Your Brexit questions answered, 2 Oct

Howard Pridding (RYA Director of External Affairs) and Stuart Carruthers (RYA Cruising Manager) will give an online presentation from 7.30 pm on Friday 2 October, with opportunity for questions. Registration is required and attendance is free. We hope it will help to clarify things for boaters about 2021 and beyond.  Register at www.ryabrexitforum2020.eventbrite.co.uk

The online forum is in lieu of a face to face forum, which is now not possible following the latest government stipulations about meeting only in groups of 6. The forum is specifically being offered for boaters in the RYA London and SE region, but will be opened up to others if numbers permit. There is a limit of about 250.

The sad story of Dr Sidney Bernard

Photo Nick Ardley.

Local interest piece on BBC Southeast current,y scheduled for Wednesday 9 September at 6.30 pm: Dr Sidney Bernard, Stangate Quarantine Station and the brave doctor’s burial site – “the loneliest grave in England.” The programme will be available for 24 hours after screening. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000mjqy/south-east-today-evening-news-09092020

Another cargo arriving by sail…

The sailing vessel De Gallant is returning to our shores with a cargo of olive oil, olives, wine, coffee and chocolate, almonds, chick peas, pinto beans, sea salt and honey. Here’s the schedule, subject to wind and weather:

Friday 18th SeptemberDe Gallant arrives into Ramsgate Harbour, where friends and partners Kent Sail Cargo will be hosting a day of unloading and collections. Whilst in the harbour we’ll also trans-load the London cargo on to Sailing Barge Dawn, for the final leg of the journey up the Thames estuary.
We’re offering the opportunity to be on board Dawn as she sails up to St Katherine Docks. Be part of these inaugural sail cargo charters which are available for two stages of the journey:
Monday 21st: join at Queenborough Harbour or Leigh-on-sea for the passage to Gravesend, with an unloading at Tilbury.
Tuesday 22nd: join at Gravesend for the meandering course into central London, through the Thames Barrier, passed Greenwich, around the Isle of Dogs to St Katherine Docks.
Wednesday 23rd we will host the London collection event at St Katherine Docks for customers who have placed their orders.

An unusual request

Welders at the Dockyard called these low, stable working platforms “soggy logs”. John Sutton, owner of the Russian submarine, lost his when it was “borrowed.” He says, “it was about 15ft x 6ft with low freeboard so ideal for working from, 4ft thick so very stable.” He asks if anyone has seen it or can offer him something similar. It doesn’t have to be quite as big as the one in the photo. Please let us know at info@msba.org.uk and we’ll pass on the message.

Have you seen this boat? FOUND

Image from MSBA CCTV camera.

This little red boat called Glug Glug was deliberately cast adrift in the early hours of 24 August. It was attached to the fence outside Medway Cruising Club at Gillingham Strand. It probably drifted down the river and may be beached somewhere. If you have any information please contact info@msba.org.uk and we will pass it on to the owner.

UPDATE 26.8.2020: We understand from our friends at Queenborough Harbour that the boat was recovered from Darnet Ness yesterday and is now with Kent Police at Sheerness.

LNG Terminal Exclusion Zones

Peel Ports have issued a reminder to observe the exclusion zones in relation to the Isle of Grain LNG Terminal Jetties in Saltpan Reach. Infringement of the exclusion zones may result in prosecution:

1. When there is no LNG vessel berthed at the LNG Terminal no vessel (including pleasure vessels, PWC’s, fishing boats etc.) shall navigate within that part of the River Medway which is within an arc measuring 150 metres in any direction from the cargo transfer arms at the LNG Terminals. The cargo transfer arms are located at the following approximate position:
Terminal No.10 51° 25.9405’N 00° 42.5448’E
Terminal No.8 51° 25.9309’N 00° 42.1760’E

2. When there is an LNG vessel moored at the LNG Terminal no vessel (including pleasure vessels, PWC’s, fishing boats etc.) other than those attending the LNG terminal which are authorised by the Harbour Master or the operator of the LNG Terminal, shall enter any part of the River Medway which is within an arc measuring 250 metres (berth exclusion zone) in any direction from the cargo transfer arms of the LNG Terminal.

3. When there is an LNG vessel moored at the LNG terminal, the speed of all passing vessels navigating outside of the berth exclusion zone should not exceed 7.5 knots through the water whilst transiting.

Montgomery explosion could be even worse than Beirut

While we’ve all been horrified by the massive explosion that devastated Beirut, Tim Bell from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club says that we have an even bigger disaster waiting to happen right on our doorstep.

On the wreck of the Richard Montgomery, just off Sheerness, there remain 3632 tons of ordnance, the equivalent of about 1400 tons of TNT. The 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate responsible for the Beirut explosion was as effective as about 1000 tons of TNT. This means that the wreck has considerably more explosive power than the dreadful explosion in Lebanon. It is also thought not all of the 2750 tons actually exploded.

Tim predicts that if one of the bombs from the Montgomery were to end up in the Medway Approach Channel, just yards away, where LNG tankers pass by with little water under their keels, the result could be horrific. He has proposed that the wreck should have a fog horn or a virtual AIS aid to navigation.