Biosecurity Workshops, 18 & 24 May

It’s Invasive Non-Native Species Week. Peel Ports and Bangor University are hosting a virtual event to find out how your Leisure Boating Biosecurity can improve the environment AND your boating.

We’re hosting a new event, and we’d love to see you there. Join us for a fun, interactive Biosecurity for Boaters online event in our virtual marina. Register for one of the two dates we’ve lined up for you below:

6–8pm, May 18th  https://tinyurl.com/6pmMay18th

 12-2pm, May 24th https://tinyurl.com/12pmMay24th

Register soon because space is limited. We hope you’re able to join us!

Does the Thames Barrier cause Medway floods?

Extra high tides and flooding on the Medway often happen when the Thames Barrier is closed. In view of the flood event on 21 February 2022, Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood and MSBA Patron, asked the Environment Agency if there is a causal relationship. Here is the EA’s reply with attachments (spoiler alert: No):

Huge tidal surge today

The current string of storms (Dudley, Eunice etc) whipped up by the vigorous jet stream have played havoc with tidal predictions. This afternoon’s high tide was an extraordinary 1.4 metres higher than predicted, putting areas close to the river at risk of flooding.

Monty to lose masts by June 2022

Photo Margaret Flo McEwan, Maunsell Forts Appreciation Group

The Royal Navy has been brought in to help Briggs Marine with their £5m contract to remove the SS Richard Montgomery’s corroded masts after surveys warned that they could collapse onto the fragile deck and set off the 1400 tons (TNT equivalent) of explosives remaining on board.

Please note there have been many seriously inaccurate reports of this project, even in the quality press. The ship itself is not being touched, just the masts. However these have become a sight to see and their loss will affect the local tourism trade.

More information…

Weather, Tides and Webcams updated for 2022

Happy New Year! Click “Weather” on the menu to see our updated weather, tides and webcam links. This now has 2022 tide tables from the PLA and Peel Ports (Sheerness and Chatham). You can also check real time tides, wind and weather at each of several stations in the Medway from the approach channel to Strood. Also we now include a link to the superb weather station and webcam (updated every 10 minutes) at Lower Halstow Yacht Club.

Do you have any old photos of the islands, marshes or piers?

Medway Council is in the process of creating a River Strategy which, once completed, will be instrumental in helping to address river user needs, monitor pollution, coastal erosion and secure future funding to protect and enhance river access locations and plan ecological improvements such as salt marsh preservation and creation. To help us understand the changing nature of the estuary and visual history of the river, we are seeking old photos of the following:

  • St Mary’s Island
  • Darnet Island
  • Hoo Salt Marsh
  • St Mary’s Island
  • Oakham Marsh
  • Burntwick Island
  • Greenborough Marsh
  • Rochester Pier
  • Sun Pier
  • Gillingham Pier

If you have any photos of these sites we would be very grateful if you could scan and send them to adam.taylor@medway.gov.uk or alternatively photos can be collected from your address, copies made and then returned to you.

This is a unique opportunity for river users to make the first contributions to the River Strategy. For any photos we use we will credit the person who provided them.

In the meantime, here are two photos: the farmhouse which once stood on Nor Marsh, taken in 1932, and Sun Pier taken in the 1960s, which we hope are of interest to MSBA members.

We look forward to hearing you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Adam Taylor, Rivers & Paths Manager

CA talk: Thanet and Kentish Flats Wind Farms, Thu 11 March, 7pm

The Cruising Association Kent Section’s popular “winter warmer” talks, organised by Clifford Mickleburgh, have not stopped for Covid. All of us, CA member or not, can enjoy them online. 

A team from Vattenfall Wind Power Limited will talk about the Thanet and Kentish Flats Wind Farms, how the wind farms are operated and maintained, and the role of the marine co-ordinator.  The talk will also explore green hydrogen, the fuel of the future, and its co-location with wind farms.

Melanie Rogers is the Local Vattenfall Liaison Officer for the Kent region. Throughout the year, she leads the local outreach and engagement programme. She is also a regular speaker to local groups and organisations to give them the opportunity to learn more about renewable energy and their local projects.

Powering UK homes Since the first Kent wind farm – Kentish Flats – was built a decade ago, offshore wind has become an affordable, reliable and vital part of the UK energy system. By 2030, 30GW of offshore wind is expected to be installed in the UK. Vattenfall could power more than 4 million UK homes.

Medway real-time tide info

Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Paul Cozens of Peel Ports has kindly given us the link to their site which gives real time tidal heights and differences over prediction (ie surge) plus wind for Tripod, Sheerness, Chatham and Strood. Here’s the link:

https://peelports.port-log.net/live/Display.php?Cluster=Medway

You can drill down for detailed tide times etc by clicking on the tide station of interest. Note the big tidal surge that occurred a week ago: