Grain Power Station blown up

Yesterday the massive boiler houses were demolished in a controlled explosion. Only the 254 metre tall chimney remains to be brought down later this year. See the video…

Consultation on Proposed Seaplane Operations – UPDATED

An organisation has made a request to operate a private seaplane within Medway Ports. The Port of Sheerness Ltd, as the Statutory Harbour Authority, is required to regulate and manage all types of operations within the Medway and Swale and therefore has produced a consultation document (or here) on this matter, which is available on the Peel Ports website for a period of one month.

Upon completion of the consultation period, the operational requirements will be issued as a Code of Practice for Seaplane Operations. If you have any comments or queries on this matter, please contact Capt Ian Clark at

Proposed seaplane ops areas You may also wish to contact the MSBA via or Reply to this article. Further views are being expressed at the YBW East Coast Forum

UPDATE: Here is a response from Capt Ian Clark of Peel Ports:

“Below is the reply that I put together for people that have made comments.

“We have had considerable feed back about this matter, and it seems that I have perhaps not laid out the situation clearly in my notice. 

“We are not proposing any new operation, seaplanes have operated from the Medway almost since the invention of flight.  This particular seaplane, which is a private aircraft used for leisure, is one of only 5 seaplanes registered in the whole of the UK.

“The aircraft in question has been operating on the Medway for at least the last three years without incident or indeed comment from anybody.  As the port authority we are obliged to keep the port open for anybody who wants to make use of the waters, provided there are no safety or legal concerns.  There is no question of us either ‘allowing’ or ‘licencing’ this operation.  We only have power to regulate it.

This consultation is merely about putting a restriction on where the aircraft can operate so that water users can be aware of where there is the small possibility that they may encounter a seaplane.  For your information, there is no requirement for a surface vessel to give way to a seaplane that is landing or taking off.  The legal obligation is on the aircraft commander to ensure that his landing area is clear and it is safe for him to land there.

“I hope this answers your concerns.”

CA Winter Warmer, Whistlestop Tour of Europe, 11 Feb

Dawn Owl



This month’s CA Winter Warmer is brought to you by Clifford Mickleburgh himself. On 11 February 2016 Clifford will take us on a “Whistlestop” tour of Europe in DAWN OWL. Clifford spent 50% of his time on his own (with Charlie) taking in Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern Germany, Poland, the Baltic and then home through the Kiel Canal and the Frisian Islands. Find out why Charlie was in the custody of the Berlin River Police!

Non CA members are welcome. There is a charge of £3 for the talk, which starts at 8pm. The pub offers a special menu for these events so come to eat at 7pm. Call the Dog and Bear, Lenham, on 01622 858219 by 5pm to book your meal.

RYA Winter Workshop, Gillingham Marina, 10 Feb

Why not sign up for the next RYA development workshop to find out how to develop a grant or fund application? The workshop will be held at Gillingham Marina on 10 February 2016. More details…

Rochester Bridge span closures, 3-5 Feb – UPDATED

Peel Ports have issued a Notice to Mariners concerning structural inspection works and span closures on Rochester Rail Bridge. Inspections and subsequent span closures will be carried out on a span by span basis:

  • 03-02-2016 low water slack at 0040hrs Rochester span
  • 04-02-2016 low water slack at 0207hrs Span 2
  • 05-02-2016 low water slack at 0328hrs Span 3 and Sole street span

Only one span will be closed to navigation at any one time. It is estimated that span closures will be between 1 hour before LW and 2 hours after LW.  A closed span will be identified by the suspension of three RED disks at the points of an equilateral triangle with the apex downwards and the base horizontal; by night by three RED lights in a similar position to the discs exhibited by day. The RED disks or lights will be suspended from the centre of the span. The safety boat ‘Dentex II’ will be in attendance during the diving operations and will maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch74.

The Gates are Open in Faversham Creek

LFaversham Creek Gatesast week, the gates at the entrance of the Basin were opened in a joint exercise between Peel Ports and the Faversham Creek Navigation Co. A large amount of accumulated rubbish was removed from behind the gates enabling the right hand gate to be fully opened but the left hand gate can only be half opened due to a problem with the hinges. However, this is enough space for the some dredging equipment to be brought through, so that dredging operations can start in the next few weeks. Read more…

Swale Estuary declared an MCZ

Today the Government has declared the “Swale Estuary” among 23 new Marine Conservation Zones.  This designation is intended to protect fragile environments, ecosystems and threatened species though no management measures have been agreed or even proposed so it is impossible for boating organisations to know how they will be affected and to comment in any useful way. The Medway Estuary was previously declared an MCZ in Tranche 1. Read more…

Medway River Festival, Sat 9 July 2016

At last a date has been fixed for the Medway River Festival: Saturday 9 July 2016. This year the MSBA will assisting Medway Council with the planning of the water-based activities, which will start at 13.30 (high tide will be at 16.00).

Nick Ardley: A Barging Childhood and Beyond, Thurs 14 Jan

Nick ArdleyThis month’s Winter Warmer is brought to you by the Cruising Association Kent Section is by Nick Ardley – A Barging Childhood and Beyond: The Story of an Essex Sailor. This talk will take you on a journey which began in the early 1950s when Nick’s parents bought a spritsail barge to live and go yachting on. She was the May Flower, built in 1888. The tribulations and joys of a barging childhood are looked at before, with time moving on, Nick leaves home, first, as an engineer officer at sea, then for married life too. His girl, a Midlands’s maiden, was soon introduced to the silt laden waters of the Thames estuary.

We then follow Nick and his mate on a passage around the East Coast’s rivers between North Kent and mid Suffolk aboard their Finesse 24, Whimbrel. As they weave in and out of muddy creeks, Nick watches as the world passes slowly by, wondering. Once at anchor, we find that Nick is just as likely to continue exploring in a gunter dinghy, sometimes ‘dragging’ his mate with him, to search for the lost world that rests amongst our salt marsh and mud.

Non CA members are welcome. There is a charge of £3 for the talk, which starts at 8pm. The pub offers a special menu for these events so come to eat at 7pm. Call the Dog and Bear, Lenham, on 01622 858219 by 5pm to book your meal.

Sun Pier update

Hayley Taylor of Medway Council informs us that WPH Marine will be commencing the works to Sun Pier on Monday 11 January and the barge will be arriving around midday.  As advised previously, the barge will be moored on the old dolphins adjacent to the pier. The works are scheduled to take place over a 9 week period, and during this time access to the pontoon will not be obstructed.