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Tuesday 17. August 2010


geographical position
51° 23.4' N 0° 31.3' E
miles covered today:

0 nm

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days events

Medway - view of RochesterBefore last night I decided for a harbour day today - there is Chatham to explore and historical Rochester is close by. Walking along the main road to Rochester, I pass derelict yards and strange little shops run by Lithuanians, everything looks run down and very poor in this part of Chatham. All this changes after crossing the old bridge across the Medway, I saw from the boat yesterday. Now there are groups of young Japanese and French tourists in the streets, coffee houses and second hand bookstores in beautiful old houses (the most famous is Charles Dickens Chalet) - I am in the historic City of Rochester. But I do not stay long: in doubt whether I should take Betty up the River Thames to Gravesend, I catch the bus to this old river port on the spur of a moment and some time later step off in the centre of Gravesend. Here I am interested in the possibilities of a good berth at the Embankment Marina, the only viable port for yachts on this stretch of the Thames. There are a number of nice looking barges moored in the basin, giving the place an almost Dutch appearance, but the access to the marina is somewhat restricted: to enter or exit through the old, manually operated lock is only possible at or near high tide and an ugly modern building block towers over the part of the basin, where a few yachts have their berths.
Having now almost decided to skip Gravesend on this journey, I am nevertheless glad to have made my way here by coach and do some serious sightseeing including the ferry landing to Tilbury (where I almost step on board to cross the river for the famous Tilbury Fort), the Royal Pier and up the broad Hamer Street to the classic victorian Jubilee Clock Tower, erected to commemorate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1887.
I definitely enjoy this attractive little town and decide to come back some time later, but really tired by now, find my way to the railway station and take the next train back to Chatham. There I had planned to shop for groceries, but it being just after six o'clock all the shops are closed I make my way back to the boat and have an early night after hamburgers and hash browns.

  skipper:Jan Holthusen  

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