Message originally posted by gavinparson on 14-Apr-09 at 07:40 AM:

So another calm fine weekend. A bit misty on the Medway but a balmy 13-15 degrees and quite nice.
Russ and I were due to cruise along the North Kent Coast today but then it got moved to Sunday and then Russ couldn't make it. So instead I decided to go for a family cruise with my wife and youngest daughter.
We launched from Gillingham Strand and headed round the back of Hoo Ness and skimmed along the north shore of the river, over a few small mud banks and round past Hoo Marina. We followed the shore very slowly past the various sailing clubs down towards Upnor.
Ahead we saw the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle which was taking peple for river trips out of Chatham Dockyard.
We very slowly cruised past the steamer on their starboard side much to the apparent excitement of the passengers.
As the steamer steered to port we veered off to the right side of the river and went up Whitewall Creek. As it was 3 hours after low water, the deep gulley of the creek was nicely half filled with water making it perfectly navigable. This was where I lived on a converted barge back in the hot summer of 1983. Back then the creek was littered with old barge wrecks but now they were all gone.
We went to the top of the creek, stopped for a few minutes then left again turning right upriver.
We carried on past the Dockyard where the annual steam fair was being held.
Then we passed Chatham town centre and went underneath Sun Pier.
We followed the left bank closely and passed the Harbourmasters vessel going the other way. He couldn't complain at our speed as I was maintain a nice slow cruising speed. We carried on to Strood where we passed the Russian submarine on the right, under Rochester Bridge and then parked up by Rochester Esplanade. We hopped across the rocks and took our daughter down to the childrens play area for a while.
When we got back to the craft the tide had risen to within 6ft of the craft. We set off and hovered back downstream and went to Upnor where there's always a lot of beach to land on. Here we walked up to the Tudor Rose pub and had in drink in their nice garden.
When we got back to the craft we noticed that the river had got very busy and a bit of a breeze had picked up. The water was now about 1ft in front of the craft so it was a good time to leave.
We took a leisurely cruise back round to Gillingham hugging the right bank and then drove up the beach and parked by our trailer.
I think this was the 4th weekend in a row I've been cruising and there's something else exciting planned for next weekend. But while the weather's nice and the craft is faultlessly reliable, why not?Click image for larger version. 

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