Down to the Medway
Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
139Trip End Sep 26, 2010
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It was a breezy, bright day when we set off down the Crouch and back out to sea. It’s a 13 mile journey from Burnham to the S Whitaker buoy, the first buoy that marks a clear passage to the south. Until then, at this stage of the tide, the extensive Foulness Sand lies exposed to Starboard and the equally, but not quite, as extensive Buxey sand lies to port
As soon as we rounded the buoy, we were able to switch off the engine and sail under genoa alone, averaging 5-6 knots. The afternoon passed peacefully as we sailed down towards the Thames, the tide carrying us through the Middle Deep and then the Warp channels and down towards the entrance to the Medway, which is situated on the Kent side of the Thames estuary.
Life became a little more exciting as we approached the Yantlet channel, which is one if not the main thoroughfares for larger vessels approaching and leaving London (see picture). However, we were soon past that particular obstacle and preparing for the Medway, and feeling quite complacent and relaxed. All was about to change.
Some time earlier I had noted a small warship-like vessel in the distance and as it was so far away, I ignored it
The remainder of the voyage passed without incident. We entered the Medway and proceeded up the river for a couple of miles, turning left into Stangate creek and thence into a secluded anchorage, occupied by two other yachts and about 2000 black headed gulls on the nearby low lying islet. The whole area had a desolate, semi industrial wasteland feel about it, especially as it was now becoming dark and the weather threatening. This feeling of bleakness was however, amply compensated for by the raucous toing and froing of the gulls as they carried on the important business of setting up the next generation.
It was chilly in the cabin but the Eberspacher did its best to make the saloon habitable. The excellent lemon chicken that Julie prepared did the rest and we retired to bed well satisfied at the day’s progress.