Medway/Swale Boating Conference, 7 March 2015

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The MSBA and RYA South East are bringing you another great boating conference on 7 March 2015 – put the date in your diary! Details here…

Mudlark out now, a great read!

The excellent magazine published by the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership (MSBA is a member) can be downloaded here. You can also follow MSEP at @MedwaySwaleEP on Twitter.

Pod of whales visits Medway

Max Taylor, our Deputy Harbour Master, reports that we were visited on Sunday by a pod of what appears to be Pilot Whales. Initially spotted in Kethole Reach by the Fishing Vessel “Julie Sue” early Sunday morning, the pod of approximately 28 Whales were in the vicinity of the Bulwark wreck. As the tide turned the “Julie Sue” assisted by Peel Ports Medway craft “Westbourne” and “Maurice Gill” carefully escorted the whales into deeper water within the Estuary. Medway Navigation Service (VHF channel 74) welcome any reports of large numbers of cetaceans in the Medway area from recreational river users.

Save Queenborough Creek for maritime use, support alternative marina plan

Queenborough Creek planThe 2006 plan for Queenborough regeneration included a marina but this aspect was later dropped in favour of building houses right up to the south edge of the water. See SBC+HCA amended plan here. If you would like to support a revised, more practical plan for a marina in Queenborough Creek (click image to enlarge and download QUEENBOROUGH CREEK MARINA9a), to preserve the unique location for maritime use, please email planning@swale.gov.uk before 15 December.

REYC Mary Race, 5 Sep 2015

For cruiser racers including gaffers, a date for your diary. See event calendar for details. This will be the 50th consecutive year of the annual Royal Engineer Yacht Club race to win 1 of 2 remaining original pewter tankards which were awarded as prizes to the crew of the cutter Mary which won an annual race from Gillingham Creek to Sheerness and back with 3 other REYC yachts on 16 May 1864.

Dick Holness speaks, 23 January

Dick Holness of East Coast Pilot will be speaking at Rochester Cruising Club on Friday, 23 January. The bar and bar menu will be open from 7pm. If you would like to come along please email enquiries (at) rochestercc.co.uk to give an idea of numbers.

No road access to Oare Marshes

To upgrade the water main, Church Road at Harty Ferry Cottages will be closed to through traffic from the Monday 24th November for up to 15 weeks, meaning no vehicular access to Oare Marshes reserve. We assume this will also restrict access to the Harty Ferry south slipway.

The Accidental Death of HMS Bulwark, 26 November 1914

Cruising AssociationClifford Mickleburgh, Secretary of the Cruising Association Kent Section, writes:

Many of you may be aware of the East and West Bulwark buoys marking the military wreck of HMS Bulwark at Kethole Reach on the River Medway, near Thamesport.

We have organised a small flotilla of pleasure craft to leave the pontoon at Chatham Marina at 06.00 on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 to proceed downriver to Kethole Reach to remember those who lost their lives when the 15,000 ton battleship HMS Bulwark blew up a hundred years before at 07.53 with the loss of over 738 officers and men whilst they were finishing breakfast and getting ready for work; there was only a handful of survivors.

We will be joined by other vessels from Medway Ports, Medway Pilots, Svitzer Towage and the PLA. It is hoped that some of you may wish to join us at the Remembrance Service

LW Sheerness  08.52  (0.7m)  Sunrise 07.25

The service will be conducted by the Revd Alan Boxall and will be broadcast on VHF Ch 73, some of you may wish to bring a wreath to leave at the site.

We have also learnt that the HMS Bulwark Association has a programme of events taking place at the Chatham Historic Dockyard over the weekend. There is a memorial at Sheerness, but many of the relatives have never visited the site of where HMS Bulwark blew up with such a tragic loss of life.

It would help with the planning if you could let me know if you will be joining us in your own vessel.

Clifford Mickleburgh
mobile 07803 727350

email clifford (at) mickleburgh.me.uk

Thefts in Swale

Kent Police report a recent spate of thefts from boats in Faversham and Oare creeks.

Sheerness Port Master Plan

Sheerness marinaPeel Ports are holding consultations on Sheppey for their master plan which includes a marina at Sheerness. See http://peelports.com/sheerness-master-plan

Option 1 of the Plan proposes “reclaiming 125 hectares of land directly off the existing shore line of Garrison Point. Some 71 hectares of this reclaimed land will be for operational port use, whilst the remaining 54 hectares will comprise a mixed use development incorporating a marina. A heritage boulevard is also included within this proposal.

The overall consultation period for the Sheerness Port Master Plan is from 5 November – 17 December 2014. The exhibition will be held as follows:

  • Thursday 13 November 2014, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Sheppey Gateway
  • Friday 14 November 2014, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Eastchurch Village Hall
  • Friday 14 November 2014, 3.30pm – 7.30pm – Sheppey Gateway
  • Saturday 15 November, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Sheppey Gateway