On Saturday afternoon at 15:00 7 members of IOPCC met at
Lake car park. The boats were loaded up with camping gear,
food and drink for overnight under leaden skies. Launching
at 16:00 we paddled towards Arne with a forecast of winds
easing and a dry night ahead. The wind did drop but rain
began to fall lightly about 15 minutes after launching . The
group paddled up the coast of Arne leaving Giggers Island to
starboard and paddling into the Frome River. The rain had
developed into a downpour as we turned round and left
Giggers Island to port before returning to Arne. On arrival
at the designated camping place the torrential downpour
showed no sign of easing. The intrepid group landed and
proceeded to erect the tents. Supper was taken under the
minimal shelter from the sparse trees. Hopes for the rain to
stop faded and everyone retired to the relative comfort of
the tents and had an early night.
The rain did stop in the night clearing away to leave a
starry sky and as we emerged from our tents in the morning
we were greeted by a fresh breeze but blue sky and a glimmer
of sunshine. Everyone packed up the still soaking wet tents
and loaded the boats. The paddle back to Lake was
challenging in that we had a F5 north west wind on our
quarter and a following sea. However we arrived back at the
beach unscathed and were greeted by 6 more members of IOPCC
who were to join us for the day.
Clive and Hilary who were off to Pembrokeshire to do a 4*
sea training course the next day decided to go home to dry
out rather than paddle for the day so it was a group of 11
paddlers who left Lake at 10:00.
The wind was F5-6 and behind us as we paddled down the
north side of Poole Harbour past Hamworthy Park and the
Condor ferry before turning into the relative shelter of the
Inner Harbour. We took a sightseeing tour up to the RNLI
headquarters before returning under the lifting bridge, past
the Sunseeker factory and out into the main harbour.
Everyone was coping well and enjoying the challenging wind
and sea state so we went for the exposed crossing to
Brownsea Island. We stopped in the ‘no landing’ zone for a
brief leg stretch. Launching again was a little challenging
for some – but no swimmers!
It is a surprisingly long way around the eastern side of
Brownsea Island but we eventually turned to paddle up the
western side against the wind. The wind was north westerly
so we had some shelter and we made good progress towards
Pottery Pier. We stopped for lunch at a little bay and were
able to sit in the sun out of the wind.
The return to Lake was made by following the coast of
Brownsea Island against the wind and then crossing back
towards Poole aiming just above the Condor ferry. Although
the breeze was strong the group paddled well and returned to
Lake without incident.