Refurbishment of Tern “Hotel” – April 6th

The addition of fresh  gravel and raking over the tern platforms took place on Wednesday afternoon 6th April after poor weather caused the postponement from 4th April.

Although the day was bright and sunny there was still a fairly fresh south-westerly breeze as Pete Smith accompanied by Dave Gartside and Rob Woodward set about the launch of our new boat on the south-eastern side of the Deep Water Pit, watched from a safe distance by Pam, Archie, Darren and  Alan.

Since Pete could not see where he was going, Dave stood at the water’s edge giving hand signals like a policeman on point duty. In spite of this, Pete finally reached  the  tern platform in the teeth of the breeze. Observers on the bank top could see that he was not able to maintain contact with  the platform and that he was soon back on the shore, quicker than he went. After a discussion, Dave appealed to the watchers for a, preferably, small and lightweight volunteer to go out with Pete on a second attempt. He had hardly finished speaking when Archie was over the fence like a two-year old.

Owing to certain dimensional problems it was found that it was necessary to row the boat backwards and to tie the oars to the rollocks with gaffer tape to give them some chance of a safe return. Upon reaching the platform disaster was narrowly averted when both of the crew leaned to one side to hold on to it, causing a shift to that side of the two sacks of gravel. There  was only about a centimetre of freeboard between them and an unplanned bath!

The attention to the platforms was  completed and it was noted that the second platform seemed to have dragged it’s anchor which was probably the cause of the slope. The three Common Terns which had already arrived from Africa were left in peace to resume their quarrel over possession with the Black-headed Gulls and the Cormorants.

Finally there was a discussion about the report, from the boat crew, concerning some knocking sounds on the bottom of the boat. This remains a mystery and it was suggested that further investigation of the Deep Water Pit was required.