Porpoises visit the Medway

David Metcalfe of Lower Halstow Yacht Club saw a pair of harbour porpoises in the mouth of the Medway yesterday. Here’s one of them!

Do you recognise this boat?

Kevin Duvall of Kent Wildlife Trust has contacted the MSBA because no-one else was able to help trace this boat. For several weeks a blue cabin cruiser has been stranded on the shingle bank at Castle Coote between Whitstable and Faversham. There are no identification marks on the boat to enable tracing of the owner. Worryingly, it is very close to a nesting site for little terns, a bird almost extinct as a breeding species in Kent.

If you have any information please email info@msba.org.uk and we will pass it on.

Guardians of the Deep Beach Clean, 12 April

Join Guardians of the Deep for a Family Beach Clean at Lower Upnor from 12.00 to 14.00 on Thursday 12 April. Meet in the free public car park next to the Arethusa Centre, Lower Upnor, Rochester ME2 4XB.

Please note the shoreline is very muddy so wellies are advisable. Equipment will be provided such as bags and litter pickers. Please wear stout footwear for beach clean and wind/weatherproof clothing for weather conditions on the day.

Please email msep@medway.gov.uk to book your place, (usual office hours are Wed-Fri).

 

Kingsnorth Chimney finally falls

Video by Gavin Parson, MSBA Secretary. Taken from on board Nepos, anchored close in, and from the MSBA’s CCTV camera at Medway Cruising Club in Gillingham Reach. Commentary (“There it goes”) by MSBA Webmaster. Detonation of explosives by MSBA Patron, Kelly Tolhurst MP.

APOLOGY: Very sorry to motor boat POGLER for blocking your view. We didn’t do it on purpose, really.

NEWSFLASH: Kingsnorth Chimney Demolition postponed to 22 March

Capt Ian Clark of Peel Ports has confirmed that the demolition of the chimney has been postponed to 10:00 on Thursday 22 March because of the severe weather. All other information remains the same.

Kingsnorth Chimney demolition, NOW 22 March

Peel Ports advise that on 22 March 2018 the main chimney at Kingsnorth Power Station will be demolished by controlled explosion. An exclusion zone, patrolled by the harbourmaster’s launch WESTBOURNE and by the Marine Police Unit vessel, will be established as shown in this chartlet from 09:00 until sometime after 10:30. All vessels must keep outside the exclusion zone until the all clear is broadcast. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74 or telephone 0151 949 6656. NTM 14 of 2018 refers.

UPDATE 1.3.2018: The demolition has been postponed from 8 March.

Laser weapon to be tested at Shoeburyness

The defence project will culminate in operation at full-power under test conditions at Farnborough in summer 2018 before it is transported to MOD Shoeburyness for long-range outdoor trials later in the year. Boaters have expressed concerns that this may endanger the eyesight of mariners on recreational vessels and commercial shipping in the Thames Estuary. Read more…

 

Queenborough Harbour needs volunteers

Queenborough Harbour Trust is looking for volunteers who will help us to strengthen our focus on developing good environmental practices. This would involve assisting us with:

  • Working with environmental agencies. Currently the harbour area comes under the jurisdiction of two Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), Special Protection Area (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Natural England. We are looking for volunteers to help us interpret their requirements and represent us to them.
  • Representing the environment in our written and social media. This would include assisting with words and pictures to go into the QHT Harbour Guide, Newsletter, QHT website and Facebook. Topics would include bird, fish, mammal identification, the dangers of invasive species, current and future schemes to preserve and enhance the environment.
  • Running events in conjunction with environmental organisations such as Kent Wildlife Trust to help raise the awareness of our mooring holders, visitors and the general public of the unique environment which is on our doorstep.
  • Carrying out practical activities such as bird surveys at different times of the year, auditing QHT’s activities for their environmental impact, e.g. waste management, organising beach cleans and so on.

If you are interested, then we would very much like to hear from you and discuss the help that you can offer and the support that we can give.  Please contact the Harbour Controller on 01795 662 051 or email operations@queenborough-harbour.co.uk

Oyster trestles obstruct navigation at Whitstable

Following a complaint by Whitstable Yacht Club, a report published on the Marine Management Organisation’s website acknowledges that the presence of oyster trestles causes or is likely to cause obstruction or danger to navigation, whilst concluding that the farm’s operations are nevertheless acceptable as a low risk to marine navigation.

In response, the RYA has formally written to the Director of Marine Licensing at the MMO setting out their concerns with the report and arguing that the measures put in place since the investigation started do not negate the need for a marine licence. The RYA considers that these trestles require a full marine licence on the basis that they could cause obstruction or danger to navigation.

Read more on RYA website…

Further delay to opening of East Farleigh lock

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.