Saturday, 10 June 2017

Battle of the Medway

The Dutch warship 'Holland' is moored in the dock basin behind my house.

She crouches at the quayside like a snow leopard ready to pounce. Sleek and powerful...... claws at the ready...

...her tail held high and proud.

Two weeks ago Stargazer sailed to Breskens. Now Breskens boats have crossed the North Sea to her home port.

Boats of all shapes....


...and eras.

350 years ago the Royal Dutch Navy sailed up The River Medway to Chatham Naval Dockyard. They sacked Upnor Castle, captured the cream of the British fleet as prizes and burned the remaining warships on their moorings.

Today the atmosphere in front of Upnor's stone battlements is more relaxed. Flags, flown by British and Netherlands boats alike, crack in a stiff westerly breeze.

Racing gigs pitch gamely in the wind over tide chop of the heaving river...

...and a bluff bowed Botter puts purposefully to sea.

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