IOPCC Trip Report

Kimmeridge to Durdle Door and return

Sunday 29th July 2012

HW between Kimmeridge and Weymouth occurs 4 hrs. and 45 mins. before HW Dover.
Tide Times : The E going inshore flood stream begins 3 hrs. before HW Portland. The W flowing inshore ebb stream begins 3 hrs. after HW Portland.
Max.Rate Sp. : Flows reach up to 1.1 knots on the flood and 1.4 knots on the ebb.

The group led by Tony Sandry was :- Athol, Jeff, Lee, Barbara, Ian, John, David and Ken. We got on the water with the minimum of faff and delay around high water on a Spring tide. Today's outing was the alternative to the planned Sussex Lighthouse trip on Tony’s home turf, cancelled owing to an adverse weather forecast in the area. Our prompt start was aided by a large group of paddlers from Portsmouth Canoe Club planning the same trip and competing for space on the small slipway.
As we paddled out of Kimmeridge Bay and rounded Broad Bench the increased wind in our faces and sea state reflected the days forecast of wind over tide, BF 4 - 5. These were the conditions, in fact, that the Club had been hoping for in vain at our 4* training course in Cornwall with Richard Uren the previous week. Some 4 Km. out of Kimmeridge as we were approaching Worbarrow Tout in an increasingly rough sea I lost a left foot pedal in my Cetus, a recurring problem. A request to Barbara at this point to raft up and open my spray deck was met with a howl of disbelief! Clearly I still have more to learn about timing and personal safety in the lumpy stuff!

The army gunnery school begins at Broad Bench but there was no military activity on land. But not so as we approached Mupe Ledges as the security to protect the Olympic Games sailing came very much into view with a Royal Navy warship positioned in the approaches to Weymouth Bay. We were clearly showing up on the radar as speed boats were barring ours and other vessels from going eastwards towards our planned lunch stop destination of Durdle Door. Overhead a military helicopter made a couple of passes nearby.

Ken, having put in at Lulworth Cove joined the group as we passed Arish Mell and confirmed we could go no further than the Cove. We progressed through the breaking waves around Mupe Rocks, some group members being more adventurous than others, and on under the high cliffs to the mouth of Lulworth Cove. Here the East wind blew in our faces and the sea became increasingly choppy and confused. By this stage we had been paddling more or less for some two hours and lunch was a welcome break.

On a crowded beach we were able to top up our suntans and were joined by Athol's partner, and other members of the Club, Kate and Bertie.

As we were setting off for the return leg the Portsmouth paddlers arrived looking tired and in need of a rest. On leaving the shelter of the cove we discovered that in addition to the clear blue skies the expected tail wind had strengthened somewhat and something of the order of a 2 meter swell had appeared and replaced the chop. Challenging stuff on a full stomach! Someone suggested we were being given a 3 knot helping hand at that point making for a faster return home.

As we approached Broad Bench breaking waves were evident and the prudent took a wide berth. Tony, our leader, said he had been bracing himself for a possible rescue scenario as he saw myself and John battle through a quick succession of three or four breaking waves over the ledge. However, everyone returned without incident and in the calm of Kimmeridge Bay we reflected on a bright, breezy, stimulating trip and the absence of the forecast showers with the Portsmouth group coming into view behind us.
Leaving K-Bay Magnificent cliffs
David sans foot peg Athol
Ken dropped in Choppy water
John Jeff rock hopping
Lunch at Lulworth Jeff still at it!
Tony- he who must be obeyed Athol
And back to Kimmeridge Meerkat or mongoose??

Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page


Back to the Trip Report Index

Report: David Cotgrove
Pics: Barbara Hackworthy & Jeff Hassell



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast