- A 'lucky' picture taken at 04:10 (GMT) looking west up the Swale towards the Isle of Grain - 

My friends Bruce and Caroline were very kind and invited me on a trip from Barking (Barking Creek) to the Swale (between Faversham and the Isle of Sheppy) to watch the annual Kentish Sail Association Thames barge and Smack racing. What a weekend ! - As I am writing B and C are taking Vrijheid back to her moorings in Barking after a successful 4-yearly survey at Sunbury - congratulations to all three of them especially with the weather we are 'enjoying' today (25-Nov-2006). In the picture above the mainland of Kent is on the left, the Isle of Sheppy is on the right and the lights in the far distance are, I believe, the lights on the Isle of Grain powerstation across the Medway River from Queenborough. Please click the word 'Swale' above for a Google Map of the area.


Thames barge Edme working up before the start of racing. Bruce and Caroline before returning their justly won cup for the 'Best Turned out Historic Powered Vessel' in 2005. Vrijheid at anchor in the Swale showing her beautiful lines - something sadly lacking in 'new' builds in my opinion. The sheer size of a Thames barge is evident in this picture
A beautiful sunset over the Swale Edme under full sail - what a sight Racing off Whitstable Bruce at the controls of Vrijheid off Whitstable
The whole family goes sailing in Kent ! Someone else was also interested in the proceedings - quite a vantage point ! Edme quietly at anchor in the Swale. One of the beautiful Oyster Smacks
One of the bouys that guide you around the Thames, Medway and Swale. An 'east' Cardinal buoy off Whitstable. Click here for more info on Cardinal buoys and scroll down a little The old and new together. Heading for the finishing line and a win

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