Huge accommodation barge drifts from Pinup Reach to Lower Halstow

Photo Kent News

A massive accommodation barge moored in Pinup Reach (not Upnor as reported earlier) has broken free of its moorings in the strong westerly gale today and drifted via South Yantlet Creek to Barksore Marshes near Lower Halstow. Peel Ports say that Briggs Marine will attempt to recover the vessel when the wind abates, aided by high tides predicted in the next few days.

CA Brexit webinar now available to non-members

The Cruising Association hosted a Brexit Webinar for members on 22 January 2022, which is now published for public viewing by the wider cruising community. The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) continues to be at the forefront of lobbying on behalf of the cruising community to mitigate the impact of the UK leaving the EU, and there have been some significant changes in the past year which are presented in the webinar.

The webinar covers in detail the latest updates on:

  • People issues – including Schengen immigration and the 90/180 day visa rules
  • VAT issues – the latest on EU and UK VAT and the changes to Returned Goods Relief
  • Recreational Craft Directive/Recreational Craft Rules – compliance and how it will affect you

Here’s the link to the webinar…

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, Sat 4 June

Calling all vessel owners – historic, commercial and recreational! On the afternoon of Saturday 4 June 2022, the River Medway will play host to the Platinum Jubilee Medway River Pageant, featuring a parade from the lower reaches up to Sun Pier, Chatham and culminating with ‘The Great Cacophony’ – a wall of sound from ships to shore – the event will be a grand spectacle. If you are interested in taking part in the event, please register your interest no later than Friday 11 February.
The event is likely to be popular and, in order to maintain safe operations, there will be a restriction on the numbers taking part, so registration is not a guarantee of participation. The final event plan will be released once vessel registrations have been received and processed.

DFDS ferry service suspended

DFDS’s unaccompanied freight ferry route between Calais & Sheerness, Kent has been suspended with the last sailing of the ship Maxine taking place this morning. DFDS have cited ‘operational difficulties’ as the reason for the suspension.

UPDATE: The DFDS ferry service will be resumed from 15 March 2022.

MSBA prompts Peel Ports rethink on charges

Following a protest by the MSBA to the notified 8.5% increase in charges for moorings and conservancy licences, Peel Ports have reduced this increase to 6%, being the RPI figure for the 12 months to October 2021. We have been told that refunds have now been issued to those who have already paid their 2022 invoices. A meeting is being arranged to discuss the basis for these charges going forward.

Consultation on “discontinuation” of navigation marks

Peel Ports London Medway is planning to discontinue the following navigation marks:
• The Cant – ‘D’ Beacon (unlit) approximately 1nm South of MAC buoys 5/6
• Sheerness Harbour – Grain Light (QW) just South of Grain outfall channel
• Sharfleet Creek (East & Western ends) – Beacons 7&8 (unlit) ex Admiralty beacons
• Loden Hope – West Point Beacon (unlit)
• Swale – Long Reach – Codds Creek Beacon
• Bee Ness Buoy (Fl G 5s).

The above-mentioned proposal will be subject to a consultation period that will run until 7th February 2022.

Comments and queries should be sent to: AllMedwayMarineManagers@peelports.com

Notice to Mariners 13 of 2022 refers. Following the consultation period all comments received will be assessed, the Port of Sheerness (as the Local Lighthouse Authority) will make its decision and any proposed change will be promulgated by a further Notice to Mariners.

Medway Queen homecoming

Photo Mark Colyer

On Thursday the veteran paddle steamer Medway Queen, was towed from Ramsgate to the Medway by the tug Christine. At night she was temporarily moored at the Bullnose Lock at Chatham Docks (see photo) and was moved to her home berth at Gillingham Pier on Friday afternoon.

The MQ is now safely on her berth. There’s a video (by Mark Colyer) of her docking on the MSBA Facebook page.

Here are more photos by Brian Corbett:

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…

CA Winter Warmer talk, Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7pm

Mandy Bruce from Magellan Yacht Surveys will be talking on the role of the Yacht Surveyor.

Mandy is professionally trained through the International Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft, with a background of racing and cruising yachts in the Solent, on the North Kent Coast and in the Mediterranean. She is an accredited member of the Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA) and a full member of the MSA (Marine Surveyor Associates). This is a group of professionally trained surveyors communicating via a live forum, sharing knowledge and experience on a daily basis. She is a sailor as well as a surveyor and currently owns a Westerly Fulmar which she races around the Swale and has been Racing Commodore at Conyer Cruising Club for the last five years and helps with the Swale Regatta.

These talks start at 7pm and it’s wise to log in a few minutes earlier. Click on this link to join the webinar: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-8M2x9pySeGLw97mqxfrTw