|Tony Sandry (Leader)
Perfect day at Portland Bill
This was a joint IOPCC and PDCC paddle. (Tony Sandry
has arranged four other joint paddles this year).
13 paddlers met on the beach below Chiswell on
Saturday for the paddle around Portland Bill. The
conditions were very good including the weather and
tide. We were putting on about two hours before high
water on a neap tide.
Along with John we took great care in launching
ourselves off. Everyone else slid down the beach into
the sea. In Tim's case he nearly submerged completely.
Although we had a good stream in our favour it was
relatively 'calm' compared to the previous 5 times that
Tony has been around the Island. Saturday was the first
time that he had been able to explore the caves west of
the Pulpit Rock and to go under the Pulpit.
As we paddled along to the Pulpit rock there were
streams of Razor Bills sitting up on the cliffs and
flying down onto the sea to feed and then return to the
It was great fun weaving in and out of the large
rocks. I added a couple more scrapes to my kayak and was
in good company.
As we neared the Pulpit rock there
was quite a tide running in our direction of travel. We
all managed to navigate the passage between the rock and
Once we had rounded the headland the conditions
became very flat and we had a great time exploring the
For me a highlight was the sighting of
Peregrines and probably as many as the Bill could
accommodate. One had caught a largish bird and was
having difficulty flying with it, another was being
unsuccessfully chased by a seagull and two others were
chasing a white pigeon. Fantastic!
We had lunch on the first beach we came to and then
made our way back to a beach adjacent to Portland
Castle. We crossed the harbour into a fresh breeze which
was hard work. With naval vessels in the harbour we
found ourselves being approached by the harbour master
with the instruction to move further from the naval
The perfect day had the perfect end when Ruby
offered us all a piece of the lemon sponge she had
cooked for the event. Wonderful!