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Sailing Barge Greta

Part 1

Greta lifebuoy

A copy free feature great sailing the North Kent Coast on S.B. Greta

Built in 1892 at Stones Yard Brightlingsea Essex by Barge sailmaker known as Hibbs: Length 80', Beam 20', Draft of 3' & 49 registered tons

Finished in Oak on Oak & fitted with a Perkins 6354 Perkins Diesel

Greta anchor winch

Sold to Owen Parry a barge owner with a fleet of fine vessels noted for their smart turn out & race wins, as a working boat Greta carried grain, malt for the brewing industry & building materials

More unusually she carried the spars for the German Kaiser's racing schooner

In 1918 she was sold to the London Bridge Company, based at Strood

Dowstream Faversham creek

Greta above leaving her home berth of Standard Quay Faversham

Early on World War II she was chartered by the Ministry of Supplies to carry ammunitions from the Army Depot at Upnor near Rochester on the Medway in Kent to ships anchored off the Nore in the Thames Estuary

Greta took part in the evacuating of troops from Dunkirk in 1940 & continued her service as a lighter until discharged from the war by the Admiralty in 1946

She's now the oldest active Dunkirk Little Ship

After a thorough overhaul & refit she returned to normal trading carrying general cargo of grain, timber, animal feed & miscellaneous cargo from ships in London to the smaller Medway Wharves & sometimes Colchester in Essex

Greta became known on the beer run with a Master & mate teetotal the brewery Meux requested her as there was never any pilfering & "accidental damage". In turn HM Customs were confident what was loaded at Nine Elms Battersea was discharged at Chatham

In 1960's with work declining she was laid up in Whitehall Creek, she narrowly avoided being broken up as parts for another barge. Luckily she turned out to be in better condition & was restored

Greta anchor winch & Whitstable harbour mouth

Re-rigged in the 1980'in private hands Greta's home & is maintained & worked by owner skipper Steve Norris & Penni

Through the winter she' berthed at Standard Quay Faversham & in the summer months on the South Quay at Whitstable Harbour

CK46 on mooring in Faversham creek Unknown wooden vessel at mooring Faversham creek

At the junction of Faversham & Oare Creeks the Shipwrights Arms

Decommisioned fishing boats Faversham creek

Decommissioned Whitstable fishing boats with Oyster Smack Gamecock & the distant Harty Ferry Inn across the Swale on the Isle-of-Sheppey

Gamecock F76 Faversham creek

Bill Coleman attends F76 the last Whitstable Oyster Smack Gamecock built in Whitstable in 1909

Cardium fishing boats Whitstable harbour

Moored with Cardium Shellfish boats Ol' Ray & Cardium 2, Greta provides regular summer sailing trips from Whitstable Harbour

Brett's aggregate hopper Whitstable harbour

Brett's aggregate hopper on the East Quay

Whitstable harbour west quay

West Quay wood from the Baltic

BM116 under way

Brixham registered BM116

Greta anchor Greta sails

Greta deck

Greta leaves the harbour

Crowd on Greta

Young Ben at the wheel as Skipper Steve Norris counts his fingers also pictured Val', Sav', Chris, Old Ben, Chris &  Peter of Coastwatch

Yacht approaches starboard

Pleasure yachtsman on a Westerly heading

Red Sands Fort

One of the regular haunts of Greta

Red Sands G1 Gun Tower

The Army Forts on Red Sands

Navigate from Redsands Rendezvous for more on these forts

Also see Fort Fax for the history of the Thames Estuary forts

Red Sands Bofors Tower

Yacht passing the Bofors Tower

For roof top & internal pictures of this Bofors Tower see Aboard Red Sands

Yacht passing Red Sands Fort

Passing North of the fort sailing on an Easterly tack towards Margate

Red Sands 7 Fort cluster

We sail anti-clockwise here the 7 fort cluster viewed towards the North West

Red Sands G1 with Bofors behind

Gun Tower 1 with Bofors Tower in background

Red Sands G1, Control, G4 & Searchlight Towers

Like soldiers in a line

CU Red Sands G1, Control, G4 & Searchlight Towers

Gun 1, Control, Gun 4, & Searchlight Towers

Red Sands Control Tower

Control Tower

CU Red Sands Control Tower

The Control Tower in close up

Red Sands G2, G3 & Searchlight

Gun Tower 2, 3, & Searchlight Tower

Red Sands G2 landing stage

Dilapidated landing gantry on Gun Tower 2

Red Sands G3 landing stage

Gun Tower 3 landing stage remains

Red Sands Searchlight Tower

Searchlight Tower

Red Sands G4 Tower

Gun Tower 4

Red Sands North Buoy

This Buoy has been on station for some years now fitted like most with a solar panels

Sail adjustment on Greta

Young Ben sets the topsa'l for the return

Leaving Red Sands

Leaving the fort behind

Greta under sail back to Whitstable

To return to port

Lucy & Val'

Sav's daughter Lucy with Val manager of Whitstable Yacht Club

Middle Sand Beacon

The distinctive Middle Sand Beacon

Oyster Buoy

Harbour mark the Oyster Buoy off Whitstable

This feature continues in Greta Part 2

For more all the Red Sands features navigate from Red Sands Rendezvous

For pictures off Whitstable Coast navigate from Whitstable Harbour Day 2003

For news on the Red Sands preservation project see Seatribe

For all the Shivering Sands Army Forts & its Radio Stations navigate from Sutch & City 1

For the Navy Forts & their Radio Stations navigate from Radio Essex 222 & Sealand One

For details on all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax

Make sure you also see the NAB "Mystery Tower" the forerunner to the Maunsell Forts in Sailing the Solent

For more maritime adventures see Afloat

For the range of documentary Offshore Radio CD's, an audio visual tour around a Naval Fort Sealand the Grand Tour VCD, books, & a video on the Army & Navy Forts go to Offshore Shop

To book your sail aboard the spritsail barge Greta see Boat Trips

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2003