Clipper Fleet to call at Queenborough, 30 August

Twelve 70 foot Clipper yachts will arrive on Sunday evening for an overnight stay ahead of the start on Monday for the 2015 Round the World Clipper race. Queenborough Harbour Trust’s patron, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, will also be arriving Sunday evening. As a result, overnight berthing in the harbour will be severely limited to just the two yellow buoys, each taking 4 boats and any available single buoys. As usual, overnights stays will be on a first come, first served basis.

Buoyage changes in East Swin

East Swin Buoyage Changes

Chart Copyright Imray

Roger Gaspar’s Crossing the Thames Estuary website points out that if you take the popular route up the East Swin to Essex, via the South Whitaker buoy, there are some major chart corrections to make “following a survey”. On about 14 September, Trinity House will be moving the S Whitaker SHB, West Hook Middle PHB and NE Maplin SHB from the East Swin to Middle Deep where they will be renamed Maplin Approach, East Maplin and Maplin Middle respectively.

UPDATE: As the NE Maplin buoy is just inside the firing range, and has been for a very long time, it seems the changes are simply to protect us from getting shot at. However there is nothing to stop us following the old route, which many of us have in our GPSs.

Trinity House NTM 23 of 2015…

Tug Kent in dramatic helicopter rescue

A superb video by Ted Ingham

A man who had become ill on the tug Kent was rescued by a Coastguard helicopter near the Montgomery wreck on Monday. The veteran 1948 tug was returning from a maritime festival in Ipswich. Also on the scene were the Kent Police RIB and the Sheerness all-weather lifeboat. A pilot cutter also offered assistance. Your webmaster also happened to be passing and watched the drama unfolding from a distance. The casualty was treated on board the tug by a paramedic from the helicopter, then airlifted to Ashford. We understand that, happily, he has now been discharged.

Thames Marine Mammal Survey surprises

Marine Mammals

Have you been reporting sightings of marine mammals to ZSL? This report shows there are surprising numbers in the Thames Estuary, which includes the Medway and Swale for these porpoises… If you see a marine mammal please report the sighting.

Sailpast in memory of Roger Frankland Haile, 22 August

This Saturday, the Medway River Users Association, the MSBA’s partner for the non-tidal Medway, is organising a sailpast in memory of Roger Frankland Haile of Bow Bridge Marina. There will be a large number of craft on the river between
EFCC- HYCC land and all the moorings at Wateringbury. The sailpast will commence from HYCC land at 10.50 at dead slow pace. Passing Roger’s bench at Bow Bridge Marina they will salute and sound horns, proceeding up river past the moorings where they will turn and repeat the salute, then downstream back to HYCC and EFCC land and return to moorings. From 1pm everyone is invited to the Rally Camping field where Sue has laid on some entertainment. A fitting tribute to a much loved and respected gentleman. Please feel free to attend.

Firearms seized near Cuxton Marina

Guns and ammo sezed at Cuxton MarinaSeven people have been charged after firearms and rounds of ammunition were seized from Cuxton Marina in Kent. Officers detained three men and a woman near the A228, while a further three men were arrested in Orpington, and another in Swanley. The NCA seized 22 automatic assault rifles, 9 Skorpion machine pistols, 58 magazines, two silencers and approximately 1,000 live rounds of ammunition. The guns were found in holdalls and a suitcase, which also contained numerous magazines and ammunition, from a van as it left Cuxton Marina. It followed the arrival of the motor cruiser Albernina, which had travelled to the UK from France. Read more…

UPDATE: Locals advise that the van was stopped not at Cuxton Marina but at Trenchman’s Wharf, just a little way upstream, where the tug Pelikaan has sunk (see earlier article).

Get On the Water at Gillingham Marina, Sun 16 August

Gillingham Marina on the water

This year’s On the Water Event will see the RIBs from Medway Watersports once again taking to the water showing the public what the sport has to offer and training available.

Boating on the Medway 1949-1995

Some fascinating old cine film from the Medway Archive and Local Studies Centre

These are large files (35-45MB) in Windows Movie format (.wmv). Definitely not HD!

Lifeboat searches for lone sailor in Medway Estuary

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat Eleanor’ were called at 4.15pm on Monday 3 August to the assistance of the 23 foot craft ‘Serendipity’ with one man on board, reportedly aground off Bartlett Creek, which is in the Lower Rainham area of the River Medway. The ILB arrived at the reported area but could find no trace of the casualty. A search of the area up to Kingsnorth was made, again with no result. The search was then expanded to the areas of Stangate and Sharfleet Creeks. The casualty was eventually found ‘hard aground’ on Slayhill Marsh, a remote area between Lower Halstow and the Sheppey Crossing – a long way from the first reported position.

The crew of the ILB secured an anchor to the craft and the owner was then brought ashore to the safety of the lifeboat station at Sheerness. Lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said, “the craft was left high and dry on a mud bank and will be very difficult to re-float. The Medway mud gets everywhere.” After a thorough clean, the ILB and crew were ready for service again at 6.30pm.

Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match, Sat 8 August

Swale Smack & Sailing Barge MatchFor the 43rd year, the Kentish Sail Association (affiliated to the RYA) presents “probably the largest traditional boat gathering on the East Coast.”

For more details visit