At the MSBA business meeting last week we were sorry to report that PC David Lavender of the Kent Police Marine Unit has retired after many years of service to the local marine community. He wrote to us in January as follows:
“I have been attending the MSBA meetings for the last eleven and a half years. I joined Kent Police Marine Unit in 2007 and one of the first things I was asked to do was to take over from Steve Elliot to become, for want of a better title, the police liaison. At the time the group was the Medway Yachting Association and Jenny Deacon was the chair. The group has gone through some changes during that time. The biggest of course was changing the name and new branding, but the group has kept the same ethos. The Medway and Swale themselves have also changed in those years, two powers stations chimneys gone! There have been a number of notable events over the years such as the Climate Camp 2008, Protester at Kingsnorth, the London Olympics, the Medway River Festival, not to mention the annual Admirals Cruise and of course Medway In Flames. I thank you from a policing perspective for your support in these, for example willingness to change race start times to avoid clashes! The marine unit has also gone through some changes during that time, which I have shared with you and you have been supportive. After thirty years of policing it is time for me to retire. I have, some of you may think, gone to the dark side and I start a new job with the Marine Management Organisation in early February. I have enjoyed the meeting and interactions, though some occasions have been challenging. Some may say this is all part of the job. I have tried to be honest and open when asked difficult questions and I know that you appreciate that. There have been things that I have achieved over the years and some I have failed to do. The lack of a proficient form of communication such as marine watch has been one of these, but hopefully when Country Eye gets into full swing this may finally happened. I thank you for the information that you have shared with us and have been willing to pass on information to your clubs and MSBA website on our behalf. Such as stolen/boats of interest and missing persons etc. I thank you for welcome and inclusiveness. You may see me again in my role with the MMO.”
We sincerely wish Dave success and satisfaction in his new role. It’s not clear at the moment who, if anyone, will replace him as our police liaison person.
Peel Ports have issued a notice that the flashing white warning light on top of Garrison Point for big ships going in or out of the Medway is now working again.
The Traffic Warning Light is positioned to assist vessels in complying with General Direction No. 10, Navigation of Vessels of more Than 130 Metres length Overall Between Sunset and Sunrise and in Restricted Visibility. The Traffic Warning Light is a white light that flashes every seven seconds and is normally exhibited by day and by night as follows; • When an inward bound vessel of more than 130 metres Length Overall is underway in the buoyed channel between the Medway Buoy and Darnett Ness the lights are exhibited in an upriver direction. • When an outward bound vessel of more than 130 metres Length Overall is underway in the buoyed channel between Darnett Ness and the Medway Buoy the lights are exhibited in a seaward direction. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148 or 0151 949 6650.
We’ve just heard from Adam Taylor of Medway Council that Sun Pier is open again following some “enhanced engagement” with the electricity supplier. Note that overnight mooring is not currently allowed but we should take every opportunity to visit the Pier and the nearby Rats Bay river moorings if we are to keep them. Use them or lose them!
Please note there is no restriction on overnight mooring for the FREE visitors’ mooring buoys in Rats Bay, close to Sun Pier. If coming ashore to experience the delights of Chatham High Street, leave your dinghy on the inside of the pontoon or in the dinghy rack. There is no charge but it will cost you a pound to buy a token from the machine to get back through the gate. Sun Pier House is well worth a visit for the cafe and art gallery with a spectacular view of the river.
Very strong winds this last weekend knocked one boat off its stand, damaging another, knocked another over on its mooring leaving it partially sunk as it didn’t right, and dislodged another which was re-propped before it went over. More at www.lhyc.org.uk
If you or your club are interested in taking part in this fund-raising charity event, visit www.medwaysunlightrotary.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Bill Parkinson on 07813 334683.
Chris Jeckells, MD of Jeckells the Sailmakers of Wroxham Norfolk and 7th generation of the sail making family will be visiting to tell us more about the history of Jeckells, a company that has been going since 1832, and the modern methods of sail making, including different types of cloth, panel configuration, etc Chris will also be giving away a FREE Jeckells crew jacket worth £129.99 to the first person drawn at random from entries on the evening, where you simply have to answer 3 questions correctly. All the answers will be contained within the talk.
Other forthcoming Kent Cruising Association “Winter Warmer” talks: ◾11 April: Dick Holness, East Coast Pilot More information on the CA Kent Winter Warmer 2018 – 2019 programme… We are all invited to these excellent 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 7-choice menu is available for £9.95