Medway: Marina closures (22nd January 2015)
The two marinas on the lower Medway will be inaccessible, in or out, during lock maintenance. This will affect Gillingham Marina from 23rd January to 6th February, and Chatham Marina from 26th January to 9th February.
Sun Pier, Chatham - update (21st January 2015)
Sun Pier, on the Medway at Chatham, above the Historic Dockyard, will be available for short visits ashore from the end of March. There will be a token-purchase arrangement for return access from shore-side.
Medway VTS - temporary contact numbers (21st January 2015)
Medway VTS will be operating on back-up systems from 0700 on Saturday 24th January 2015 until 1900 on Sunday 25th January 2015.
Temporary telephone contact numbers to be used during the above period are:
07436 836 120 and 07436 836 122. These numbers should only be used if you are unable to make contact via the usual external telephone numbers, which are 01795 663025 for Medway VTS and 01795 662276 for Medway Pilots.
Orford Haven buoys (24th November 2014)
As is usual during winter, the buoyage at the entrance to the River Ore has been removed. The buoys will be reinstated in the Spring, almost certainly in new positions following the 2015 survey. A new chartlet of the entrance will be available on this site from that time.
Road access to Harty Ferry (15th November 2014)
The lane from Harty Ferry south causeway to Oare will be closed to traffic about half a mile S of Harty from Nov 24th until about the end of February.
Upper Medway - new road bridge construction (31st October 2014)
Construction of a new road bridge across the upper Medway is starting, at northing 51°20’.48N, above Halling in Holborough Reach. The works will involve sheet piling along east and west river embankments and construction of temporary access jetties and cofferdams. A temporary navigable span will be maintained at all times, the dimensions of the temporary span will be 20m wide by 5m air draught at MHWS. Air draught when completed will be about 8m.
Queenborough - new pontoon extension ready at last (30th October 2014)
After some months of unfortunate delays, the new pontoon extension to the All Tide Landing (ATL) at Queenborough is now in position. This new facility, which includes the harbour office, will hugely increase the moorings available for visitors who want to walk ashore rather than use the excellent trot-boat service. The pontoon should be open for use within the next week or two. We passed by there this week, it certainly looks impressive - see our Swale page for a photo.
Large Sunken Craft at Harty Ferry, beware (Updated 30th October 2014)
There is a sunken 50’ converted trawler west of the causeway at Harty Ferry, near the scrubbing posts, approx position 51°21’.3N, 000°52’.6E. More may be visible at LW but all that shows at HW is a very thin white whip aerial. The wreck is marked with two large inflatable yellow buoys but the position of these looks very approximate. The webmaster knows this is a very substantial vessel - keep well clear.
Work starting on the Kentish Flats - new buoy (Updated 6th November 2014)
Work is starting on the extension to the Kentish Flats windfarm, off the N Kent coast.
A Weather Buoy will be established in position 51°.28’.11N, 001°.02’.52E, at the W end of the windfarm.
The deployment work will be done between 9th Nov and 14th Nov 2014.
The Weather Buoy is a Yellow Special Mark which will stand 2.35m above Sea Level with a width of 1.2m. It will have a yellow light, with the characteristics FL(5)Y.20s and a top mark of a yellow cross at a height of 2m above the water.
Another sunken craft in the Medway area (19th October 2014)
A sunken workboat has been reported awash at her moorings adjacent to Hathaway Court on the east side of Tower Reach, in approximate position 51°23’.19N 000°29’.74E.
The sunken vessel is covered at high water. The position suggests the problem is opposite the S end of Strood YC’s pontoons. All vessels should navigate with caution in the vicinity.
Further buoyage changes in Sea Reach (20th Sept 2014)
Further adjustments to the buoyage have recently been made; details are shown on our Thames Updates page.
A New Light on the Backwaters (22nd August 2014)
The No.10 buoy, ‘Baines’, on Hamford Water at the junction with the Walton Channel, has been lit, Q.R.
Queenborough Trot Boat (22nd July 2014)
The trot boat is now operating every day rather than just at weekends.
Deben Entrance - pay attention to the transit! (13th July 2014)
Too many boats are still gravely misjudging the approach to the Deben entrance, failing to maintain a straight line between the West Knoll and Mid Knoll buoys and ending up on the shingle bank and having to be rescued.
The key to this is to pick a point on the shore that is in line with the buoys before you pass the West Knoll. When we last looked, this was the west end of the row of cottages. But don’t take our word for it, check for yourself - the buoys may have been moved just before you arrived! Having picked your point, keep it firmly in line with the Mid Knoll buoy as you approach it. Roll away some of your genoa if that is hampering your view. Remember that on the flood tide, you will be pushed westwards by the tide.
