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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Lower Thames Rowing Club’s recent visit to Whitstable Yacht Club

The trip to Whitstable is always a brilliant trip. We set off from Leigh-on-Sea at 06:30, so the outgoing tide would take us to the forts
– always an amazing place to visit. We had estimated it would take four hours of outgoing tide to reach the forts but due to the good conditions and a
beneficial tailwind we arrived at the forts by 09:30.

Our intention is always to jump on the back of the tide and let it bring us to the forts. Working with the tides is one of the principal

factors that differentiates coastal rowing from fineboat rowing. We also had to contend with the giant ships in the shipping lane, which always makes this part

of the rowing journey an interesting experience.

From the forts we took a bearing of 169 degrees. From that distance it is difficult to make out Whitstable and an easy mistake to make is to head for the tip of the Isle of Sheppey.

Arriving at Whitstable after almost six hours of rowing, our first task was to carry the gigs up the incline on the beach above the shoreline. It is great to visit Whitstable Yacht Club and stay with them. They are always very accommodating. Whitstable let us keep our oars in their sail loft, as well as seats and other equipment. The only thing we had to leave on the beach were the boats. We could then go into the Yacht club for some refreshments. Four of the rowers stayed at Whitstable Yacht Club in their

bunk rooms, the others made use of an Airbnb, which worked well.

The next day after breakfast at Keith’s, we put the boats in the water at 09:30 and managed to make it to the Swale before we lost all the water. At times there were only three/four blade depths underneath the boats. The sun was shining and there was barely a ripple in the water. We journeyed up the Swale, passing a beautiful Thames Sailing Barge,before making it to the harbour at Queenborough where we moored on the pontoon. We stopped for lunch at the flying Dutchman, just around low tide. After lunch we got back in the boats to complete the journey to Leigh-on-Sea, through choppier water.

The incoming tide of the Estuary, combined with an easterly and the barely covered mud flats north of the fort at the entrance to the Medway, helped create short scrappy waves. This made the rowing more challenging. We got back to Leigh-on-Sea at circa 17:00 and cleaned the boats.

Visiting Whitstable Yacht Club is always a pleasure. The club is hospitable and caters very well for the demands of rowers, who always want to know where they can store their oars.

Thank you, Whitstable Yacht Club.