IOPCC Trip Report

Bowleaze to Osmington, then on to Ringstead.
Sunday 7th March 2010


Despite bright blue skies March 7th was yet another freezing cold day. The promised F5-6 north-easterly wind had produced a choppy sea and what promised to be a tricky launch from Bowleaze Cove. Not what would have been chosen for what was meant to be a beginner’s paddle. Nevertheless Clive and Ian decided that the paddle should go ahead and Clive W. proceeded with his customarily humorous pre-launch instructions, delivered to 12 shivering paddlers, 2 dogs and a few bemused onlookers.

Each having chosen what they considered to be the prime launching point and with a few false starts everyone managed to blast out through the surf and set off towards a promised coffee and comfort break at Osmington.

Paddling into the strengthening easterly wind, progress was somewhat slow and judging by the increasingly grim expressions not the enjoyable dibble along the pretty coast that we had all been looking forward to. There were some appreciable breaking waves visible off Redcliff Point so we gave that area a very wide berth.

Once past Redcliff the seas really began to pick up and the possibility of landing at Osmington began to look dubious. After a quick flurry of snatched VHF messages the trip leaders decided that the worsening conditions were unsuitable for the group to continue and the best option was to turn around.

From where we were it appeared that putting into the beach just to the east of Redcliff was a good option to allow everyone to catch their breath and have a quick cuppa before returning to Bowleaze. The group set off in that direction, with a nasty following sea, with Jackie J. leading the way. All seemed fine until Jackie was upended in the surf, a fate soon to be repeated by 2 other paddlers on their way in to the beach. John C. capsized amongst the rocks causing damage to his boat and more importantly suffering some painful injuries to his shoulder and ribs. Those at the rear of the group saw the carnage and rapidly reversed away from the danger, a manoeuvre that produced much discomfort to several paddlers not used to large following seas.

With the group now effectively split and with some of the paddlers who were still afloat feeling very uncomfortable, it was decided to leave the beached group where they were and return the others to Bowleaze. This worked OK apart from one capsize and rescue along the way. 2 paddlers then returned to Redcliff to assist in getting this second group re-launched and back to Bowleaze. Luckily Barbara, who was not paddling due to a skiing injury, had walked along the cliffs watching the unfolding drama and had had the foresight to bring her VHF and so was able to act as a spotter, directing operations.

Once launched the now damp paddlers made their way around the worst of the breaking waves and paddled their way back to Bowleaze. Reunited we all sat in the sun at Bowleaze drinking tea and eating cake, as if nothing had happened!

But lessons were learned…


Clive W giving the briefing Ian trying to get airborne
Jon and Ron launching from Bowleaze Jim paddling out to join the group
Clive choosing his moment! Geoff and Jackie
Jackie launching from Redcliff Hilary making it all look easy.
The Group reunited
GPS trace of the paddle courtesy of Clive West.

Click the thumbnail to view a bigger image.

  Pictures of the paddle are on the Galleries Page.


Back to the Trip Report Index

Report: Ian Hackworthy | Pictures: Barbara Browning



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast