RYA Cruising/Racing Conference, Eastbourne,12 Jan 2020

This bi-annual cruising/racing conference is aimed at the motor and sailing yacht fraternity within the RYA London and SE region and is for RYA personal members, and members of RYA affiliated clubs and organisations (including the MSBA) as well as members of stakeholder organisations in the region.

It aims to provide interesting and cutting-edge talks and workshops to inspire sailors for the upcoming season, providing a forum for networking and discussion on topical issues. The event schedule can be viewed here.

The conference is free to attend with an optional £12 pre-bookable hot lunch payable at the latest on the day. Book here

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference, Maidstone, 24 Nov 2019

It’s not too late to register for this excellent conference, free to representatives of local RYA affiliated clubs. The day is a fantastic opportunity for you to meet and network with other clubs, share ideas and success stories and discuss the current issues that are having an impact, both in clubs and the sport more widely. Places for this conference are free with lunch and refreshments provided at no cost. Due to limited capacity pre-booking is essential, so get in early to avoid disappointment. This year’s conferences are about ‘Putting people first’. That means understanding what your members, volunteers and new sailors need, and putting that at the forefront of your decision making. Whether you want to grow your membership, increase your volunteer base, develop your instructors and race coaches or simply get better at retaining members of all ages, interests and abilities, you will leave with the ideas and information you need to make it happen.

To find out more and register click here.

CA Winter Warmer: Medway Pilot, Thu 14 Nov 2019

David Lloyd will reminisce about his life and times as a pilot, picking up ships off Ramsgate and advising the master of a safe route to the Medway. David’s home port was Sheerness but other ports were served including Ridham Dock and we will hear of “near misses” when the train had priority. David will describe a typical trip into the Medway and highlight occasional “difficulties” both with ships and captains. There will be much for us to learn.

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm, before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

CA Winter Warmer: Colin Brown on RNLI, Thu 10 Oct

Colin Brown has been an active boating enthusiast and, owning his own boat for most of his life, the RNLI has always been close to his heart. Having the knowledge that they were always there should he ever have the misfortune to be in trouble whilst at sea has been very comforting. The RNLI story is one that captures audiences young and old The presentation is a fast moving talk supported by video, slide and sound and tells the story of the modern RNLI operations, equipment and training Colin will also bring with him a charity box and some merchandise and leaflets

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

“Stress Free”, Hollowshore CC, Oct 19

Duncan Wells.

DUNCAN WELLS, author of the highly-regarded “Stress Free” series of instructional books and DVDs on sailing, motor boating and navigation, will be guest speaker at Hollowshore Cruising Club, Faversham, on Saturday October 19 at 7pm. There is no entry charge, and visitors are welcome. He has a wealth of experience as an RYA instructor and skipper, and as Principal of Westview Sailing School, which produces the Westview Sailing RYA shore-based Day Skipper and Yachtmaster video tutorials used by RYA students. His presentation will include “robust” techniques for casting off and coming alongside from the cockpit. Hollowshore CC’s clubhouse is at Youngboats Yard, Oare Road, Faversham ME13 7TX.

Wouldham/Halling Overhead Cable Works

Overhead works are scheduled to begin on or around 23 September 2019 across the River Medway between Wouldham Marshes and Halling, and will involve the replacement of an overhead power cable. River traffic will be monitored by a safety boat which will be on site whilst the cable pull takes place. Communications relevant to the works should be directed at the safety boat or Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74.

UPDATE 20 Sept: The work is now expected to be completed on or around 18 October. (Peel Ports Notice to Mariners No 25 of 2019)

Rochester Pier closed until further notice

Rochester Pier is closed again pending repair. This time there’s a potentially serious issue that the concrete dolphin, which links the two brows, has broken and buoyancy has become compromised. There’s a possibility of the brows becoming twisted and causing damage to the pontoon.

UPDATE: Jetstream Tours (Jacob Marley) will be using Sun Pier instead until further notice.

High and dry on Nor Marsh

Drone photo by Gavin Parson.

This cabin cruiser has been high and dry on Nor Marsh for at least a month. The Sheerness inshore lifeboat was called out by the Coastguard on 27 July to investigate but there was no-one aboard. As the boat was a metre above the high water mark it must have already been there for some days.  Please let us know if you know anything about this vessel and we’ll pass the information on. Email info@msba.org.uk

Maidstone River Festival, 27 July 2019

Thanks to sponsorship by Weston Homes, the Maidstone River Festival is back after a pause of a few years and we are planning a day all the family can enjoy. The River Festival started 40 years ago and people of all ages in Maidstone have great affection for what was the county town’s biggest annual event. We’ll have dressed up boats, raft races, fun and games for all the family. There will be illuminated boats in the evening and it will all end with a big bang as an award-winning fireworks display will go off from the top of Fremlin Walk in the town centre.

More info at www.maidstoneriverfestival.info