The Rapture Gaming Festival happens to be taking place over July 1st and 2nd and one of those days is my birthday. It is being hosted at Chatham Royal Dockyard, a site which I have planned to visit for a long time but never gotten round to. To get to Chatham is about an 860 mile round trip for me.
To go that far takes a little bit of planning, a few days away from home and over a birthday weekend, there has to be a good reason to do it. I was invited by a fine group of Kentish Men (Postie's Rejects to be more specific) Postie's Rejects to put on my Medway 1667 game, more or less at the site or to be more precise, the objective of the famous Tocht naar Chatham ( Trip to Chatham). This was a social event organized by the navy of the Dutch Republic as a sort of team building, extended 'Away Day' for the fleet.
You know the kind of thing, Kiss me Quick hats, bags of boiled whelks, sink the entire English fleet and be home in time for Van der Valk and some kaas en roggebrood.I thought, if I'm going all the way to Kent, I may as well do as the Dutch did and make is a Scottish version of Tocht naar Chatham, a sort of Celtic Hoolie in Kent.
That's when I thought I'd extend my stay with some visits - Rochester Castle, Upnor Castle, Garrison Point etc. That got me to thinking, what about hiring a boat and inviting a few like minded enthusiasts to take to the water and appreciate the Dutch achievement from the front row.
Now ten of us are going on a private charter from Queenborough to Rochester Bridge and back to take in the key locations of one of the most fascinating naval battles ever seen in Europe. No endless stretches of featureless ocean where ships steamed through never to return. This is an eight miles long stretch of river which saw a predatory squadron of Dutch frigates and fireships, led by their most celebrated admirals - van Ghent and de Ruyter, terrorize the battle fleet of Charles II right on his doorstep. London was emptying as the Dutch lit the blue touch paper.
I have a super week planned - the show for two days, come along and see the Rejects +1 causing Mayhem on the Medway (we might even put on a wargame as well!), followed by three days of sight seeing around the river's key sites all topped off by a trip down the battle field? on the Jacob Marley.
|Inspired work of Arnold de Lange|
Come along and throw a few dice at the show.. if yer 'ard enuff!
I'll sink a wee dram to toast both the fleets (whisky? gin? rum? - all three?) and enjoy a week of gaming and exploring. I can't wait.