Westmoreland: gone but not lost.
A few drops of tepid rain spattered on the ‘Endurance’ as she took the strain. Colin fended his converted lighter from Standard Quay’s remaining dry dock, and Westmoreland was on her way down the Creek – Mac’s ‘Markie’ dragging behind to provide steerage.
The tugs edged the barge out into the rising tide and heavy air dulled the sound of hammering from the plastic sheeted purse seine fishing boat “Morayshire” as she was made ready to be craned out in the next couple of weeks. The second dock will then follow SB ‘Westmoreland’ out into the Swale.
As ‘Westmoreland’ crept slowly passed the new houses looming at the Eastern end of Standard Quay, it was business as usual at the Iron Wharf as shipwright Tim Goldsack manoeuvred his barge ‘Decima’ alongside the wharf between SB ‘Mirosa’, being rigged for her new sailing season, and SB ‘Orinoco’. (Like all good shipwrights, of course, Tim owns a steel barge).
The two tugs cleared their charge from the Iron Wharf’s crowded moorings; ‘Endurance’’s engines throbbed louder; ‘Markie’, released from her backwards progress, turned to chaperone the dock round the twists and turns of the creek and the wake of the little convoy spread to lap at the cracks in the parched banks.
SB Westmoreland left Faversham midday 16th May 2011.