Saturday, 23 April 2016


On display is the model of a Russian submarine used in the James Bond movie "The World is not Enough".

April, 2016 - CHATHAM - POST 4

Rope has been made in Chatham since 1618.  The Ropery is still in operation, using machines built in Victorian times.  The tour is well done, by a guide in period costume and includes making a rope using the tourists as the labour. 

Yarn being made into strands.

Strands into Hawser.

21st Century child labour.

Seniors labour as well.

The rope walk is over 1/4 mile long.

A portion of the site is used as the set for the BBC TV show "Call the Midwife".  The cast looks a lot older in the pictures below and one has grown a beard.  Whats that all about?



April, 2016 - CHATHAM - POST 3

The Cavalier was the last of the WWII destroyers to be retired from service (1972).  She was the last destroyer to be built with an open cockpit, even though she was destined to serve in the arctic, on convoy duty to Russia.  BBBBUUURRR!

Crew fuel.

Crew Mess, sometimes had 6 inches of water running across the floor.

Crew bunk.

Officer's Mess, no water on floor here.
Officer's bunk.

Open Cockpit.  Note no wheel.

The steering station is below (and heated).

The Ocelot was the last Warship built for the British Navy at Chatham.   Three more "O" Class submarines were built here, all for the Canadian Navy.  The Canadian submarine "Okanangan" was the last Warship built at Chatham.

Sonar located in hump on bow.

We had to get through 4 small hatches.

Crew "hot bedded" on tiny bunk beds in the mess.

16 cylinder turbo charges diesels.

April, 2016 - CHATHAM - POST 2

Large wood ships must be seasoned after the keel and framing is complete.this can take 6 months to 2 years.  To speed this process covered slip ways were constructed, first in wood, then cast iron then wrought iron.  At the time they had the largest unsupported spans in Europe.  The wood roof beams are a work of art in themselves.

Sandra provides a reference for the scale of the structure.

The three Warships on display are the HMS Gannet 1878, and HMS Cavalier 1944, HM Submarine Ocelot 1962.

Gannet is a composite teak over iron sailing ship, with auxiliary steam engine driving a propeller that was lifted into the captains cabin when not in use.

Our guide, Malcolm, at the helm.

Motto added when ship was used as dormitory for a private school.

The canon can be moved to fire out ports on either side of the bow.

Hole for propeller in Captains Cabin.

April, 2016 - CHATHAM, UK - POST 1

After a good sail we arrive at Queenbourgh and take up a mooring in the river for the night.  Next day we sailed up the River Medway to Gilligham Marina, about 1 mile downriver from Chatham.

Loads of "fun" in the lock and trying to tie up to our dock, due to cross wind and VERY tight conditions in the marina.  Not recommended for anyone with a full keel and/or a heart condition.  Finally a local took pity on us an assisted us.  Would not come here again in similar conditions.  After the wind settled down, we manually turned the boat 180 degrees to face out, to help us get out when we leave.

The Historic Dockyard at Chatham is a smaller version of the museums at Portsmouth.  The Lifeboat collection and Ropery are unique and worth the visit alone.  The workshops and Warships are all high quality exhibits. 

The last Warship built here was the submarine "Okanagan" for the Canadian Navy in the mid-1960s.

After 400 years the yard was closed and 80 acres of the over 560 acres now is preserved as a Historic Dockyard.

The first area visited traced the history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

First they rowed.

Next they sailed.

Finally power boats.

RIBs added to assist with the increasing inshore work assisting recreational boaters.


We finally get cruising,  first stop Brightlingsea, a small resort town in the Thames Estuary. 

Mid April, mid morning temp below 10 C, humidity 99%, pressure dropping, rain predicted. 

The public dock.  Boats moor on docks in the river and dingy to town.

These tiny seaside shelters, no services, day use only, sell for $20,000 Cdn.

On the visitors dock.

By the dawn's early light:

Moorings that dry out are common.

Unsettling neighbour.


We are not all work as we catch up with friends at the marina over meals and adult beverages.

Trevor and Rebeca on board Passat II.

Trish, Sandra and Ann-Marie out on the town...

with Jeremy, Mike, Bill...

and Cate (far left).

We regret that we did not get pictures of our time with Max and Lynnie.

We also enjoy walks around Ipswich, between rain squalls.

Lunch with Toad.

Some Daffodils brave the cold.

No leaves yet!

Ambulance helicopter drops in for a short stay.

Local notable, Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIIIs advisor.

Apparently famous cartoon characters.