John White, local HM and our Honorary Port Pilot, suggests leaving the West Knoll some 20 yards on your port side and lining up the Mid Knoll buoy with a striped post on the shoreline. This is very hard to see from a distance, but is a useful transit on leaving the river.
At the time of writing, there is an extra red can to be left to port on approach between the two main buoys. However, this may be temporary and taken away at any time.
The buoyage was adjusted slightly early in June, and Imrays produced a new version of the chartlet which is available as usual on our Downloads page.
New Nav Buoy at Maldon (3rd June 2014)
A new PHB has been installed adjacent to the promenade extension at Maldon, marked No.16, at 51⁰43’.647N 000⁰41’.906E.
Foulgers Gat Buoyage reinstated (Updated 3rd June 2014)
The Long Sand Inner and Outer buoys, removed in 2011 for the London Array construction, have been returned, together with an extra third buoy.
Details as follows:
Long Sand Inner: 51° 38’.775N 001° 25’.435E; Spherical; Red and White vertical stripes; Morse "A" 15 seconds.
Long Sand Outer: 51° 34’.610N 001° 28’.338E; Spherical; Red and White vertical stripes; L.Fl.10 seconds.
Long Sand Middle: 51° 35’.600N 001° 26’.450E; Spherical; Red and White vertical stripes; Iso. 5 seconds.
A recent Trinity House survey shows a minimum depth of 3m through the Gat. Temporary passage restrictions or exclusion zones may be imposed from time to time to accommodate maintenance work on any of the towers adjacent to the route.
Hythe Quay, Maldon (24th March 2014)
There is a significant subsidence problem at Hythe Quay. Approximately 25 metres of the quay face has slumped and given way and the Council has had to take steps to reduce the threat to river users, visitors and berth holders by placing a temporary fence along the surface of the quay, and a dry dock has been sunk in place alongside the seaward side of the collapse.
Maldon District Council has taken the matter in hand and has provided funding for repairs and are currently discussing design options for improved facilities with their consultants. Planning and licence applications are currently being made. It is likely that the works will not be completed until the latter part of the year, and with many barges to accommodate and the loss of one mooring tier, potential visiting yachtsmen are asked to make alternative arrangements for this this season. A number of the local boatyards have berths available and visitors are advised to make arrangements prior to arriving.
Thames, Yantlet Channel Changes (17th Feb 2014)
We have added significant updates to ECP today, including new chartlets and an important additional note about the new Yantlet Secondary Channels, vital information if you are using Sea Reach. See the Thames updates page.
New Chartlet for Mersea Quarters (12th August 2013)
There is an updated chartlet for Mersea Quarters available from the Downloads page, amended to reflect the current buoyage. This replaces the chartlet on P76 of ECP3.
Walton Channel and Stone Point (updated 4th July 2013)
Dredging in June further deepened the Walton Channel at Stone Point, although we are advised that the deep channel itself is very narrow. A new sketch chartlet is now available on this website, see our Downloads page, by kind permission of Titchmarsh Marina, showing depths after the June dredge. Subtract the Harwich height shown to estimate depths at LAT. Paper copies are available from the marina office. We rounded Stone Point at HW+/-3 after the May dredge, with plenty of clearance following the charted line, in a boat of 1.2m draught.
No 16 PHB has been adjusted in position to reflect an extension of the shingle point.
No 11 SHB has been moved some way NW to help with finding best water just after the point.
Depending on their boat’s draught, we recommend that navigators should still exercise caution around Stone Pt between LW+/-2H.
The tidal streams now run strongly through the bottleneck at Stone Pt and boats should follow the line closely to minimise the effect of the overfalls and turbulence found near No 16 PHB in wind over tide conditions close to HW.
Take extra care when passing another vessel in this area.
Yarmouth Coastguard MRCC has closed (1st May 2013)
The coastguard station at Great Yarmouth has closed today, for ever. In future all
the station’s work will be handled by Humber Coastguard as the primary station and
Thames Coastguard at Walton-on-the Naze as the secondary station. The number of Coastguard
rescue teams, lifeboats and helicopters will remain the same.
Emergency calls should still be made on 999 “Coastguard” and the call will be handled by whichever of the two stations is available. People who normally contact Great Yarmouth MRCC by phone and live south of Waxham, near Sea Palling, Norfolk, can continue to call on 01493 851338. People living north of Waxham should call 01262 672317, both lines connect with Humber Coastguard.
VHF calls will be dealt with by either Humber or Thames depending on the caller’s location. There is no change to the maritime safety broadcasts or frequencies or schedules.