The delights of a visitor's mooring for under £10 a night at Queenborough - the new "all tide" landing at the same place which I recall was to create the "Cowes of the Thames Estuary".
The Kingsferry bridge which never seems to raise itself enough for my mast, but actually always does. The action taken against the local water authority (?) by members of the water ski club, which was lost. I recall the argument ran - you knew it was polluted, you carelessly fell in the water just the same, don't blame us for any nasty infection you catch. I think they hid behind the same classification of coastal waters that allows mass sewage pumping into the Solent.
Paper mills and effluent discharges on one side, the RSPB bird sanctuary on the other - so it can't be that bad.
Incredible variety of birdlife.
The passage through to Harty Ferry - preferably on a rising tide but more interesting starting near low water.
Peace and quiet, but fast tidal streams at Harty anchorage. Is the Ferry any good now - it seems to vary according to licensees?
The Three Mariners, The Shipwrights. The delights of Conyer.
Make the most of it all before the new MDL marina at Chatham fills up and we all have to get to our destination before lunchtime Solent style.
Used to be a great place to clear customs in the days you had to ring them up on arrival. They hardly ever came.
Groundhog. I am interested in cruising the area. it's a shame that the other contribtors of this very valuable medium treat it with comptempt but I am interested, albeit in a very small boat but I will get there one day! It and me has been all over the inland waterways for the last twenty years so The Swale is not out of the frame. Information regarding moorings, pubs and facilities would be much appreciated
Used to play there, Launching at Queenborough and plod round into the swale and play in the straught near the bridge (waterskiing), fun but a but, sorry i mean a lot smelly, especially when the tide was out
Sorry if I confused...I wasn't aware of any Swale other than the wonderfully quiet backwater which sneaks around the back of the Isle of Sheppey.
Alan, I can thoroughly recommend it in either a small or not so small boat. The tide all but vanishes at LW at Elmley Ferry, but I've known enthusiastic racers in the annual round the island event (no, I know it doesn't have the same kudos as the other 'round the island') slide their dinghies through the last few inches of water to gain advantage. The real beauty of this stretch is as a calm and isolated anchorage, once past the often exposed moorings at Harty Ferry, with lots of quiet spots where you can take the ground or drop the hook. Entering from the east, you can trickle up to Faversham town quay, Oare creek, or moor at Harty and row to the Shipwrights at Hollowshore (still no electricity here save for that from the clomping diesel genny). If you row the other way, to Sheppey, the Harty Ferry Inn has a landing of sorts, and is a more lively place, especially in summer. Faversham is home to Shepherd Neame, and the brewery is by the creek, need I say more?
Conyer is another treat, with the Ship serving good food, and pontoon mooring nearby (this may have changed as a small waterside development was underway last time I visited what was once the home of Bay Class yachts.) All the Swale creeks dry at LW.
Large areas of sheltered open water separate the mainland from Sheppey, and there is never a problem finding your own space if the creeks hold no attraction. A large paper mill at Kemsley ( by the entrance to Milton Creek, where you can find the Dolphin Yard Barge Museum.The creek is quite silted and, although wide, the edges are strewn with debris making landing hazardous) announces the start of untidy industry running past Ridham Dock where surprisingly large freighters discharge timber and reload scrap. Rural scenes again under Kingsferry Bridge- you can hoist as many buckets in the rigging as you like, as the bridge keeper is oblivious these days and only opens on the hour.
Queenborough is next, swinging moorings with pontoon landing, a slipway and 24 hour access, then up to Sheerness and the wide open Medway estuary. Just round the corner is Sharfleet, a nice sheltered anchorage where I once spent a sunny Boxing Day watching seals watching me.
Without doubt, the eastern Swale is favorite and altogether more appealing. East Coast Rivers is probably the best guide to have, but is still a bit sketchy.
On the whole, it's well worth a visit if you're marinaphobic and reasonably self sufficient.
Spent ten years in Dover (proper marina!!)and then ,last year decided that enough was enough,just getting bigger and more impersonal. So, moved to Conyer Why oh why did'nt I do it years ago, Friendly,jolly, and real boat folk. Far more to do, and despite tidal restrictions easier access to more interesting places and free anchorages.