IOPCC Trip Report

Night paddle to see the Weymouth Fireworks

5th November 2012

Clive Joyner
Barbara Hackworthy
John Christmas
Ron Lee
Ian Hackworthy
Hugh de Iongh

Barbara and I had been watching the forecast for the last couple of days and had pretty well decided that the night paddle to watch the famous Weymouth Fireworks was going to be cancelled for the second year in succession. Red line on the Inshore and XC-Weather promising F5-F6. Not good for a night paddle. However the Monday midday Inshore update had removed the red line and XC were being much more conservative so the decision was made to paddle. Just as I posted on the forum to this effect, I looked out of the window at our tree which was bent practically double!

Only 6 paddlers had signed up on the forum and all of us, except Ron who was meeting us later, turned up at Sandsfoot and were ready to paddle by 6:30. We were lucky, it was completely calm. We strapped lights to our boats to ensure that we were visible as it was a very dark and clear night. However the lights that we had strapped to the bows of our boats proved to be too bright as John C. ploughed into a buoy, his night vision destroyed. This was the only incident though and we made good time to the North entrance of Portland Harbour. As expected there was a little more movement in the water from here but it only amounted to a lazy, oily swell…no problem.

As we rounded the banjo pier and approached the beach we found Ron with his boat attractively bedecked in blue fairy lights. We also found the harbour master in his launch who advised us not to go much further as we would be entering their ‘Exclusion Zone’. So we sat for a few minutes until 7:20 when the firework display began. And a very nice display it was too. As is always the case it was over all too soon to the sound of faint cheers from the distant beach which was lined with hundreds of people, the kids all waving sparklers, making a very attractive addition to the Weymouth seafront.

At this point Ron and Clive J went their own ways, Ron to Greenhill and Clive to Weymouth Harbour and the rest of us set off back to Sandsfoot. It always feels a long way back across Portland Harbour and it still did in the dark. But it didn’t matter because it was such a beautiful clear night.

All that remained was to load the boats, change and head off to the Marlboro for fish and chips.

Unfortunately Barbara’s camera misbehaved but here are some pictures of fireworks in case you don’t know what they look like.

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Report: Ian Hackworthy
Pics: Jonty Gray Media



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