home logbook photos sources maps links



Wednesday 11. August 2010


geographical position
51° 21.2' N 0° 53.3' E
miles covered today:
37,0 nm
prev. day:
429,0 total: 466,0


days events

This first day of my 2010 Thames Estuary voyage takes me and my cruising smack Betty round the North Foreland to the Swale.
After the dreadful experience of the Channel crossing, I am quite happy about the warm, sunny and almost windless day. Having chosen the inshore route through the Gore Channel, there would be very little to report, had the very strong tide across the entrance to Ramsgate Harbour not taken Betty in her grip while I was busy hauling up the main sail and sort of wound her with the dinghy in tow round the cardinal buoy just outside of the breakwater barrier.
At the very last moment I rush to the tiller and try to steer clear of the obstacle, but the tide is too strong and the boat is put onto the big steely monster with her port topside aft, rubbing along it and just when she is free, hitting the dinghy almost right on the bow. It only takes a split of a second, but the scratches to the paint of Betty's topside and the damage to the dinghy are quite severe. I vow to be more observant in the future but for the moment all I can do, is to lick my wounds.

Thames Barge Repertor from Harwich

Reaching the entrance to the Swale late in the afternoon, just after passing the Whitstable Street to starboard, the most enticing scenery unfolds. Coming down from the main channel along the eastern shore of the Isle of Sheppey, a Thames Barge is sailing into Whitstable Bay with all her brown coloured canvas up and looking like a fine oil painting. Gazing into the afternoon sun behind her, I observe a few seals lying lazily on the uncovered sands in front of the lonely houses of Shell Ness.
The picture happening in front of my eyes is so beautiful and altogether so typical of the Thames Estuary, that I feel as if someone had welcomed me dearly to this proper beginning of my journey. Feeling quite overwhelmed I slow the boat down some and enjoy the moment in company of the barge and a few other yachts as we sail into the East Swale, some heading for Faversham Creek, some for the river, while I decide to anchor at Harty Ferry and call it a day.

  skipper:Jan Holthusen  
The page of the logbook in the original

If you want to be in the know about your user statistic and those of the other users of this site, click on this link to the webanalysis, log in under the user name "I_m" and the password "informed" and you'll be surprised.

top | home | logbook | photos | sources | maps | links

© Jan Holthusen 2012 | Webmaster

BETTY smacks cruising the Thames Estuary janholthusen

please contribute to Amnesty International

please contribute to Medecins Sans Frontieres

please contribute to Greenpeace please contribute to Friends of the Earth International please support WWF please join the attac network sprendet für Robin Wood