Turbines have a use

The wind turbines popping up all around the UK coastline are provoking love and hatred in equal measure. Many don’t believe they are worth a, er… candle. Others now tell me that the ‘carbon footprint’ of the production of one turbine takes just six months of generated power to recover.Yet others claim that the further offshore they are the less efficient they become because of the power ‘journey’ they have to make to the National Grid.

Whatever the issues, the fact they exist at all is a boon for sailors seeking navigational aids especially along low profile coastlines.

Take Essex for example, not a county noted for its physical elevation. The new wind ‘farm’ now in existence on the Gunfleet Sands has a useful mark by day or night.

While sailing out of the confluence of the Rivers Colne and Blackwater last week, I was steering for the Wallet Spitway buoy to lead me through the safe water into the River Crouch.

I noticed that if you keep the southernmost turbine of the Gunfleet field in the port rigging you will pick up the Wallet Spitway buoy close on the starboard bow.

Just a thought but have others got rule-of-thumb turbine markers they’d like to share?