Summer 2021 has been and gone with a mixed bag of weather, but it was good to see the numbers cruising our East Coast steadily increasing again. We experienced a new phenomenon, that of needing to book visitor berths ahead, or at least enquire availability ahead rather than simply turn up as usual knowing there will always be room - quite why this was happening is puzzling, unless it's simply that a lot more people have bought boats during lockdown but weren't using them!
Hundreds of copies of our Deben and Ore 2021 entrance chartlets were downloaded, much as usual, and for once the entrances have not so far developed further complications since the surveys in the Spring. The Deben entrance seemed strange to us this year, especially on departure with the long stretch close to the beach. Perhaps storms this winter will finally trigger the shift of the entrance northwards again, towards that inviting large gap which still isn't quite viable yet.
News Items so far this year include the final closure of Gallions Point Marina, a new bridge to contend with at Lowestoft, changes to the buoyage in the outer stretches of the Crouch, and warnings about Thames Estuary short-cuts.
In the Book Updates sections of our website, there has been quite a flurry of changes in the last few months, some 'discovered' by us on our own trips, others send in by readers. The easiest way to look at these is to go to our 'Summary by Date' page, where you will find the printable lists of changes brought up to date to the end of September. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible to keep your ECP up to date.
Our ECP Facebook Group page too, has been busy. We made a point of adding photos and comments to it during our own trips around the area this year, and were pleased and surprised at the amount of interest and responses that these generated. While our website remains the prime source of information for pilotage news and book updates, we usually add book updates and news items to Facebook and to our Twitter feed, as and when they happen.
As Autumn gets a grip, and clubs plan social evenings for the winter months, we are willing as ever to turn up and talk about the book and the East Coast generally (so long as there isn't a fuel shortage!). Reply to this newsletter if that is of interest.
We wish you all the best for the last few weeks of the boating season. We will still be here keeping the website and social media ticking over, so do keep an eye on it all.
Co-author and webmaster
East Coast Pilot.
Header photo: Passing Ramsholt, on the River Deben.
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