Medway trip – day 2 – Gravesend to Queenborough

Just a reminder: technical details, GPS downloads etc, are on the “day1” posting here. The real-time photoblog starts here

After a good night’s sleep, a very exhilarating trip down to Queenborough.

The computer centre. GPS and chart plotter on the left (my laptop). Andy’s (on the right) was tuned to shipfinder, to pick up details (via AIS) from other ships.


Tall ship Alexander von Humboldt IIdropping off their pilot as they pass through Gravesend.


Getting ready to depart. Some last minute shackle-work on one of the boats.DSCF7450

After a ferry glide away from the pontoon, now heading downstream. DSCF7453

One of the Svitzer tugsDSCF7458

It took about 20 minutes for all the boats to get safely away from the pier, so we executed the “racetrack” manoeuvre, which involved boats rounding up and stemming the tide (running at about 3 kts) to hold position. The boats on the left have turned, those on the right have yet to  turn.DSCF7460

The lead boats now heading downstream again, passing everyone else who is pointing the wrong way – eg KETURADSCF7464




And here is a video taken from GERTRUDE of us whizzing downstream at about 7 knots


Quite a strong tidal set, as we approach HIGHAM buoy.


:Looking back to Gravesend one last timeDSCF7475

An important buoy – LOWER HOPE – as here we leave the main navigational channel and use the small ships’ channel to the southDSCF7477 DSCF7480

WEST BLYTH buoy, unfortunately no ships at all at London Gateway port todayDSCF7481

Canvey Island oil and gas terminalsDSCF7484

There’s something behind us …DSCF7486

It’s 3.4 nautical miles from here to the next buoy, so good binoculars are essential (and with GPS providing extra reassurance)DSCF7489

The CYMBELINE (based in Luxembourg?) finally overtakes usDSCF7490

One of my better side from Sheila on BLEASDALE (more here)


Sea Reach


Here’s a photo taken from the beach in Shoeburyness. Thanks to Andrew C for sending it! We are about half-way between Southend Pier (on the right) and the tall chimney. Range 3.1nm or about 5,700 metres!

IMG_20160515_140107041Here is a cropped and enlarged version.


And now some wash – requires alteration of course, but even so one boat gets a damp carpetDSCF7503 DSCF7507 DSCF7510

A sailing friend of FLORA DORA comes out to check we are OK.DSCF7518 DSCF7520

And now at last – at NORE SWATCH – we are now safely past the Blyth sands, and can now turn south into the Medway. We are now talking to Medway VTS on Ch 74.DSCF7523 DSCF7524 DSCF7526 DSCF7528

Medway VTS – reassuring to see Garrison Point again. Also the ex-ferry terminal at Sheerness.


Grain power station – we are now on the Medway properDSCF7535

Some debate about what we were travelling through here. It appeared to come from the power station, but it certainly didn’t smell like it.DSCF7537

The other eight boats in one shot. Line astern behind us are BLEASDALE, PANACEA, KETURA and JOSEPH, as we turn left / south towards the Swale.  ZAVALA leads the boats carrying on to Rochester, followed by FLORA DORA,  GERTRUDE and DRAGONFLY. Southend is in the distance!DSCF7540

Queenborough spit buoy – we pass to the EAST of this one. Obviously.DSCF7543

A last sighting of the Rochester boatsDSCF7544

Hilary and Tony (sister and brother-in-law) came to welcome us in. Here’s a couple they took from the bank, as we came into sight.


And here I am, trying to find them on the bank (Andy’s photo)



Then they came out to visit us for tea, on the trot boat.20160515_160544(0)20160515_160604_001DSCF7546

The view from the moorings – a barge made out of concrete (literally!)DSCF7550

The pontoon on the other side of the river – with access to the land. DSCF7552


Before supper we explored the town of Queenborough – very old and some quaint bits!DSCF7559 DSCF7560 DSCF7562 DSCF7563

You can just see the narrowboats here – we’ve walked around the coner towards the old oil terminal (?)


A quite sizeable passing boat, on its way up the Swale and through the road/bridge at Kingsbridge.


Walking back from the pub to the last trot boat – 2130 on a Sunday!DSCF7567


Continue to day 3 – Queenborough to Rochester


2 thoughts on “Medway trip – day 2 – Gravesend to Queenborough

  1. Pingback: Medway trip – day 1 – Limehouse to Gravesend | Scholar Gypsy

  2. Pingback: Return from the Medway – June 2016 – Queenborough to Bow | Scholar Gypsy

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