Alternative Harbour for Pitcairn Island
One of the projects looming large for the Pitcairn Island future is the Alternative Harbour Project. In a nutshell, the project is to build a second harbour built on the western side of the island. This will provide an alternative landing wharf and access to the island at times when the weather is not suitable for landing at Bounty Bay.
Approximately ten cruise ships call at Pitcairn Island each year. For some of these ships the islanders go out to board the cruise ship to sell souvenirs. For other ships it is possible to off load the passengers onto the boats and ferry them to the Bounty Bay wharf. It is dependent on the age and ability of the passengers to negotiate the boarding of the smaller boats and the weather on the day.
The western side of the island, known as Tedside, often has a more settled wave pattern and a lesser swell than Bounty Bay, when the weather is coming from the east. If we are getting a north easterly both Bounty Bay and Tedside can be exposed. Yachts and the Claymore II supply ship anchor at Tedside as often as they anchor off Bounty Bay and the longboat leaves from Bounty bay and travels around to Tedside. Occasionally a passing yacht is unable to call in at Pitcairn because of the weather.
To build a harbour and suitable access to the western side is a huge project. Consultant Engineers from New Zealand, Tonkin and Taylor, were involved when the project was originally put together. They will visit the island during the construction period.
Access down will mean a new road will be constructed
This project is an ideal opportunity for Pitcairn Island to attract new people to come to the island to assist with the construction. Employment is difficult to find on Pitcairn Island and is one of the disadvantages that anyone considering immigrating to Pitcairn would face.
The planning stages of this project are already well under way. Funding for the project will come from the European Union. It is expected to cost in the vicinity of 2.2 million Euros. Initial payments of 1.125 Euros have already been paid. Existing heavy duty equipment on the island will be used and additional heavy equipment will be needed. Tenders have been put out for a ship capable of bringing the heavy equipment to Pitcairn.
The time frame for the project includes beginning construction in April 2013, having a concentrated effort and aiming for completion late 2013.