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.
Port Information Notice Coronavirus COVID19 Maritime Declaration of Health Aug 2020
Following the recent easing of lockdown Wick Harbour has seen a marked resurgence in business, and enquiries across all areas.
Our Marina reopened to users in July and we have been delighted with the numbers of yachts choosing to visit. The marina continues to be one of our success stories at Wick Harbour and we have just completed a full refurbishment of the marina deck and associated services.
At the end of July/beginning August, 3 shipments of towhead structures were successfully discharged at the North Pier before making their way out to the Subsea 7 Wester Site.
A significant cargo of on shore wind blade and turbines is due into the harbour Aug/Sept. These shipments will be delivered by up to 7 cargo vessels. We recently increased our laydown area on Commercial Quay and this, combined with other areas around the harbour, offers our customers a very useful facility for storage. Often the windfarm sites, for a variety of reasons, may not always be ready to accept the component parts. Harbour storage/laydown is ideal for their requirements which also boosts harbour revenue, in addition to the usual berthing and cargo charges. We also continue to see our usual cargoes of coal, lime and fuel.
The fishing industry nationally has suffered greatly along with many others due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Markets remain uncertain, with the added complication surrounding Brexit negotiations – confidence is not at its highest level at the moment. However, local skippers continue to invest in the industry with 2 new trawlers arriving in Wick post lockdown. It is good see such commitment in uncertain times.
Shellfish vessels and landings remain consistent and an important part of the harbour infrastructure. Fish landings by value are expected to be less than last year mainly due to the pandemic, but hopefully things will improve for this sector in the near future.
BOWL – currently operating their full complement of 6 Crew Transfer Vessels berthed within their leased area. Due to the COVID 19 situation, painting and cleaning operations on the windfarm site have been suspended meantime. Once this restriction is lifted, the maintenance operation will most probably resume Spring/Summer 2021. This should result in the harbour benefiting from a substantial increase in vessel activity as they seek to catch up on their works programme.
DEVELOPING WINDFARMS IN MORAY FIRTH – As work gets underway on the developing wind farm sites, Wick Harbour is dealing with a number of contractor enquiries, some of these having already come to fruition. We already have a base within the harbour set up for one company, with another due to follow within the next few weeks. Both companies have indicated that they will be based in Wick for up to 2 years, whilst construction works take place. One company is presently operating 2 Crew Transfer Vessels but have advised the likelihood is that more will follow. The other is initially intending to have 3 vessels operating from Wick, with more to follow as the project expands.
They have also indicated that crew changes to larger offshore vessels could be facilitated through Wick , with significant numbers of personnel arriving and departing from the harbour on a weekly basis.
We have a high degree of confidence that more business will follow as the windfarms in the Moray Firth further develop and come on stream.
The recent publication of the Marine Sectoral Plan demonstrates that Wick is well placed geographically and commercially to attract future developers to the port. A further strength is the strong skills base within the county.
HIGH WATER PROTECTION GATE
The High Water Protection Gate is regarded by Wick Harbour Authority as key to the port`s future expansion. The gate will in effect allow us to double our safe berthing capacity on a year-round basis, making use of existing infrastructure which is currently not achieving its full potential, due to swell conditions caused by easterly gales.
Currently we are in the process of appointing a consultancy to further assist and develop the business case for the High Water Protection Gate, and the socio economic benefits it will bring to the harbour and the wider Caithness economy.
The opportunities presented by the developing windfarms in the Moray Firth basin are huge for Wick and the north economy. The potential increase in berthing space presented by the HWPG would give the area a fantastic opportunity to provide high value employment, possible new business start-ups, as well as existing businesses benefiting from increased income.
Following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions our Marina and its facilities has re-opened to visitors. Showers and toilets are open with extra cleaning measures and sanitising facilities around the port in place to help mitigate Covid 19 risks. We pass on our thanks to all our visitors and harbour users who are adapting to these changing times by following guidelines on social distancing, hand-washing and the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces.
Work to refurbish/replace the decking boards on the Marina is almost complete. This work commenced before lockdown and it is good to finally see the end in sight. Installed in 2009 in the Inner Harbour, the marina has proved to be a highly successful facility for the harbour authority, its local users and visitors to the town. The harbour remains a vibrant focal point in Wick – for business and leisure use.
Concreting in the area beside the redundant slipway winch house on Commercial Quay is also complete. The retaining wall which ran alongside has been removed, resulting in a vast expanse of additional quayside space now available as laydown areas and a greater sweep for cargo traffic / cranes etc using the Commercial Quay. This contract was carried out by GMR Henderson.
A work kiosk has also been installed pending the installation of an electronic barrier.
