The plan was to launch from Burton Bradstock beach but upon
inspection the consensus was that the waves were dumping in
such a manner that launching (never mind recovery) was going
to be far too interesting.
So we went in convoy to West
beach at West Bay where there were significant waves but
they were swishing up the beach rather than crashing.
A certain amount of faff with kit and car parking meant
we did not launch until 11.15. There were ten paddlers in
total. Everyone apart from Aaron had paddled with the Club
several times. Aaron was very much a newbie to us and to sea
paddling having only paddled on flat, fresh water before. He
is using one of the Club’s Charlestons until he finds a sea
kayak that he likes. Aaron can be identified in the blue
Charleston in the gallery pics. He did remarkably well and
seemed to enjoy the rather challenging conditions we
encountered. I hope he doesn’t think every Club paddle will
be as exciting.
There were significant waves on the way to Charmouth but
there was no real venom in them and they were fairly
regular. We arrived at Charmouth at 1.15pm having made
progress at a rate of 3 knots (according to Clive’s GPS).
The tide was low and we were able to avoid the surf and land
uneventfully. I had noticed the wind freshening as we
arrived at Charmouth so lunch was fairly brisk and we were
on our way again by 2pm.
The waves had picked up and were uneven and often
quartering awkwardly. Progress was slower, and this early in
the season paddling fitness was not at its maximum. Ron and
Michelle had had enough by the time we had been bounced
round Golden Cap so they landed at Seatown, quickly followed
by Clive and Hilary who also decided that the pub was a
better option. The rest of us continued back to West Bay. As
we approached West Bay the sky looked very threatening and
we were glad to be ashore – even if the landings were in
some cases cataclysmic.
Jill had a lovely time and never stopped smiling. The
best paddle ever in her opinion. David (C) was magnificent
and handled his Cetus in quite difficult conditions very
well. Geoff’s 4* training has clearly paid off as he quietly
shepherded and encouraged the less experienced paddlers. As
for Aaron –he considered it ‘a great first outing’. I hope
he will paddle with us again soon!
GPS trace of the paddle courtesy of
Click the thumbnail to view a bigger image.