IOPCC Trip Report

Weymouth Harbour, out along the Portland Breakwater
Sunday 7th February 2010


A motley yet fine band of paddlers assembled on the slipway at Weymouth Harbour bright and early on a Sunday morning. They were commendably led by Clive West, who attempted to get the properly kitted out band of 18 merry paddlers into some sort of order. All types of craft were represented today. The plan for the day was to head off out through the harbour bound for the northern entrance of Portland Harbour and on to Chequered Fort. With appropriate warnings of death by hanging if we dared to venture onto the structures we duly departed under sunny blue skies. Obviously Clive had had words with the weather gods since we had a touch of blue sky and barely any breeze. The forecast of E /NE 3 -4 was certainly incorrect for the morning.

We shared the slipway with Weymouth Rowing Club who were launching a new gig in preparation for some gig racing in the harbour entrance later that day. The paddle out through the harbour was a pleasant warm up . As we neared the harbour entrance the blue sky disappeared and a chill descended over the area. The sea however was flat calm and we made rapid progress to our destination, with plenty of opportunities to chat to fellow paddlers, a number of whom were meeting for the first time. A special welcome to Jon Massey, Ron Lee and Michelle Price who were taking part in their first club paddle.

The only drama on the way out was for Geoff, who had swapped a borrowed club Charleston for Barbara’s Rockpool and suddenly found himself taking on water. Stopping to pump out what appeared to be gallons of water it was unclear whether this was sea water or whether Geoff had got caught short after a heavy night the evening before. Geoff’s concern was more to do with the size of the repair bill that Barbara might present to him.

On arriving at the Chequered Fort the calm seas meant that we could fully explore and take in the historical surroundings. At this point Kevin Mundy decided to put on some extra clothes, not quite landing on the structure (obeying the words of out Leader) and it could be said that it counted as a ‘half –swim’. As we had made such good progress plans were altered and our erstwhile leader said we would head across to Sandsfoot. However as the leading group approached Sandsfoot we were informed that we were heading for Castle Cove. We never did work out whether Clive’s navigation was faulty or whether that was the intention all along!

Anyway we lunched on the beach, Barbara and Hilary ensured our energy levels were high for the return journey by providing plentiful home baking, including left overs from Ian’s birthday cake. Happy belated birthday Ian! Meanwhile Barbara’s boat was temporarily repaired and she happily swopped back into her now dry boat.

With the breeze picking up slightly, together with the sea state, we set off for the northern entrance of Portland Harbour. It was slightly choppy coming out through the entrance and making our way back to the harbour entrance, but all managed well with no swimmers or near misses. The rest of the group paddled back without incident to the slipway, with the exception of Jon and Barbara who paddled between the hulls of the large cat. They were suitably rebuked by an irate crew member.

All managed to exit safely, so the first paddle of the year with no swimmers and no alteration in the current league table.

Yet again it was a great day out paddling in local waters. It was great to see so many club members out and especially good, as a new member, to meet other new / relatively new members and put faces to names or forum names, as well as meet the ‘die hard’ committee members who together put much time and effort into making the IOPCC a success. Thanks are particularly due to Bertie for arranging the programme and to Clive for his unflappable leadership, even in the event of partial rebellions and much talk about tassels. You’ll have to get to know me a bit better to find out more about that one!


The IOPCC fleet in Weymouth Harbour Clive Joyner passing the Weymouth lifeboat
New members Ron and Michelle The fleet passes the Condor Ferry
Chequered Fort Jon Massey having a bounce in the Northern Entrance
Michelle in the 'chop' The view under a Condor Ferry
The Group at Castle Cove
GPS trace of the paddle courtesy of Clive West.

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  Pictures of the paddle are on the Galleries Page.

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Report by Jill Franks
Pictures by Barbara Browning,
Roger Williamson & Jill Franks



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