The tides were right for a last paddle
around Portland Bill for 2013. We had had quite a long
period of light winds and flat sea so there were high
hopes that this would continue.
Breezy was the forecast of the general weather forecast
on BBC and this was confirmed with Force 3 – 5 with
Force 6 later from the Met Office Inshore Forecast.
Nevertheless we met at Chesil Cove as Planned at 08:30.
A brief peek over the wall told us all we needed to
know. It was definitely Plan B. There was large dumping
surf and a very lumpy sea with far too much whiteness to
consider a safe passage for 10 paddlers around Portland
Bill in the chilly December water.
Not a good day for the Bill
Plan B was to paddle from Bowleaze to Ringstead. Not the
most exciting section of our Jurassic Coast but it was
only a 15 minute drive with free parking and good access
to a beach with an easy sheltered launch. It was much
more sheltered on the East side of Portland. The coast
to Ringstead offered many places to land if necessary,
with minimal tidal flow and no moving water.
Getting ready at Bowleaze Cove
It was breezy and this served us well on
our outward journey. There was the usual problem with
the following sea but generally all coped well and we
passed Redcliff Point without incident and were blown
down the coast, passing Osmington Mills, to Ringstead.
On the way to Ringstead
The sea state had increased a little and
there were some waves which made the landing onto the
steep shingle beach at Ringstead quite interesting.
Jon Massey 'landing' at Ringstead
The weather was quite warm and we were able to relax on
the beach having an early lunch and make some
adjustments to Charlie’s skeg.
Maintenance on Charlie's broken skeg
Paul trying different boats.
Paul – in the market for a new boat –
took the opportunity to sample those he fancied.
Launching again back into the waves provided some
excitement – especially for those who went in stern
Michele L. getting ready to launch at Ringstead
Barbara launching at Ringstead
Paddling back took a lot longer and was
quite bouncy in places with occasional freak waves that
took some by surprise.
Michelle S. on the way back to Bowleaze
All avoided a swim though and after a
slog into the breeze which was quite enjoyable in the
December sunshine we arrived back at Bowleaze.
This wasn’t the paddle we hoped to do, but we all had a
good day out on the water and returned safe and sound