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Medway to Thames

How difficult/easy is it to navigate out of the Medway round the estuarys into Thames.

Asked by: Peter Wright  | 9.23pm, Sunday 26 June


WW says:

We ran a detailed article on the trip in October 2007's WW, in which Stuart Sampson says:
"With careful planning and the right equipment, navigation down the Thames estuary and up the tidal Medway is less hazardous than negotiating the sand banks between Sharpness and Bristol - which a fair number of people manage safely in canal-type vessels. However, in a slow narrowboat or barge, the trip can take over 12 hours. It is worth sharing the steering, especially on the way back, as flagging concentration can be a hazard when the traffic builds above the Thames Barrier.
"Arranging pilots is nigh on impossible, so if your confidence or your insurance company won't let you be in command of your vessel in these waters, forget it. You also need lots of time and flexibility to wait for the right conditions for both the outward and return journeys - there is no other way back! You need winds no more than Force 3, good visibility, and tides timed so that you can leave before high water after dawn and arrive on the next high water before it gets dark. There is much more latitude of course when the days are longest."
There's much more in the article itself.

Richard Fairhurst  | 10.30AM, Tuesday 28 June

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