Sunday, 12 May 2013

Havengore Creek

'Havengore' is an appropriate name indeed for this creek as its indent lays among many others that finger their way through and around the marshy banks that surround this 'haven'. To account for the rest of the name we can take a look at the Old English where 'gore' means mud. Like most places I explore there is no shortage of the stuff here either. I took a walk (literally, and not recommended unless you have a pair of magical floating wellies like mine) down the gut of Havengore Creek where I risked loosing another camera, even my person, in dodging the suction of quicksand to get an up close look at the gut of the creek and how the seabed is formed here. It truly is a wonderful place where, if the mayor of London has his way, the adjacent sands will be put to the slaughter of jet engines and thousands of acres of concrete. Unless that is, we can find some rare bat species that nests in the four nearby wooden navigation spars! Or, maybe we could bottle the unique Essex brown stuff, label it 'only found in these parts' and 'natural healing' and sell it worldwide at carnivals and village fetes, and of course on Ebay. But then maybe people will flock here to lay naked all over and about the sands? Yeah, they may put a few quid in the local economy too but it just wouldn't look right would it.. Wouldn't  that be cruelty to seabirds..?

Mud aside, whether you come through here in a 80' spritsail barge or a 16' dinghy, such as my cruiser Shoal Waters, you will find an average depth around  5 or 6 feet, a little more at springs.
For visual indication there are four tall spars that can be followed in from seaward. I won't bother with any bearings as it is best to check your own charts for these, or they can be found on the appropriate sites, but the first three spars are in a straight line so can be transited and will bring you to the last one at the mouth of the creek which has numerous horizontal bars. At this point you are on the Broomway and are close enough to pick out the port and starboard withies. As you come to the first 'port withie' there is quite a large, raised shoal which will diminish your depth dramatically by a couple of feet if you drift off course so it would a good bet to keep near to these. At this same high point what water is left is running back towards the Havengore bridge.
If I am going round to the Thames I cut across to the Inner Shoebury, which can be seen from hereabouts. There are quite a few other marks and short stumps not visible near high water and there could be ordnance remains laying about at times, to which you may strike, but you would be very unlucky if this were to happen. There is without doubt a certain amount of risk in using this route therefore the skipper must make accurate tidal allowances. But if your vessel can take the ground, at most it will be an inconvenience to become grounded - more a delightful rest on the mystical sands.

Facing south-east toward the outer two spars
The inner of the three in-line spars. From here you can see the Broomway spar

Broomway spar facing south-east to the outer three spars

pronounced shoal facing Havengore Creek and the first port withie
At first port withie and able to make a fare judge of depth from this mark which was about nine foot

There is also a wreck marked by a spar topped with two black balls. This is unlit to so if running in south of the three in line spars take care. I Had a close look at this wreck and it looks to be an MFV of wooden construction and still has a china sink in-situ. If anybody knows the vessels name please let me know.
Wreck on the Maplin Sands


Bill said...

I took my West Wight Potter through the Havengore at the beginning of my 'Pottering' cruise:

Wish I had seen your photos before doing it. I managed to get a photo of the bridge opening.

Unknown said...

People are strange.
They would destroy an area of peace and beauty to build an airport that will transport others to another area of peace and beauty in the world that was destroyed to make way for an airport, motorways and ugly hotels.
All just to get sunburned and buy cheap booze with fish and chips.
Lost forever.