Paddlers: Cate Bargh, Jon Massey, Hugh de Iongh, John
Ian Hackworthy, Barbara Browning.
It needs to be calm to launch at Burton and we were lucky
to have near perfect launching conditions and we were lucky.
Jon Massey did find a big wave though and got very wet
The cliffs at Burton are constantly changing and
there was a significant rock fall that had happened
recently. We paddled along the cliffs under cloudy skies to
West Bay. Beyond West Bay successive tall hills are
interspersed with valleys plunging to sea level. The first
valley is Eype’s Mouth divided by Thorncombe Beacon and
Doghouse Hill from Seatown which is 3km further on. Golden
Cap offered us some boulders extending from the cliffs and a
few waves to play in. Golden Cap is the highest point on
England’s south coast and dominates the skyline. The name
describes the lighter Cretaceous sand on top of the Jurassic
Between the valley of St. Gabriel’s Mouth and
Charmouth the cliffs are visibly crumbling and there was
much evidence of rock falls and bulging mud slides. This is
the famous Blue Lias limestone laid down 195 million years
ago on the bed of a warm shallow Jurassic sea. The sun came
out and we basked in its rays on a smooth sea punctuated by
the occasional surprisingly large wave. Hugh impressed us
all by nailing his roll – a task he has set himself to do on
every paddle. Well done Hugh! We eased our way onto
Charmouth beach – pushed in by some very small surf.
– with coffee in real cups and delicious ice cream was
leisurely as we basked in the unseasonal October sunshine.
The weather and sea conditions were still benign as we set
off on our return trip to Burton. However, we stopped to
play in the surf waves and Cate was the first to get wet –
though impressively managing to stay in her boat until John
C. effected an Eskimo rescue. Shortly afterwards Jon M. got
tipped in by a big one – but he successfully rolled. He did
lose his hat and John went to rescue it and he then capsized
– kept hold of his hat and sunglasses – but not his paddle –
so he exited his boat.
So it was 45 minutes after leaving
the beach at Charmouth for the first time that we actually
got away from Charmouth. The paddle back to Burton was very
pleasant in the afternoon sunshine. The landing was a bit
tricky due to the tide being low but we all managed without
too much drama.
Afternoon tea at a local residence in
Beach Road followed to finish off an excellent day.