IOPCC Trip Report

Overnight camp and Easter Sunday Paddle in Poole Harbour.
Saturday 3rd-Sunday 4th April 2010


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.

Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page.

A wet paddle Suppertime
Hilary dreaming of central heating Paddling back to Lake Pier
Lifeboats in the inner harbour Jim Lloyd
Brownsea Island Julie Wood
Lunch on Brownsea
(Jon playing the Easter Bunny role!)
GPS trace of the paddle from Lake Pier to the campsite and back courtesy of Clive West.

Click the thumbnail to view a bigger image.
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Report and Pictures: Barbara Browning



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast