IOPCC Trip Report

West Bay to Charmouth and return
April 3rd 2011

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 Clive West.

Click the thumbnail to view a bigger image.


Getting ready to launch at West Bay Hilary and Ron
Ian David getting to grips with his Cetus
Ron Aaron dealing well with tricky water
Carnage on our return to West Bay And then Ian tried to poison us all
The group, plus Beryl & Jim, the previous evening at
The Three Horseshoes, Burton Bradstock.

Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page.


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Report: Barbara Browning
Pictures: Barbara Browning



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast