recently, please ensure that your defences are sufficient to dissuade the opportunist.

The members’ adverts slot on the web site is up and running with a few very interesting items for sale already posted.  Post your own ads now or buy from those already advertised.

The Estuary Conservation Officer is concerned about Pacific oysters in the eel grass beds within the estuary and is appealing for help, see the following:-

Dear Kingsbridge Boat Club

I am writing to ask if any of you might have any light-weight 2m poles, pipes or shafts that we could use for a local estuary conservation project please – any unused, broken or unloved windsurfing masts, oars or the like. Further details below.

We have found a very concerning population of Pacific oysters within the nationally rare but locally extensive meadows of dwarf seagrass over the Blanksmill – Rowden – Collapit mudflats.
We are very concerned, that left unchecked, these oysters will continue to expand in number and density – displacing the seagrass meadows. It is usual for these Pacific oysters (aka ‘rock oysters’) to thrive on mudflats but they have a bad track record. With no overstatement, on some of the Yealm Estuary shores, they have become such a hazard for anyone trying to land or just walk there, that the amenity of a beach has been lost.

We believe that we have successfully found a method of managing these oysters by pushing the them down into the mud with poles. They do not have the necessary biology to survive – it may appear wasteful but we cannot think of a more sustainable method.

In our trial we used a 2m length of plastic pipe – it worked but it would not be robust enough to stand the test of pushing down the number we found. I am really after any 2m of pole, pipe or shaft that I could adapt to make a tool for myself and any willing volunteers. They just need to be comfortable to handle and robust enough to push the oysters down and light enough to pull back up for a couple of hours or so. I wondered about old windsurfing masts, longer oars or the like – they needn’t be hollow, I’m sure that I can fabricate a suitable end. I am happy to collect locally at a 2m distance.

Can you possibly help us out please? We have three sets of mudflat safety equipment, so three 2m lengths would be the ideal. 2m or longer has the advantage of being able to reach oysters within the seagrass with minimal trampling.

If you would like to know any further details, please do let me know.

Further information about local biosecurity can be found within our Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary BioSecurity Plan

Many thanks and best wishes


Nigel Mortimer
Estuaries Officer – South Devon AONB Unit
Follaton House, Plymouth Rd, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE
‘ 01803 229335 ß Please note my new number
È 07971 544010 (NB not 24/7 & sorry, no signal in the office!)
Following Covid-19 safeguarding guidelines I am working from home

See you on the water soon I hope.
Tony Watson