My First Trip of the Season 2004

Report and pictures by Martin Longhurst

On Saturday 1 May 2004 I joined the KC at Strood Pier for a non-landing day trip to Sheerness.   I was looking out for changes since the last season and didn't have far to look!

Another immediately noticeable feature was the Swiss National Flag flying from the jack staff.   Captain John Megoran told us this was to mark the relaunch of P.S. Gallia on Lake Lucerne where a five paddler parade was taking place along the full length of the lake.   The covered slips at the Chatham Historic Dockyard are in the background.

KC called at Thunderbolt Pier to pick up a few more passengers, which gave us the chance to see the brand new prow just fitted by the Dockyard.

Heading downstream we soon passed the Paddle Tug John H. Amos, now with her funnel removed.

Now it was time to go below and see the changes made to the servery area.   Rachel pours me a pint.

I was pleased to see that the brewer is now Kent-based Shepherd Neame of Faversham

It was a very misty passage to Sheerness, with a quick diversion down The Swale to Queenborough.  There was only one ship alongside at Sheerness, the Arroyofrio Dos of Madeira.

We did venture a little way out into the Thames Estuary but the visibility was too pour to make going further worth while.   So we turned back upstream and soon reached Thamesport Container Terminal (actually on the River Medway) where two 'box boats' were moored.   The larger Lt Ulysses was unloading.


The P&O Nedlloyd Jakarta was awaiting departure.

Shortly after that we encountered a new Coastguard patrol vessel.

During the voyage Captain Megoan has kept us up to date with development in Switzerland, so I thought I would include two shots from the SGV website where there are many more pictures.

The newly refurbished Gallia

The five paddlers line up - they had changed formation many times during the voyage from Luzern to Fluelen and back

Back on the Medway we were all too soon back at Rochester where the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge is now berthed opposite Strood Pier



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