The Environment Agency, which manages the non-tidal Medway, is reported to be confident that East Farleigh Lock will reopen on the afternoon of Friday 21 July. There may be a scramble as boats which have waiting all season to move up or down the river will take the opportunity to move.
Peel Ports have issued a list of obsolete or missing navigation marks that are to be deleted from Trinity House’s records. At the end of this list is the Mid Cant beacon, a lit north cardinal beacon marking the end of the submarine barrier off the north coast of Sheppey, to be reclassified as “ruin”. As this is an important aid to navigation for boats, including fishing vessels, using the Four Fathom Channel between the Medway and Ramsgate we have requested that the mark be maintained but otherwise it should be removed entirely so that it does not itself become a hazard.
You are invited to submit comments to Capt. Ian Clark AFRIN AFNI, Manager Marine Operations, by 30 June 2017.
Peel Ports advise that the Traffic Warning Light on top of the Garrison Point Fort is no longer operative. It was a bright white light that flashed every seven seconds by day and night to warn of large (>130 metres LOA) vessels underway in the buoyed channel as follows:
- When such a vessel was inward bound between the Medway Buoy and Darnett Ness the light shone in an upriver direction.
- When such a vessel was outward bound between Darnett Ness and the Medway Buoy the light shone in a seaward direction.
On the evening of 17 June from 21.40 to 22.40, a Temporary Exclusion Zone will be established from a line drawn perpendicularly across the river from Upnor Jetty (51°24.56´N 000°31.80´E) to a line drawn perpendicularly across the river at Whitewall Creek (51°23.90´N 000°31.40´E) as shown on the chartlet (left).
Between these times no vessel shall navigate, anchor or be secured to a mooring buoy, within the area, without the express permission of the Harbour Master.
The Temporary Exclusion Zone will be in place to facilitate the safe conduct of a firework and water screen display (“Medway In Flames”). Six barges will be positioned in the following locations:
- 51° 24.22´ N 000° 31.82´ E
- 51° 24.38´ N 000° 31.88´ E
- 51° 24.06´ N 000° 31.72´ E
- 51° 24.08´ N 000° 31.59´ E
- 51° 24.20´ N 000° 31.64´ E
- 51° 24.32´ N 000° 31.68´ E
Pontoons will run between the barges positioned on the west side of the river. Medway VTS will broadcast the start and completion of the exclusion zone on VHF 74. Mariners are reminded that no vessel shall navigate at a speed above 6 knots through the water Westwards of Folly Point.
The MSBA visitor charts (one for the Medway and one for the Swale) have been updated for 2017 and can be downloaded from our Navigation page or here. The charts show the locations of most MSBA members and key visitor attractions. We recommend you print this document double-sided on A4 and then laminate it.
If you are visiting the Medway for the Battle of Medway events in June and have been allocated a guest mooring, you can find its location on this chart.
In addition to the delay in repairing the lock wall, a pair of Grey Wagtails have made a nest in a key part of the construction site. The contractors are unable to work near the nest until the young birds have fledged. The earliest date for the lock to re-open is now 21 July. The footpath and canoe portage remain passable.
UPDATE: The fledglings have now flown so the lock is expected to open by 21 July.
The people of Faversham have voted by a large majority for the Creek Neighbourhood Plan, which was a condition by Swale Borough Council for the release of £200,000 to restore the swing bridge at the head of the Creek. Opening the bridge will enable regeneration of the Creek Basin, with wharves and dredging, to improve navigability along the Creek, increase tourism and make the area a great place for residents too.
Anchoring in Stangate Creek in the heart of the Medway Estuary, which is a Marine Conservation Zone, is to be prohibited from today, April 1st, following the discovery of several colonies of tentacled lagoon worms Alkmaria romijni. These creatures normally only grow to a few millimetres but in the unique environmental conditions of the creek several specimens have been found up to a metre long hiding in the hitherto unsuspected coral formations. Known until now only to local fishermen, who used to supply the delicacy to the scampi factory in Queenborough, the worms are thought to have arrived on the bottoms of ships quarantined in the creek in the nineteenth century. A spokesman for the harbour authority, now known as Peel Ports London, announced that special worm-friendly moorings for recreational boaters will be installed using funds accumulated over many years from conservancy fees.
Weather permitting, on Wednesday at 0900, two more buildings (the dust precipatators) will be blown up. The 198 metre high chimney will be demolished before the end of this year.
Contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency have discovered a major structural issue with a large section of lock wall behind the left-hand tail lock gate. This entire section of the lock now requires a complete demolition and full rebuild. This unforeseen work will take a further 12 weeks to complete. It is therefore anticipated that the lock will remain closed until the end of June 2017.
For more detailed information from MRUA see Reply.