It has been very pleasing to see how the club has been coming back to life over the past month or so, and there has been a great deal of activity both on and off of the water, immeasurably helped by the way the club staff have managed and helped everyone to feel safe and welcomed. In another very exciting return to some form of normality the Commodore has given the Waterfront project team the go ahead to continue with the arrangements to have the West pontoon installed; the finances are now available so we can ask Walcon to complete the manufacture of the pontoon sections and the bridge and plan for their installation.
The bridge banks which will carry the ends of the bridges have been ready since before we were locked down and have served coffee drinkers and picnickers well as a convenient seat with a view, possibly the most expensive seating in the harbour! We now expect that the western one will soon fulfil its intended purpose and carry the new bridge to the pontoon.
In fact, the pontoons have been largely completed, Walcon have been continuing to support the club aims admirably and have moved on with the work, despite the financial hiatus. They are lying in Woolston from where they will be loaded onto a barge along with the piles ready for transportation to Chichester Harbour. One of the decisions we had to make in the design process was how to provide mooring points for dinghies. We did not want to use mooring cleats as we felt that they would be a hazard and potentially dangerous for our younger sailors. The rope loops that we currently use work very well and we decided that a similar “soft” system for mooring was sensible, but it took all of our ingenuity and Walcons help to arrive at a solution. It was agreed that the final fitting of these mooring loops would be our responsibility and so a select team of four of us spent last Tuesday morning in the docks knotting ropes onto the new pontoons.
We do not yet have a final installation date as the delay has meant that Walcon need to fit this into the rest of their schedule, but they have assured me that it will be before the end of October. Rest assured that as soon as I know I will let all club members know so that we can all celebrate their long-awaited arrival.
Pontoon Project Manager