Please see this single page Passage Plan for the first morning of the Summer Cruise Saturday 22 July. This commences from the Inner Crouch buoy to the entrance of the River Medway. It covers courses to steer, buoy identification, tidal information and additional notes to make this trip as simple and straightforward as possible.
Please click this link to download, Passage Plan – day one Summer Cruise 2023
The River Medway
Until reaching the upper reaches, the Medway (our destination), will rarely be described as a pretty river. It is however steeped in Naval History and the various fortifications, still much in evidence along its length, bear witness to the changing face of warfare over the last 500 years.
These however have been dwarfed by the changing industrial landscape over the past 60 years where the huge jetties and conveyors built to feed gigantic coal and oil fired power stations, and the jetties serving what was once a large oil refinery close by, are all that remain of past monuments to fossil fuel power. The huge power station at Grain, with one of the tallest chimneys in Britain was demolished. Kings North power station a few miles away at Hoo is also history. A small gas fired power station remains, producing half the generating capacity of these behemoths. It is almost lost within what now looks like a dystopian landscape on the starboard side as you enter the river.
Don’t let this put you off. After several miles you will sweep past Gillingham with a Napoleonic fort close to starboard. After this, the river opens up with a beautiful wooded backdrop to the North and a river full of boats. Around the next bend you will see historic Upnor Castle nestled at the water’s edge and immediately on the opposite bank of the river, is the entrance to Chatham Marina our destination.
Background to the Summer Cruise
This year’s Summer Cruise has been built around the destinations that members suggested following the last Cruiser AGM. Namely the River Medway and Ramsgate. The tides for the chosen week – Saturday 22 of July until Saturday 29 July – are particularly suited to sailing out of the Crouch and turning right.
The itinerary assumes a speed over the ground of 5 knots (being sailing speed plus at least 1 knot of favourable tide). There are different start times depending upon the wind direction.
If winds prove adverse on the Summer Cruise, or too strong for comfortable sailing, there is significant flexibility built into the itinerary. For example, there are options to avoid long ‘slogs’ to windward. Also, as the Summer Cruise is during school holidays, the itinerary is family friendly.
That’s why, if the weather is unsuitable to sail to Ramsgate, we can decide to take the alternative option and leave this leg of the itinerary out entirely. There are also contingency days within the itinerary to enable us to flex the programme to take advantage of favourable weather for the return sail from Kent.
A detailed PDF, now including links to the major destinations and shore side attractions, can be downloaded by clicking here; Summer Cruise 2023
Well worth joining us for the Summer Cruise, check out the itinerary that includes lots of links and suggestions for things to do at each destination.
Medway Yacht Club hammerhead