De Gallant at start of the Spring crossing from Colombia to Cornwall

Sail Cargo 2020
De Gallant has arrived in Porto, making fast time across the Bay of Biscay – in the next few days the hold will be loaded with this season’s cargo of olive oil, olives, honey and beans from our farm suppliers in northern Portugal.
Thanks to all of you who placed early orders. These guarantee sales and help us to share the risk of the venture amongst us all – farmer, sailor, and port ally. Volumes are up 70% on last year – in a clear sign that interest in emissions-free shipping is growing, as the current crisis exposes the fragility of our trading systems.
If you haven’t managed it yet, there is still time to place your orders before the London arrival, scheduled for mid-July. Visit our online Open Food Network shop to make your choice. But be quick! There is only limited availability at these prices. There will be some limited collections from the ship – and we can deliver by bike in London.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Olives with herbs and either garlic or lemon.
  • Almonds
  • Sun and wind-dried sea salt, collected from the ancient salt pans of Noirmoutier, western France. 

People Fixing the World

Already in the UK following the epic winter sailing that marked stage one of this year’s voyage, are Colombian coffee beans, now being expertly roasted in Cornwall by Yallah Coffee, and a new range of New Dawn Traders chocolate from Trinitario Cocao beans collected from the Rural Community Alliance in Trinidad.  

From Trinidad, to Colombia to Cornwall, the Gallant sailed over 7,500 nautical miles or 14,000 km this winter – with close to a full hold of cargo (35 tons). Thanks to a handy DHL app, this would have created 1,966.13 kgCO2 by container ship and 177,982.35 kgCO2 if sent by plane.  Hear the story... as featured on BBC’s  “People Fixing the world”

Introducing Kent Sail Cargo

We're delighted to have got together with new port allies @KentSailCargo. Contact them for delivery of all these delicious products across the county. 

Queenborough Harbour on the Isle of Sheppey has been added to this year’s stopover schedule. From there we plan a sail around to other local ports, including Sittingbourne and Faversham  - look out for dates.

Raybel Charters welcomes Kent Sail Cargo to the barge

Researching the archive
As the lockdown months have dragged by, work at the wharf has been limited – with volunteers unable to get to the site and contractors furloughed. But under the direction of we’ve still been able to make progress in researching and archiving the Raybel story. 
Big thanks here to the Society for Sailing Barge Research for their support and a special mention for  SSBR Archivist Don Wright for finding the time to locate and provide us with some absolute Raybel gems amidst their barge archive.

The Raybel digital archive is taking shape on the website – we’ll be adding more content from these sources over the summer.

Raybel Creative Competition
Deadline day looming on our creative competition – closes 14th June, – for drawings, paintings, video, photography and writing on themes of Raybel, Lloyd’s Wharf and the sailing barge heritage of Milton Creek and Sittingbourne.  

Anyone can enter and we welcome all artistic abilities! Runners up and winners will have their work included in our touring exhibition, which we’ll be producing over the summer.

And if you want to help putting that exhibition together – do get in touch.


Latest to join the Raybel crew are music and film makers Resonate. We invited them to the wharf during May, for a filming day on the barge and at a very hot Milton Creek.

The film will be used in reminiscence workshops that we’re still hoping to put on in local care homes. That’s not been possible recently, of course, but as we raise our gaze to the horizon again, we would love to follow this through on this work.

We are looking for extra contacts to help make it happen and are v keen to hear from any local care homes that would like to be involved.

image: Marina, Emily and Charlotte filming. "I thought you were  getting them the life jackets?"

Volunteers back

And finally – soooo pleased to say that we are re-opening the wharf from Monday 15th June, for volunteers only. If you are interested in volunteering, please email with the dates and times you would like to attend.

To ensure a safe working environment for all staff, contractors and volunteers, we have put in place some precautionary measures, which all volunteers should make themselves familair wth – and that you can find here.

But due to the contimnued restrictions on groups meeting, we are keeping the site closed to wider public events and activities.

Welcome back!!

Find out more about Raybel Charters, one of our Shipshape Network South East Projects here.