At the Peel Ports Leisure Users Forum, held virtually on 25 February, our harbour authority announced several new vessels.
This brand new all-electric (zero emissions) vessel is purpose-built to scoop up floating debris, a ton at a time. This week, after trials at Chatham, “Gannet” will be deployed above Aylesford, where there are lots of floating logs and other hazardous debris to clear.
April 2021 will see the first Medway trial of the group’s remotely operated survey craft ‘Fitzroy’. Should be fun!
The Cruising Association Kent Section’s brilliant “winter warmer” talks, organised by Clifford Mickleburgh, have not stopped for Covid. All of us, CA member or not, can enjoy them online. This month’s talk is by Adam Taylor who regularly represents Medway Council at MSBA meetings. Clifford had a preview and was amazed at how much there is to learn about the Medway, Adam has put in a lot of energy researching his presentation and you will not be disappointed. Here’s a taste: * Deadman’s Island: Kent’s terrifying forgotten island littered with human remains. * Tom Court Island and the German U-Boat. * William Turner’s painting at Stangate Creek.
This is the River Medway that nobody knows and yet we enjoy sailing up and down this fascinating river. And then we have the Reculver smugglers battling with the Excise officers; the once inhabited islands and the fortress islands. But don’t let us spoil it for you, this is a river that nobody knows, a talk not to be missed.
APOLOGY: We’re sorry that the number of people trying to access Adam’s excellent presentation very quickly exceeded Clifford’s Zoom limit of 100, far more than have previously attended a CA winter warmer meeting. Furthermore the session was not recorded – unless someone knows differently. We’ll try to make sure this doesn’t happen next time!
HOWEVER, for those who missed out, Adam repeated the talk on Tuesday 23 Feb at 7pm.
Bookings for this year’s RYA Cruising Conference are now open! The online event has a packed schedule to interest regular and novice cruisers alike. Topics will include real-life stories from fellow cruisers, as well as practical cruising advice from the RYA experts and all the latest updates on travelling around the EU.
Places are free for RYA Members and just £10 for non-members. Tickets will allow you access to not only the live speaker sessions but also to the exhibition area where you will be able to visit virtual stands and chat with experts. You can also learn more about the current trends in the cruising world by watching the pre-recorded presentations and videos.
The Forth Umpire was out yesterday collecting hazardous debris between Chatham and Peters bridge after the previous day’s tidal surge. Note that the majority of floating debris is sawn logs, believed to originate from tree lopping upstream on the non-tidal Medway.
The RYA’s annual Cruising Conference will take place as an online event next year on 21 March 2021. The conference promises to cover the issues that matter most to cruisers, including post-Brexit guidance, training insights, real-life stories from fellow cruisers, as well as the latest developments in safety and more.
Although the event cannot be held in-person this year the conference will still deliver informative and eye-opening talks from a range of speakers. There will also be opportunities for the audience to get involved and a chance to put questions to the experts.
Briggs Marine, working for Peel Ports, have cleared over 5 tons of debris from the river this week between Halling and Elmhaven Marina. A new purpose-built, electric “Waterwitch” vessel, that can pass under Aylesford Bridge, will soon be deployed to keep the upper reaches clear.
Video by Rod North. River Medway 25/02/2019. Allington to Queenborough via Rochester and Chatham by barge Viator. Set off in the dark and frost followed by fog and then pleasant sunshine on the estuary.
Peel Ports advise that television filming work is due to take place on and around the Kingsferry Bridge over the weekend of 24/25 October 2020. The filming will require navigational restrictions to be imposed on the river adjacent to and either side of the bridge for two specified periods. Whilst work is underway an exclusion zone will be established and policed by three GPS Marine vessels who will prevent any craft from entering the area. The GPS Vincia and crane barge RODMA will be stationed north of the bridge and the Felucca will be south side, both vessels will be assisted by a GPS Marine RIB, all craft will maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 74. Network Rail will also be conducting engineering work on the bridge from 00:01 to 12:00 on Sunday 25th October. Restrictions will be as follows: 24.10.2020 – 12:00 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered. 25.10.2020 – 00:01 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered.
Peel Ports advise that on 11 October 2020 from 0800 to 1800 there will be an inspection of the Rochester Rail Bridge structure which will cause some disruption to river traffic. The bridge investigation work will be carried out by rope access teams and will be completed in two stages. Span closures will be imposed whilst inspections are underway and two safety boats will be deployed beneath operational areas to police traffic, the safety craft will be monitoring VHF channel 74 at all times.
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.