3 metre storm surge tonight

Storm surgeOwing to the low pressure system passing over the southern North Sea, the tide at Sheerness is forecast to be three metres over the astronomical prediction at about 9pm this evening. Fortunately this does not coincide with high water. Our friends up the East Coast and over on the Continent may not be so lucky.

Dolphins spotted in Medway


Photo Ken Waller

A common dolphin, not so common in the Medway, photographed by a member of Hoo Ness YC from a boat coincidentally called Dolphin

See more pics…

Porpoises return to Medway – UPDATED

There have been several sightings (including by your webmaster) of harbour porpoises in the Medway in the last few weeks, as far up as Rochester Bridge. The presence of these small members of the dolphin family suggests a good supply of fish, probably as a result of tighter environmental legislation and the decline of local industry. These mammals are shy and if you blink you miss them! If you are lucky enough to get a photo please send it to webmaster@msba.org.uk

UPDATE: A couple of porpoises have been spotted as far upstream as Rochester Cruising Club. Any advance?

Marine planning: next phase announced

The Marine Management Organisation announces the next phase of English marine plans, along with updates on the South and East Marine Plans. Marine planning events are taking place the week of Monday 11 April.  The events are an introduction to marine planning, for you to meet your local marine planner and to find out more about what marine planning involves, and how you can get involved. The MMO will also be demonstrating their Marine Information System and the evidence base where you can view some of the evidence already gathered for your area.

The events are open sessions, including a number of scheduled presentations on marine planning. These will be held hourly, beginning at the start times shown below.

South East

  • Whitstable: 11 April, 9am to 12pm, Whitstable Waterfront, CT5 2BP
  • London: 13 April, 9am to 12pm, Mary Sumner House, SW1P 3RB
  • Colchester: 15 April, 9am to 12pm, Lake View Room University of Essex, CO4 3SQ

For more information regarding marine planning in the South East, please contact Peter Cosgrove, London, Peter.cosgrove@marinemanagement.org.uk

Swale Estuary declared an MCZ

Today the Government has declared the “Swale Estuary” among 23 new Marine Conservation Zones.  This designation is intended to protect fragile environments, ecosystems and threatened species though no management measures have been agreed or even proposed so it is impossible for boating organisations to know how they will be affected and to comment in any useful way. The Medway Estuary was previously declared an MCZ in Tranche 1. Read more…

Bringing life back to the Westbrook Stream

Tim Stonor helps to clear debris from Westbrook Stream Credit: Fiona Hanson
Tim Stonor uses a punt to clears debris from Westbrook Stream. Credit: Fiona Hanson

Friends of Westbrook Stream and Stonebridge Pond, near Faversham, have cleared vegetation and rubbish, monitored invasive species, dredged silt and started ecological surveys. They have been supported by supported by the Environment Agency, the Medway & Swale Estuary Partnership and Swale Borough Council. To enable the clearance work, the group commissioned a punt to be built by a group of unemployed locals led by shipwright Alan Thorne from the Purifier Yacht and Dinghy Company. Read more in the Telegraph

Exceptional High Tides Warning

Peel Ports have issued a Notice to Mariners regarding the highest tidal predictions of the natural 19 year astronomical cycle. There will be a number of exceptionally high (and low) tides during the period of September 2015 to January 2016, the most notable high tides being:

  • 27th – 30th September 2015
  • 27th – 30th October 2015
  • 25th – 27th December 2015
  • 11th – 14th January 2016

In addition to the exceptional high tide levels there will be increased tidal flows.

Thames Marine Mammal Survey surprises

Marine Mammals

Have you been reporting sightings of marine mammals to ZSL? This report shows there are surprising numbers in the Thames Estuary, which includes the Medway and Swale for these porpoises… If you see a marine mammal please report the sighting.

Hoo Island to receive massive quantities of soil

Hoo IslandAnyone passing Hoo Island will have noticed the earth moving machines and lorries. It has emerged that Peel Ports have arranged to accept massive quantities of spoil material from works to replace London’s Victorian water mains system. The island is a registered landfill site and was used by the naval dockyard and the port authority for all kinds of unwanted material. In a somewhat confusing press release from Thames Water, it is claimed that migrating and nesting birds on the “bird island” will be safe from foxes and cats. The spoil is being brought by barge rather than lorry, reducing congestion on our roads. Moreover, and not least, Thames Water will save huge amounts of money by not having to pay landfill tax. Read more…

Seal spotted at Allington Lock

seal at AllingtonThis young fellow was seen resting on the frame of the sluice gate of the weir adjacent to the lock. Another seal was seen in 2008 swimming as far up as East Farleigh lock, apparently going back and forth freely through the sluice gates at high tide. Read more…