Monday 30 July 2012

Sunday 10 July 2011

South West Sea Kayaking Meet 2011- Day 2 10-07-2011

Last night Eurion and myself decided we would have an easy paddle from Kimmeridge to Durdle Door and back so we could enjoy the hospitality of the Greyhound to it's full potential.

So it came as a bit of a shock when Mark suggested that Swanage to Durdle Door and then back to Kimmeridge would be a good paddle for us! After a bit of a rush Eurion and myself were joined by Huw, a paddler from Pembrokeshire.  We found ourselves paddling out from  Swanage.

We are soon paddling around Durlston Head passing nesting Guillemots on a sheltered narrow ledge on the way.

At the Anvil Point Lighthouse built in 1881 we decide to stay in close to the cliffs instead of paddling straight across to St Alban's Head.

We could see why Mark had suggested paddling this stretch of the Dorset Coastline with plenty of bird life including a few Puffins and numerous Shags some more visible than others.

Approaching St Alban's Head the cliffs increase in height along with our speed as we are pushed along by the ebbing tide.

We paddle across Chapman's Pool and along the Kimmeridge Ledges where we hear on the VHF that a yacht has run aground and on hearing the coordinates we realise we are pretty close.

When we spot people waving on a yacht in front of us Eurion informs the Coast Guard that we along with a speedboat are in attendance and we paddle over to see if we can be of any assistance.

With the Coast Guard Helicopter watching over proceedings Eurion and Huw help set up the tow line between the 2 vessels with me looking on as official photographer.

With tow line attached we keep our distance as the yacht is pulled free after making some horrible scraping noises. We make our departure and are later thanked over the VHF for our assistance, with apparantely no damage being sustained by the yacht.

We stopped for a quick lunch at Kimmeridge before carrying on toward the Limestone arch of Durdle Door. There was to be no sight seeing on the way as the wind had increased and it turns into a bit of a slog to get to Durdle Door.

Beginning our paddle back to Kimmeridge we pass the numerous holes and arches of Stair Hole before stopping in Lulworth Cove for a brief chocolate break.

We paddle a few hundred yards out where we can fully appreciate the size of the cliffs en route to Kimmeridge,
We arrive in Kimmeridge to complete our paddle and bring an end to a cracking weekend of sea kayaking. Thanks to Huw for keeping us company today and  to Mark and Heather for once again organising the weekend. 

Saturday 9 July 2011

South West Sea Kayaking Meet 2011 - Day 1 09-07-2011

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.