July saw various consigned landings from vessels . As lockdown restrictions have been lifted, fishing activity is slowly beginning to get back to normal. 2 new commercial vessels have recently arrived to the port – the Saltire and Emulous. We wish both their owners well at the fishing.
Royal Navy visit
July saw 2 port calls during the month from a small fleet of Royal Navy Archer Class P2000s – fast inshore patrol boats. Essentially a scaled down version of the Navy’s larger ships, the P2000s are among the smallest in the Royal Navy fleet. Attached to the University Naval Training Units, the vessels usually host students over the summer but were unable to due to the coronavirus pandemic. This meant the crews of HMS Archer, HMS Example, HMS Explorer and HMS Trumpeter instead spent two weeks focusing on their own training. The vessels are now alongside at Leith Docks Edinburgh. Each P2000 weighs 54 tonnes and has a five-man crew on board. For more information on the Royal Navy in Scotland see Twitter @RNinScotland.
Crew Transfer Vessels
Seacat Weatherly arrived in port last week to complement the existing fleet of SSE Beatrice vessels working from the harbour. Seacat Mischief left 3 August 2020.
End July beginning August has seen 3 shipments of towhead structures for Subsea 7 safely discharged from the vessels SMN Explorer and Scot Venture. Skillfully manoeuvred under the watchful eye of Ian Cormack Deputy Harbourmaster and Pilot, the vessels berthed at North River Pier. The towheads were discharged before making their way up Scalesburn and out to the Subsea 7 Wester Site. Although a familiar sight in Wick , it is still an amazing operation when you see the scale of the towheads , the crane involved and the lorries pulling the structures up the hill and around corners. Final shipment due today 5 August 2020. Some images below courtesy of local photographers Douglas Cowie & Alan McGee Images.
Lastly a photo at sunset of the harbour….. Thanks to all photo contributors. If anyone wishes to share photos of the harbour these can be shared via our Facebook page or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
It has now been a couple of weeks since the Marina re-opened to visitors. Marina showers and toilets are also open with extra cleaning measures and sanitising facilities around the port in place to help mitigate Covid 19 risks. We pass on our thanks to all our visitors and harbour users who are adapting to these changing times by following guidelines on social distancing, hand-washing and the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces.
The latest Subsea 7 towhead cargo is expected in port this weekend 1/2 August 2020.
Scottish Government restrictions on travel are expected to be lifted on Friday 3 July 2020. Our marina will re-open to visitors on this date subject to Scottish Government advice and the usual physical distancing measures.
Marina showers and toilets will remain closed until 15 July 2020 at the earliest . Advice and guidance will be reviewed at that time. We are committed to moving through the Scottish Government`s phased Routemap in a planned and measured way, keeping our community, customers and staff safe.
Revised Guidance from Sail Scotland 3 July 2020
We would encourage all Leisure Users and Private Cruising Vessels intending to visit Wick Marina to read over the following very useful guidance from Sail Scotland which can be found at
Apply the 3 Cs :
Be Considerate – mindful of the potential impact you could have on the RNLI and other emergency services. Consider our local area and whether your visit risks adversely impacting our community.
Be Conservative – check your vessel, your equipment, the forecast, plan your route and KNOW YOUR LIMITS.
Be Consistent – follow existing safety protocols.
Please call ahead to Harbour Office on 01955 602030 to check on berth availability. We encourage the use of contactless or cashless payments.
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
Since the inception of the new management Board of Wick Harbour Authority (WHA) in 2005 its purpose is to manage, maintain and develop the harbour in the best interests of the local community. As custodians of the Harbour of Wick on behalf of the community its current vision is “to create a modern port business with a diverse portfolio of activities that is commercially sustainable in the long term and to create 500 plus quality jobs by 2030”.
In order to increase growth WHA recognised a High Water Protection Gate (HWPG) in the outer entrance would be the most cost-effective option to stop the surge in both the Inner and Outer Harbours and provide safe moorings for all users of the harbour. This project will require the development of a robust and detailed business plan that can be presented to both public and private funders to ensure that funding for the project can be secured.
WHA have produced a draft business plan and it now requires to be developed further, such that it will address the needs of both public and private funders to enable WHA to secure the necessary funding for the HWPG.
ABOUT THE SUPPLIER’S SELECTION PROCESS
The ITT will be scored on the following: Project Execution Methodology (including examples of previously successful similar marine/harbour projects), Resource Capability for those who will undertake the scope of work, Programme and Price.
Interested parties may obtain a full ITT description from email@example.com
Response to Invitation to Tender : 22 June 2020 4pm
Tender close date : 24 July 2020 4pm
Contract award date : 7 August 2020
Contract start date : 10 August 2020