I went for a beautiful walk alongside Restronguet Creek in Cornwall yesterday; the tide was out, and the creek was full of mud, with not a soul in sight. At low tide, in areas that are inter-tidal Hovercraft travel easily over mud.
At low tide, boat owners have to wait find something else to occupy themselves, while they wait for high tide. Last year, I passed a family of 5 who were marooned in their boat on a sand bank about 100 yards from the shore – it was a hot day and they had no drinking water so were suffering a little from dehydration – nothing to do but wait hours for the tide to change – “whatever floats your boat” as they say.
Ofcourse with a hovercraft, you do not need water to float your boat, since it flies on a cushion of air about 9 inches above the surface. You can reach the riverside pub at low tide – with no fear of running aground on a sandbank.
Yesterday I spotted a chap searching for shell fish on a small beach. Ofcourse in the middle of the creek, the birds were feasting on a rich diet of shell fish that boat owners can never reach. Hovercraft owners can reach this abundance of shell fish. We have supplied hovercraft to canny shell fish farmers who detect baby mussels to farm. In 2004 – 5 February, 23 Chinese cockle pickers were drowned by an incoming tide in the UK – they were collecting cockles at low tide on sand flats at Warton Sands, paid £5 per 25 kg of cockles, but were cut off by the incoming tide. Local people report that the tides in Cumbria travel faster than a man can run. A safer way might be to use hovercraft that reach speeds of up to 40 mph. For more information about hovercraft applications visit our sister website at www.hovpod.com