Saturday, 22 August 2015

Swale & Medway

Although our cruise is coming to an end we awoke this morning to a bright sky and a pleasant Southerly wind and decided it was too good to miss. We took the tide out of the Swale and crossed the Kentish flats at low tide (minimum depth 1m under keel) to look at the Red Sand 2nd World War fort. We then hauled in the sheets and headed for the river Medway.

Grain Edge Fort
In the the first picture is the Grain Edge fort at the entrance to the Medway. It no longer has any military use and has recently been on the market renamed 'No1 The Thames'. Whoever buys it will certainly need to spend a great deal on decoration and home improvements. The asking price it seems is £500,000, for which you could get a pleasant flat in Chiswick. The fort would undoubtedly have more space than a flat in Chiswick and maybe less trouble from neighbours but might lose out on social life and accessibility to the shops. We felt that selling it would be real test of the salesman's skill.

The new linkspan by Beckett Rankine
We sailed up the Medway as far as Upnor. The Medway seems to be getting progressively de-industrialised.
The oil refinery is long gone; the power stations have been shut down, the container cranes were silent and the berths empty. An exception to this is the increasing activity at Sheerness.

We were pleased to see the excellent Beckett Rankine designed vehicle linkspan (second photo) - recently installed at the Ro-Ro terminal and in use as we sailed by.

After  getting as far as Upnor we decided to look for a quieter bit of the river. So we turned downstream and eventually anchored in Stangate creek for the night. There were quite a few boats there this evening  but even so the powerful feeling of peaceful remoteness and solitude was present as always in this delightful anchorage.