IOPCC Trip Report

North Cornwall Weekend 2012
Day 2: Camel Estuary - Wadebridge to Stepper Point to playing on the doom bar to Padstow for lunch.
Saturday 5th May 2012

On the water 0930
LW Plymouth 1102 (0.6m) + 1hr = 12.02 plus 0235hrs = LW Wadebridge 12.37
HW Plymouth 1707 (5.5m) +1hr = 1807 less 52 mins = HW Wadebridge 17.15
light winds on launching to Sunshine. Later in the day wind increasing to approx force 4-5.
OMG culture shock again. I was expecting someone to knock on my tent saying we are off now. Well that was a classic miscalculation looked out of my tent thinking it must time to go only to find that everyone had vanished except Paul, Tina & Nathan. Launched at Wadebridge again harried to get ready as fast as I could and plop boat in water while trying not to slide down the pier ending in a probable swim and a muddy bottom. Due to unbelievable good manners and understanding I was not last to get into my boat and play in the river. The paddle downstream was fascinating and it quickly became apparent that if you did not want to be beached, following Barbara was a good move. As the combination of ebbing tide + river current became more apparent so it was that 'three Tideraces John' decided to show off paddling abilities finding a sandbar I believe well downstream of the main group. It was at this point that Barbara blew the whistle and I am sure he would have received a red card if in shouting distance. We all decided to regroup at a little creek called 'Gentle Jane' in the hope that John might get the message.. that paddling within shouting distance is preferable than having to scan the horizon with binoculars. We then headed downstream towards Rock and Padstow and beached boat and yachts of all sizes were apparent all around on sandbars with the river buoys leaning heavily seawards from the effects of the ever increasing current. The 'Doom Bar' or relief bar was soon reached and then onwards to Stepper Point. Then we all headed back towards the Bar to surf and generally play. Stu decided he would like to sit in my boat, but I thought that pointless and urged him to have a go surfing in it. He didnít take it for long probably he was being prudent after all I only bought it nearly new at the end of March. Perhaps he was worried about my gel coat. We then paddled onwards to Padstow for lunch and magically I managed to get my feet out of the cockpit before landing. We hauled our boats up the slipway and parked them outside the harbour masters office. I suspect we didnít get charged because they couldnít figure out how many horsepower we were and the signage on the top of the slip indicated appropriate charging for horsepower of craft. A very enjoyable time was spent in Padstow watching the hordes of tourists march up and down the town though I suspect we were also quite a sight in our paddling gear. When the Padstow Bar was almost covered at 14.50 we launched our boats to paddle back to Wadebridge taking maximum advantage of the effects of tide, this time moored 'Cornish Crabbers' appeared to be racing by at high speed out to sea, thank god I gave them a wide berth. Again it would seem that local knowledge is key in the section from Cant Cove back to Wadebridge Barbara managed to trump all in sight or perhaps this was a classic illustration of the 'fitness nazi' in action.
The club barbeque followed in the evening. Jilly Beans decided that she was to provide the full barbeque. A wonderful meal followed in our encampment encircled by camper vans and Jilly's car. It was very cold and wrapping up well was a sensible solution. It was noticed though that sweet treats such as the Battenburg cake was hogged by Barbara and I was flung some other slice of cake as a consolation. A bar of chocolate quickly vanished followed by some of Jilly Bean's excellent Malt.
Wadebridge Town slip Jill on the estuary
The buoys show the strength of the current Approaching the
Doom Bar
Stepper Point On the Doom Bar
Paul gave us a masterclass John
Hauled up at Padstow Returning to Wadebridge
Two old duffers Tony and Jane getting giggly
Time for reflection Late night fire.

Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page


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Report: Jane Seigne
Pics: Barbara Hackworthy



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast