Lucille adrift

Lucille.

This motor cruiser called Lucille was found drifting off Chatham Historic Dockyard and was secured by a thoughtful boater yesterday. If you are the owner please contact Medway VTS and let them know. Also please email info@msba.org.uk so we can put you in touch with the person who rescued the vessel.

UPDATE 28.12.2019: This boat was moored to Thunderbolt Pier without permission for many weeks and was still tied up there on Boxing Day. The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust attached a notice requiring the boat to be removed by a date in early January. Now it appears to be someone else’s problem…

UPDATE 1.1.2020: The owner has come forward claiming the boat was stolen and damaged. Peel Ports are moving Lucille from the RNSA mooring to a commercial mooring where it can be monitored by CCTV.

Morning Star decommissioned

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.

GridLink cable will pass through Medway Estuary

Route of GridLink high voltage cable.

GridLink Interconnector Limited (GridLink) is proposing to develop a high voltage direct current interconnector linking the British and French electricity grids. The GridLink project will consist of two converter stations, one close to the existing National Grid 400kv substation at Kingsnorth and one near Dunkerque. The converter stations will be connected by underground cables (onshore) and subsea cables (offshore).

Intertek has been appointed by GridLink as Marine Consultants to support the development of the project. GridLink is intending to submit an application for a Marine Licence (to the Marine Management Organisation) for the construction, operation and maintenance of a new electricity interconnector under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, in May 2020. In support of the Marine Licence application, GridLink will provide environmental information and an assessment of potential environmental effects. For example, the application will demonstrate that due consideration has been given to navigational safety, the historic environment, effects on nature conservation sites (e.g. marine protected areas) and effects on other marine stakeholders (e.g. recreation and fishing). [Webmaster’s emphasis]

Intertek is currently preparing an Environmental Report to support the Marine Licence application. This will provide a baseline for each environmental topic; describe the likely effects of the proposed development on each topic, including identifying those that are potentially significant; and if necessary outline project-specific mitigation to be followed to avoid or negate adverse effects.

Stakeholders and the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the Marine Licence application through a consultation exercise once the application is submitted. However, Intertek would like to ensure that the application documents address any concerns that stakeholders have prior to this consultation process.

Further information on the GridLink project can be found here. Intertek would welcome any questions and/or concerns regarding the project for consideration in the preparation of the Environmental Report, particularly from clubs or organisations close to the proposed route. From experience in the Thames Estuary, the MSBA is concerned that the works may require exclusion zones that may block access in or out of Stangate Creek for instance, affecting several clubs. The information supplied does not give reassurance on this point.

Comments can be provided by letter or email to the following address:
Anna Farley, Intertek, Exchange House Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7DW
Email: Anna.Farley@intertek.com
Tel: 01428 727800

New MSBA Visitor Charts and Official Tide Tables

The MSBA has published a third edition of the Medway and Swale Visitor Charts. This time Gavin had the brainwave of including visitor moorings, slipways and fuel berths in addition to general updating.

What’s more, Peel Ports London Medway (yes really) have just published Official 2020 Tide Tables for Sheerness and Chatham. Print them off and don’t forget to add an hour for BST come next summer.

Find these and other useful free stuff on our Downloads Page

Marine & Coastal Biosecurity Workshop, 10.30-2pm, Thurs 12 Dec – PLACES STILL AVAILABLE

The Marine & Coastal Biosecurity and Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) workshop will be held at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham on Thursday 12 December. It is primarily targeted towards people involved with the management of coastal/marine waters, or for those who work, organise, or deliver activities in coastal/ marine areas. For example:

•       Marine kayaking/watersport/boating clubs
•       Marinas, ports and boat yard owners
•       Estuary & Catchment Partnerships
•       Harbour authorities
•       Coastal managers/beach owners

This is the first of two workshops to be held in this area, and is designed to provide attendees with the tools to better manage the threat of INNS and help create a draft biosecurity plan. It will include:

•       An overview of regionally important INNS
•       Improving site biosecurity
•       Tools to write an effective estuary biosecurity plan
•       INNS reporting

This workshop is free to attend and there will be refreshments available throughout the morning and a light networking lunch provided at the end of the workshop.

A second, follow-up workshop will be held in early 2020 with the aim of pulling together the outputs from the first workshop and producing a draft estuary-level biosecurity plan for the Medway Estuary area.

Here is the link to register your attendance for the event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/marine-coastal-biosecurity-workshop-tickets-80872236035

If you have any questions about the event or would like more information, please feel free to contact Alice Morley, Marine Conservation Officer, Kent Wildlife Trust, phone 07702 551524 or email Alice.Morley (at) kentwildlife.org.uk

RYA Cruising/Racing Conference, Eastbourne,12 Jan 2020

This bi-annual cruising/racing conference is aimed at the motor and sailing yacht fraternity within the RYA London and SE region and is for RYA personal members, and members of RYA affiliated clubs and organisations (including the MSBA) as well as members of stakeholder organisations in the region.

It aims to provide interesting and cutting-edge talks and workshops to inspire sailors for the upcoming season, providing a forum for networking and discussion on topical issues. The event schedule can be viewed here.

The conference is free to attend with an optional £12 pre-bookable hot lunch payable at the latest on the day. Book here

CA Winter Warmer talk: James and Carol Littlewood, Thurs 12 Dec

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.