I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone that has posted the good wishes to myself following my retirement from Wick Harbour Authority. I was humbled to read all the comments and notes that so many took the time to post and would like to say a huge thankyou to you all. Being part of the Harbour team working alongside great likeminded people was an honour, a privilege and one of the highlights of my career. The success was a consequence of both team and personal effort and the rewards are for all to see – a busy, financially secure Harbour creating new much needed jobs. Long may this success continue and I wish the Board and staff all the best for the future. I would also like to thank the harbour users and the community for their support as we could not have done it without you. Many thanks and much appreciate all your kind words.
WILLIE WATT MBE
Tuesday 28 October 2020 marked Willie Watt`s last meeting as a board member of Wick Harbour Authority following 15 years of sterling and valued service most of which served as Chairman.
Willie`s contribution to the harbour cannot be understated with many incremental improvements to both our working practices and our infrastructure seen during his tenure.
Undoubtedly the catalyst for the economic revival of Wick Harbour was the success of the marina, which continues to draw visitors from near and far to the town. The harbour is once again a vibrant and valued focal point in our community. The success of the marina led to greater confidence in our ability to move forward with many other significant improvements and changes around the harbour – the results and benefits of which you see today. The board, under Willie`s chairmanship adopted a stepping stone approach to every project it tackled from enviromental improvements around the harbour, addressing repairs, removal of old ice plant, removal of Kestrel tower, installation of the Heavy Lift pads – the list goes on and on as can be seen below.
- Wick Harbour installed a marina pontoon in the outer harbour area in 2007
- The large marina pontoon system in the Inner Harbour was completed and was opened by HRH Princess Anne. This area had to be extended in 2013 due to its success and popularity amongst the yachting community. Dredging of the harbour also took place.
- Wick Harbour Authority moved from our old premises in Harbour Terrace to the new Wick Harbour Office. Various environmental improvements were made around the harbour. A valued addition to the area was the re-siting of the Old Canon (it was previously located at Wick Riverside). It now sits proudly on Harbour Quay and is a popular attraction for visitors to the area. Willie was also instrumental in setting up the Wick Paths Group.
- 2013 saw the removal of the Ice plant and other disused buildings to make room for other harbour developments. New Marina showers and toilets for visitors were completed.
- In 2014 Wick Harbour Authority spent significant monies creating 2 Heavy Lift pads on the River Commercial Quay. In addition, the Marina was extended and storm damage repairs and improvements were made.
- The signing of a lease between Wick Harbour Authority and Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) took place in October 2017. This was the culmination of over 2 years of heavy negotiation following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding where BOWL committed to using Wick Harbour as the long-term operational base for the Beatrice wind farm. The operations and maintenance base was opened in 2019 by HRH Prince Charles.
- BOWL construction works commenced with the removal of the Old Slipway rails, moving on to piling works for the new BOWL pontoon area. The Old Slipway Winch House and “Kestrel” Tower were demolished late 2018.
- The Duke of Rothesay officially opened the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Base in July 2019
- Significant dredging works were undertaken during 2019 to deepen the navigational channel and harbour entrances. this work was undertaken by the Admiral Day dredging vessel.
- New Port Closed Lights and New Port Lateral Mark installed
The foregoing is a small snapshot of the many numerous achievements seen during Willie involvement with Wick Harbour. Malcolm Bremner , Harbour Master and Board Member said “Willie`s drive and determination has steered the harbour on a great course these past 15 years . On a personal note his help and advice over the years has been invaluable. ” ” We must also thank Valerie for the hours of family time Willie gave up over the years in support of the harbour”.
John Mackay current Chairman thanked Willie for his significant contribution to his community, the harbour and its staff. Due to Covid restrictions our plans to celebrate and recognise Willie`s contribution had to be altered but a short socially distanced outdoor ceremony took place at the marina on Wednesday 28/10/2020 at 2pm.
We wish Willie good health and happiness to enjoy his retirement with Valerie and the family .
Onshore and Offshore Wind today at Wick Harbour.
Another shipment of onshore wind cargo & new CTV “World Scirocco” in port working on Moray East windfarm activities.
To All Stakeholders,
We are regularly receiving reports of persistent dog fouling around the harbour.
Most recently from various contractors working in and around the port. Dog mess is prevalent on all quays , it has been found on pallets where equipment is stored upon, in about fishing gear and over at the office and on public walkways. It has come to the stage where we must take action. Not only is this anti-social behaviour unsightly, it is highly dangerous to health and is also against the law.
The local Highland Council dog warden will be regularly patrolling the area, 2 new bins will be provided – 1 on Commercial Quay and 1 on Mart Jetty. This is in addition to the 3 dog bins already located around the harbour. Harbour staff will be reviewing CCTV footage from around the port. Action will be taken against any dog owners not picking up their dog`s mess.
Please – everyone , be respectful, and do your bit to keep the harbour safe and clean for all users.
One in, one out… another cargo ship this time the Hohe Bank in with onshore wind components for Halsary. Some super photos courtesy of Alan McGee Images, Margaret Fox and wur own Ian.
Cargo Ship Accum in more further wind farm components for Halsary. This is the second shipment with a further 4 or 5 ships to follow. Next ship Hohe Bank due later today/tomorrow. The blades are coming from Tarranto, Italy, with the tower sections from El Ferrol, Northern Spain. The turbine sections are coming from Germany.
Photo courtesy of Douglas Cowie
Seafast Maritime`s new vessel Damen vessel Isle of Jura in today.
Cargo Ship Bonacieux in with a shipment of onshore wind farm components. This is the first shipment with a further 5 or 6 ships to follow. The next 2 are due to arrive this Sunday 20/9 – weather permitting. The blades are coming from Tarranto , Italy with the tower sections from El Ferrol, Northern Spain. Turbines parts from Germany.
Today we fly the Red Ensign at the Pilot House Flagpole to mark Merchant Navy Day . The Red Ensign flag, which we are flying today is the recognised flag of the Merchant Navy .
Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September has honoured the brave men and women who kept the UK afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for more than 90% of the UK’s imports, including almost half the food we eat, much of the fuel we use, and virtually all the products and goods we tend to take for granted. #RedEnsign #MerchantNavyDay
Some of you might have spotted the yacht Good Dog in our marina . Skippered by Mark Ashley Miller they are undertaking the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge circumnavigating the UK promoting the work of the Seafarers UK charity. Here is a short video Mark sent us today . #MerchantNavyDay #RedEnsign
Arrival 29 August 2020 Cargo vessel Sea Harmony in with Lime shipment.