The MSBA is sad to learn that on 14 December the Morning Star Trust decommissioned its flagship vessel Morning Star of Revelation in a moving ceremony at Chatham Marina. The 19-metre, gaff-rigged ferro-cement ketch with its distinctive maroon sails has been a familiar sight on the Medway when she was not away in the Baltic or even further away. Officially a “tall ship”, Morning Star is the oldest purpose-built sail training vessel in the UK Sail Training fleet and has been in continuous service since 1978.
The MST is a Christian sail training organisation based in Chatham. The Trust’s remaining vessel is an 11-metre Westerly Oceanquest called Bright Star and we understand that a larger, more up to date vessel is being sought to replace Morning Star.
On Thursday, 12 December 2019, we will have minced pies and mulled wine during the break. James and Carol Littlewood will be stepping in at short notice with an exciting and well humoured talk as, unfortunately, the talk on Morning Star and the Morning Star Trust has been cancelled at very short notice, more details on the night .
Having “sailed” the coastline from the Norwegian Arctic Circle to La Rochelle, James and Carol Littlewood decided it was time to visit the “inside”. In 2014 they started to explore in a “motor boat” the gutters of France, the ditches of Belgium, the canals of the Netherlands and the big waterways of Germany. James will talk about some of the differences between “outside and inside”, will compare locks with crocodiles and will give us a glimpse of French champagne country and the German Mecklenburg Lakes.
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.
Network Rail have announced that, due to mechanical failure, the Kingsferry Bridge will be inoperative and unable to be lifted until further notice. Efforts to repair the fault will commence on Monday 18th November 2019 but timescales for normal service restoration are unknown.
Congregate at Gillingham Marina in the Quarterdeck Cafe 3.00pm for 3.15pm walk to the Medway Queen. Limited parking space available on Gillingham Pier for those that need them. Tour of the Medway Queen at 3.30pm, 5.00pm for 5:30pm Heroine of Dunkirk Talk and buffet! Tickets are £7 each. Tickets available by phoning Gillingham Marina on 01634 280022.
An illustrated talk by Frances Beaumont about John Oliver who was a tug man on ‘Hobbit’ on the River Medway for 40 years. John was born without hands and two short arms and became very adept with his feet. Many people in Medway knew him – he was quite a character. He was also a trained artist with an NDD and had many other jobs. Booking is essential for this free event at Rochester Library, Eastgate, Rochester ME1 1EW on Wednesday 9 October from 2.30 to 4 pm. To book call 01634 337799.
Mick Nolan of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust has written an excellent account of a practice session with the MSBA’s rescue dummy “BOB”. Click below to read or download the article. Contact the MSBA via firstname.lastname@example.org if your club or organisation wants to borrow BOB.
There’s nowhere better to be than at sea to watch the 50-odd traditional vessels that are expected to attend. But for those not afloat there are good vantage points at the point at Harty Ferry, on Tankerton slopes and down at Herne Bay where competitors round the outer mark just off the pier. The first start is at 10.30 from Sand End in the East Swale and you can expect vessels to heading back into the Swale around 2pm onwards. More info at www.kentishsail.org