Arriving yesterday afternoon at the 4th South West Sea Kayaking Meet organised by Mark Rainsley our hopes of a paddle were curtailed by gale force winds.
This year's event was in the new location of Corfe Castle in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset so we decided to check out some of the village's drinking establishments. Eurion and myself doubled the clientelle of the Fox before settling in the Greyhound.
With everyone gathering for the morning's briefing and with reasonably high winds forecast a convoy of vehicles loaded with sea kayaks descended on Studland Bay.
Splitting into groups we set off in various directions across a surprisingly breezy Studland Bay to Handfast Point and Old Harry Rocks.
The tide was too low to paddle through the numerous holes in the chalk stacks so everyone had to paddle around Old Harry Rocks.
Rounding Old Harry the white chalk cliffs grow in size with caves and more stacks to paddle past en route.
Paddling toward Ballard Point the wind seems to have picked up and the general consensus of the group was to turn round and look for somewhere to have our lunch where we nearly lose our kayaks due to the wake of a passing Fast Cat ferry.
Reaching the Old Harry Rocks the tide is high enough to paddle through some of the gaps into more sheltered water.
On the paddle back across Studland Bay Eurion does an impression of an Eskimo with a borrowed Greenland Stick.
Arriving back at Studland Bay Eurion, Heather, Jim and myself leave the rest of the group and paddle into the entrance of a rather windy Poole Harbour.
We turn round when we reach the chain ferry to complete our first days paddle. We are soon back at South Studland Bay for a bbq before returning to the Greyhound to once again enjoy a few beers and plan tomorrow's paddling.