IOPCC Trip Report

Bowleaze Cove to Durdle Door - return

7th April 2013


David Cotgrove (Trip Leader)
John Massey  
Lucy Gill and friend Charlie  
Jo Williams and friend Nick (Sutton Bingham CC)
Stew Burdis  
John Harvey  

A confident group of paddlers some with a range of white water and sea experience. We were glad of the opportunity to make this trip on the day given the past month of cold temperatures and high winds. We set off on time (10.00am) not far off low tide in a 'slight' sea state with some swell and wind and the suggestion of sunshine.

The plan was to have lunch at Durdle Door a paddle of some 7 miles. John H was in his new boat (a PH Aries) and home made Greenland paddle, first time on the water so keen to put it through its paces. As we rounded Redcliff Point it was clear the forecast freshening South East wind had already arrived. Passing Osmington Mills our progress was being hampered by an energy sapping headwind and it became clear reaching Durdle Door or even Batts Head (natural Arch) would be too much of a slog.

There were no complaints when it was decided to head inland for an early lunch on Ringstead beach. John M helpfully agreed to go and check out a safe landing for the group. Having found shelter out of the wind the sun made a brief appearance and the group was entertained by a lone kite surfer and Stew taking the mickey out of my banana container having not seen one before. I suggested he had spent too much time at sea and should see more of the world!

Fed and rested the group agreed to proceed to the east of Ringstead Bay as far as White Nothe and look round the corner. Jo and Nick chose to remain close to the shore and paddle in the shelter of the ledges. By the end of the trip Jo felt her stamina had been challenged by the wind but had felt safe on the water. John H reported he was well pleased with his new boat but thought he might use a conventional paddle next time out!

Having agreed to make the trip back to Bowleaze earlier than planned we were able to take full advantage of the remaining Westerly flow and a following wind. There was also a bit of surf to aid our progress as we turned for home. Passing the Ringstead ledges and the wreck of the coal barge 'Minx' the sea was relatively calm. Rounding Redcliff Point for the second time saw the wind and swell come into play once more and landing required a little thought, particularly to pick out and avoid the solitary angler on the beach. We were off the water around 3.00 pm and everyone seemed agreed that despite the change of plan this had been an enjoyable outing and a chance to meet and paddle with new members of the club.

And the kite surfers were out in force in Weymouth Bay.

Bowleaze Cove Choppy conditions
Jon M Lunch cowering in the dunes
Wreck of the 'Minx' Hugging the coast back to Bowleaze
John H, new boat and a bit of driftwood!! Johanna showing some style.

Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page


Back to the Trip Report Index

Report: David Cotgrove
Pics: John Massey & Stew Burdis



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast