On Saturday 3rd August, 200 volunteers will help Whitstable Maritime present a full day’s entertainment and experiences on land and sea with 50 local and national organisations already booked for Whitstable Harbour Day. 10,000 visitors are expected to enjoy the fun.
Craft filling the harbour will range from a Bronze Age replica boat to the latest high-tech racing dinghy. Visitors will be able to board vessels varying in size from a 250 foot coaster to a 20 foot lugger that you could trail behind a car. Visiting boats include powerful 60 foot patrol boats belonging to the Border Force and Inshore Fisheries Conservation; the Margate All Weather Lifeboat; several Thames barges and Old Gaffers, and the local fishing fleet. A 45 foot ex-naval launch belonging to the Maritime Volunteer Service is due to offer boat rides.
Whitstable Maritime is currently restoring the town’s iconic Oyster Yawl, the Gamecock. In their marquee you will be able to learn more about this project, and the interactive coastal trail they are creating between Whitstable and Faversham. On the beach, local Bodgers will be demonstrating how to build a coracle, and in the Emergency Services Zone you will find the Coastguards and RNLI displaying their equipment.
In the Marine Environment Zone, local groups will be encouraging you to help protect people and wildlife from different forms of pollution. Others will be keen to help you identify the marine life and their habitats. Whilst the Heritage Zone will be offering expertise in discovering past boats, boat-building, railways and shipping.
A firm favourite with children (and grandparents) is the boating pond and the hand-crafted radio-controlled model boats, not to mention a ride on the model steam train along the quay. Bands, live performances, children’s drama, good food, nautical souvenirs and local crafts help to complete this celebration of Whitstable’s maritime past, present and future.
All making for a perfect family day out: and it is free!