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