Please find general information about your day below.
Where are you sailing from?
Your trip, unless otherwise stated, will depart from either:
Lower Halstow Dock – Postcode: ME9 7DZ –
Former Brickmakers Dock, now reclaimed by nature. Parking available in the gated area at the end of Lapwing Drive.
Chatham Maritime Marina – Postcode: ME4 4LP –
Part of the former Dockyard, the barge is moored outside the Marina entrance. Parking available in Marina car park – press buzzer at entry gate and say ‘Edith May’. If the car park is full, you can park in the large multistory car park by the Odeon cinema. This is a 5 minute walk away, so please allow time to park.
The time listed against your booking is when the barge will depart the quay. You will be able to board the barge up to 15 minutes before the stated sailing time. Please ensure you arrive at the barge promptly, as time and tide wait for no person!
At Lower Halstow, boarding is via a gang plank, with a small step on and off. At Chatham, boarding is via a sturdy, wide stepped boarding ladder (4 steps).
Aboard the barge, the decks are wide and getting about is relatively easy, but there are around 8 steps to get below.
The crew are very willing to assist anyone who may find getting on/off/around difficult and we have welcomed people of all abilities aboard the barge in the past.
What should you wear?
It can be cold on the water, even when warm on land, so we recommend bringing plenty of layers.
Sensible footwear is important, flat soled shoes – no stilettos!
We advise wearing clothes you do not mind getting a smudge of grease on – there are plenty of wires and blocks that you may come into contact with.
You will be outside in the elements for a large part of the day, so a sun hat and sun cream is advisable.
Children are very welcome to come sailing on the barge, but we request they are supervised at all times, ideally one adult to each child. The crew will try to involve them in pulling ropes and taking a turn at the wheel, when conditions allow.
For younger children (14 and under), the full day trips are quite a long day and the Barge Match Experience days are not appropriate.
On our 3hr, full day or barge match experiences, all your catering is included. Please advise of of any dietary requirements or preferences before the day and we will be pleased to incorporate these into the menu.
Our 1hr Medway River Cruise does not include catering, but soft drinks, a selection of beers, wines and spirits, homemade cakes and snacks are available to purchase.
On Barge Match Days, please be aware that the racing can make catering difficult and so food and drinks will only be available at appropriate times.
Smoking is strictly prohibited aboard the barge. Vaping is permitted on deck, but we ask you to be mindful of other guests and stand downwind.
The decision to sail is entirely at the discretion of the skipper. Should a severe weather event be forecast, your trip may be postponed. These decisions, although rare, will be taken within 24hrs of your sailing date and you will be notified via email or telephone.
In the unlikely event your trip is postponed, we will seek to arrange an alternative date for you. Refunds are not available for cancellations due to weather.
Returning to port
The length of your trip may vary depending on the conditions on the day, so please allow plenty of time after the estimated time of arrival if you are making plans for after the sail. This is particularly appropriate for the Fully Catered Day Excursions and Barge Match Experiences.
Safety aboard the barge
The barge is fully compliant with all safety regulations and carries a life raft, life jackets, flares and other associated equipment. Whilst recommended, choosing to wear a life jacket is at the discretion of passengers.
The barge will be sailed, as opposed to being underway using the engine, as much as possible and as such, there will be numerous trips hazards and working machinery around the decks. A full safety briefing will be provided at the start of the trip, so please listen carefully to all instructions.