Dunkirk Little Ships come to Chatham, 24-26 May 2014

Association of Dunkirk Little ShipsThe 2014 Commemorative Cruise will see the Little Ships visiting Chatham on the River Medway. Over 20 Little Ships are expected to attend from the Medway, Thames, South and East Coast.

Little Ships will be mooring on the Home & Communities agency (HCA) pontoon which is located in Basin 1 by the HMS Chatham Bridge, access to the pontoon will be through MDL Chatham Maritime Marina lock on River Medway.

For more information see http://www.adls.org.uk/t1/content/commemorative-cruise-2014-chatham-kent

Queenborough All Tide Landing open again

Some intrepid yachtspersons (including your webmaster) have once again been able to walk ashore with dry feet at Queenborough thanks to repairs being made by Queenborough Yacht Club. Once these repairs are complete, the ATL will be handed over to Queenborough Harbour Trust. Meanwhile please take great care on the walkway.

Phil Shaw says that short stays (up to 4 hours) on the visitor moorings are free but the trot boat is £1 for a return trip to shore. If you pay for a mooring the trot boat service is included.

Read more…

Kingsferry Bridge problems resurface

After a few years of much improved operation, we are once more receiving reports of excessive delays at Kingsferry Bridge, which is supposed to open once an hour on request. The bridge is operated by Network Rail. If you cannot get a response from the bridge operator on VHF channel 10, or you are held up for an excessive time, please contact Medway VTS on VHF channel 74 and ask for the incident to be recorded.

Delays at the bridge can seriously affect the viability of Queenborough Harbour as a destination for visiting yachts. It can also jeopardise the safety of boats heading for moorings in the Swale creeks due to their limited tidal access.

See also
Boat hits Kingsferry Bridge
Sailing barge Repertor hits Kingsferry Bridge

Gillingham Marina “On the Water”, Sat 17 May 2014

If you want to try out an Alto two person, single trapeze, club racing dinghy, pop over to Gillingham Marina between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Saturday after supporting your club’s Push The Boat Out event . In conjunction with the Medway Watersports Centre you can also try out a RIB. The latest Suzumar and Sun sport inflatable dinghies are on show in the chandlery where VAT-free deals are on offer betwen 9am and 4.30pm.

Octopus spotted in Gillingham Marina

octopusAn unexpected visitor could still be lurking at a marina – after it surprised fishermen and onlookers by swimming into Gillingham’s waters. A red octopus was spotted by the marina wall near the hoists where the boats are taken in and out of the water.

Harbour master, Kevin Dutch, said he popped in to work at the weekend and saw a lot of people standing around looking at the water. The octopus was spotted in Gillingham Marina on Saturday. Mr Dutch, 33, said: “It’s not something you normally see here. I’ve been here eight years, its the first time I’ve seen one of them. The crabs were trying to attack it, and it was attacking the crabs. It’s not something you normally see here. I’ve been here eight years, its the first time I’ve seen one of them.”

The marina was holding a Boat and Chandlery Fair, and Mr Dutch said he thinks it could have attached itself to one of the boats and hitched a lift into the marina or managed to swim in whilst the lock gates were open. At the moment it is unclear if the strange guest is still swimming around the marina.Mr Dutch said it could have made its way back out, but added that people were talking about catching it and releasing it out at sea. He said it would have to be released about a mile out to sea as “they are very intelligent creatures and it could find its way back”.

The species of the octopus remains a mystery, but a spokesman for the Kent Wildlife Trust said he believed it was a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).

Push the Boat Out Weekend, 17-18 May 2014

If you’d like to have a go at boating, pop along to Wilsonian Sailing Club (dinghy sailing) on Saturday 1000-1700 or Medway Yacht Club (sailboat and powerboat tasters) on Saturday 1100-1600 or Sunday 1000-1300. These clubs are members of the MSBA and will be keen to “show you the ropes.”

Sail Past the Festival, 12 July

If you have an interesting boat, please join the Sail Past at this year’s Medway River Festival on 12 July. Download the Sail Past Form and send it to Sue Harding, Senior Events Officer at Medway Council, sue.harding (at) medway.gov.uk or phone 01634 338176.

Also if you can assist with organising Sail Past, please contact Cllr Kelly Tolhurst urgently, kellytolhurst (at) hotmail.co.uk

The MSBA’s Classic Boat Event will take place at the same time so if your boat is a classic, please contact Brian Corbett, BrianACorbett (at) aol.com