The crew of the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) were called by the UK Coastguard at 8.33am on Friday 13 October reporting that a yacht had run aground on Hoo Island in the River Medway with its sails still set. The crew located the craft at 9.09am and found the yacht hard aground on the island. The single male occupant of the craft reported that he lived onboard the boat and was quite happy to await the next high tide to re-float him and then make his way back to his mooring at Strood. The ILB was released at 9.26am and was back on station at 9.50am. Weather conditions at the time of the incident were fair with the wind SW force 5.
The nameless blue yacht was evicted from Sun Pier and then moored unsuccessfully on the Historic Dockyard slipway, as shown in this photo taken on Sunday. The vessel, which has been the subject of more than one RNLI call out, has now been towed away to Sheerness. Medway VTS informed us that the boat will be held until the owner comes forward with proof that he has a legitimate mooring for it. Well done Peel Ports!
Poorly marked lobster pots and fishing gear are the most difficult and unpredictable hazard facing coastal cruising people. Fishermen, too, report the loss of expensive gear as a result of entanglements. These encounters could even be life-threatening. In one year alone the RNLI dealt with 295 incidents of fouled propellers. Most Cruising Association members say they would try to sort the problem out themselves so this could be a fraction of the actual number. One lifeboat station said 25% of their call-outs were purely from boats caught up in fishing gear.
Nick Ardley is an eccentric, an anachronism from a simpler age, for the way he sails his clinker sloop around the Thames estuary. In Rochester to Richmond: A Thames Estuary Sailor’s View. The book is a reflective journey between Rochester and London, a path once of commerce, but now pleasure. Rochester was of immense importance to Britain’s past trading richness too. The belching chimneys pouring acrid fumes and cement dust have evaporated. Oil refineries have slipped away, but wharves lining the banks survive. As a distraction, he wanders a little above Rochester and then again, a little above the Pool of London towards Richmond. Between, he lands amongst the marsh and mud, finding graves and farmsteads enveloped in purslane and lavender. Many towns sailed past were part of this heritage, supplying building materials and food carried by the tan-sailed barge to London. Ardley dips and dabbles into these communities and explores how they have transformed.
Nick will have copies available on Whimbrel at the Queenborough Classic Boat Festival on 9+10 September.
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.
Nigel Rigby on Captain James Cook RN – Britain’s greatest mariner explorer, navigator, cartographer. Nigel works for the National Maritime Museum, which holds world-class collections of Cook-related material. The Museum has staged Cook exhibitions and galleries since it first opened in 1937, and it is currently developing a new gallery which is due to open in 2018, on the anniversary of Cook’s departure from Deptford. Nigel’s talk will look at how the Museum’s displays of Cook have changed over the years and how they are planning to use him in the new gallery.
The Cruising Association Kent Section Winter Warmers are held at The Dog & Bear Hotel, The Square, Lenham, ME17 2PG. Situated 8 miles east of Maidstone, just off the A20 in the village square. All are welcome. There is a small charge of £3. Many eat beforehand and it helps speed up service if you telephone the pub on 01622 858219 and order your meal before 5pm.