‘For anyone who enjoys wandering out onto coastal flats during low-tide to explore the terrain, Britain’s Broomway has all the appearances of the perfect gateway. The tidal foot path, so-named for the hundreds of broomsticks that once marked its boundaries, has for nearly 600 years provided access from Essex, England to the farming communities of nearby Foulness Island.
‘The Broomway, however, is more dangerous than its name implies… For at least 100 people, and likely many more, it’s one walk they never returned from.
‘To access the Broomway, you must first leave the mainland of Essex at a point called Wakering Stairs. You then reach a causeway of brick and debris that takes you over the ominous Black Grounds, a kind of quicksand that locals refer to simply as “coffins.” Once on the Broomway, you’ll walk across a firm, silvery mudflat called the Maplin Sands.’
Bart Jan Bats has written to say the company will be at the Beale Park Boat Show(10-12 June) to show its distinctive Nigel Irensdaysailer, the trailable BJ17 , which has a polyester hull with modern lines, a balanced lug rig (a single-masted gaff rig is also available) and a large self-draining cockpit.
The company says the two masted lug has several advantages: a higher rig, it drives the boat better, especially in light winds, and the mizzen makes it easy to keep the boat pointing into the wind when hoisting sails or anchoring. Also, the sheets of both sails come together near the helmsman, which
makes single-handed sailing easy, while the rest of the cockpit is free of lines, allowing four people to be seated in comfort.
Some buyers may prefer the more familiar gaff-rigged version, however.
Bart Jan Bats will also be showing a Thames launch currently available for sale. It is built in cedar strip covered with 7mm mahogany, and finished with epoxy and a two-component polyurethane varnish. The deck is maple with mahogany, while the floor is teak with koto lines. The motor is a Volvo Penta 10hp.
Richard is the chap who runs the The Quay website, which campaigns for the maritime future of Faversham Creek.
On the day of the Cambria’s relaunch earlier this week he was lucky enough to be able to meet Phil Latham, who was Bob’s mate aboard the sailing barge from 1964-68, and and to film an interview. I think it’s of great interest to anyone fascinated by sailing barges and Bob Roberts, but also to sailors who know or plan to visit the East Coast.