The RYA has received a number of reports from members that they have been prevented from using the Foulger’s Gat channel by London Array wind farm vessels on guard duty.
The London Array Wind Farm borders the Black Deep and Fisherman’s Gat and spreads over Foulger’s Gat on the east coast. London Array had assured the RYA that it would, where possible, keep Foulger’s Gat open to recreational craft during construction.
Further that it would, once construction was completed, fully re-open the channel and reinstate the Long Sand Inner and Outer buoys.
Open for navigation
We contacted London Array and they have informed us that Foulger's Gat is open for navigation. However, there have been periods where large wind farm vessels have blocked Foulger's Gat by their simple presence, or by anchor spreads across the Gat.
Whilst most of the major construction work has been completed, with the last turbine being installed in December (2012), London Array says that cable burial, scour protection of the two substations and other tasks will be ongoing until about midsummer 2013.
In situations other than these, yachts can transit through the Gat, with due regard to the other vessels working around the wind farm. The guard vessel has been instructed accordingly.
So, whilst major construction on the wind farm has finished we can expect some continued disruption to the Foulger’s Gat in the 2013 cruising season.
London Array is producing weekly notices on the progress and resources involved in the project providing an overview of activities and vessels involved.
You can also find useful information at the EastCoastSailing website.