Sadly, the large sperm whale that had been seen in difficulty off Whitstable on 30 January subsequently died. The carcass was towed to a mooring in the Medway before being taken to Sheerness for an autopsy, which revealed that the unfortunate creature had not eaten for some time.
Following a recent report of the bridge operator refusing to lift for a yacht returning from Conyer to the Medway, the MSBA has sought clarification from Peel Ports. The bridge still has a problem with the main switch gear requiring a generator to be stationed on the A249 to enable lifts. Railtrack say they are “working hard” to source new parts to fix it, which is proving difficult. They have reduced the number of lifts to a minimum and are only allowing yachts through when there are shipping movements. We are told that commercial shipping takes priority.
UPDATE 6.2.2020: Network Rail expect to have the replacement switch gear in place within six weeks, possibly even sooner, so the emergency generator will no longer be needed. In the meantime boaters should check with the bridge operator on VHF channel 10, or Medway VTS on Channel 74, when the next bridge lift is expected to take place.
With small inflatable boats making their way across the English Channel we will get an insight as to how the UK Border Force deal with this problem and how we can help them.
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.
RYA London & South East OnBoard Development Day 2020
Date – Saturday 28th March 2020, 0930-1630
Venue – Bewl Water Outdoor Centre, TN3 8JH
Cost – Free
This is aimed at clubs/centres with RYA OnBoard recognition, or those likely to achieve recognition this year, with up to 3 participants able to attend per club/centre. More information and booking…