A trip to Oare in June

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Oare in June

Clouds and light in the Swale towards evening. Click on
the images for larger photographs

We took a trip to Oare this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, as despite a less than wonderful weather forecast we had some near perfect sailing conditions, interesting light and cloud, and some good looking old boats. I can’t imagine a more powerful reminder of why we like to sail.

Oare in June

Julie’s shot of the Thames barge Mirosa. The object on Horse Sand
to the left is a beached yacht with someone on board – hopefully
they were there to clean its bottom rather than simply stuck.
I should add that a sizeable group of seals were basking on the
beach just 100 yards away from him. I wonder if he or they knew
about each other?

Oare in June

Julie’s photo of the (hopefully) careened yacht

Oare in June

How about this? Barge yachts are a rare sight nowadays,
but were popular in the 1920s and 30s. I’m sorry I couldn’t
get closer, but we were moored at the time. I’d love to hear
more about the boat – is she the one that
Classic Boat
featured some years ago?

Oare in June

Thames sailing barge Will

Oare in June

Will and Mirosa moored in the Swale

Oare in June

On the way home we dropped into Lower Halstow to check
out a cruising destination and found a pleasant, out-of-the-way
sort of place, with some fine old buildings, an old quay
next to the church, and the barge
Edith May in the process of being
restored. I don’t know who’s doing it, but good luck and
more power to their elbows!

Oare in June

Oare in June

6 thoughts on “A trip to Oare in June”

  1. Gavin,

    You probably parked right outside my house!!! I live in the last house before the turning circle. I was at Faversham, working on ID.

    Geoff Gransden owns the Edith May, and her total re-build will be completed next year. He laid down the Barge-blocks specially for her.

    We are planning to clean out the dock, and level out the mud, soon, so that yachts can once again visit, and stay alongside. Dick Holness warns people off in his East Coast Pilot, but I have persuaded the Parish Council to take a more positive view.

    Of course Idle Duck will be moored off here when she returns.


  2. Not knowing any better we parked outside the pub and walked down to the quay through the churchyard. So I guess the turning circle is by the quay? If so, I'd guess you could be in the modern house with slightly ornate red eaves by the stream?

    We'll certainly come to Lower Halstow in Schottische. I particularly like the sheltered area of water, which seems to me to be very suitable for kids, and the peacefulness of the place. Timing will be all of course, given the mud situation!

    How do you plan to stop local people with yachts from tying up long term and preventing visitors from using the quay? It could so easily be misused in the way people take advantage of the disabled parking at supermarkets.


  3. G'day Gavin, what's the tide range there? Looks like some of the smaller creeks of our bay. We get 6 to 11 ft depending on the season. I note the fellow standing by his beached yacht, we'd be up to our waists in mud. Not as bad as in the past though, they used to loose cows if they got on the mud and it was recommended that you carry an inflated inner tube if you ventured out yourself. Lately though the shore crabs in their millions have mixed the sand and mud and in most off-beach tidal places it's only up to your knees.

    Permanent moorings are a valuable commodity on the bay, in some older areas a property title carries a mooring permit. The problem is where as most of the shoreline is quite exposed.

  4. Hi Jeff – 5 metres is about it.

    Horse Sand is hard and sandy, and has long been used for working on boat bottoms, but given the weather forecasts I saw I wouldn't have planned to do any work that day. It just turned out that at least some of the forecasts were wrong…

    I should add that the area is a legend for mud – you certainly don't have a monopoly on that stuff!


  5. Gavin,

    We used to have a problem, years ago, with the fishermen hogging the dockside as if it was their own, but the local youth pounded them with bricks, so they moved off onto moorings, and just leave their old dinghies to be interfered with.

    However, the kids do not interfere with manned boats; only if they are left for weeks unattended. Geoff Gransden's boatbuilders are there most of the time during the week, which is added security.

    Geoff, incidentally also owns the smack Thistle, kept at Gillingham.

    No my house is not the big wooden 'Boathouse'. My house is the last modern estate house the other side of the stream. Did you walk back to the pub along the footpath beside the 'Boathouse'. If so my house was on your right.

    Halstow Creek is artificially widened by the extraction of mud for the brick-making. It is a half-mile wide lagoon when the tide is up; great for kids to learn to sail in.



  6. Message for Bob Telford

    My wife and I are former owners of Idle Duck. We bought her from Brian Kelley when he finally gave up sailing single-handed (aged 85). We got to know him quite well and he was enormously generous to us. We kept Idle Duck on a mooring at Pin Mill for some years. We eventually sold her, very reluctantly, to a chap whose name I can't recall (a builder from Chingford?), who planned to go to the Caribbean. I heard the odd thing from him when he was having some work done by (can't remember name, gone now) a little floating boatyard up by the New Cut in Ipswich. Heard nothing for years. Very upset to see the photos of her languishing in a mudhole, but much uplifted to read of your restoration. I have drawings and various other things that might be of interest to you


    Fred Brookes

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