IOPCC Trip Report

Kimmeridge to Swanage [aka Worbarrow Bay]
Sunday 21st February 2010


Following extended discussions on the mechanics of arranging a shuttle for a one way trip to Swanage, it was decided we'd best meet at Kimmeridge and work it out later. Weather reports were not looking good with a predicted south-westerly Force 5 later in the day and the likelihood of some rough water. Seven of us met and motored down to the bay, luckily arriving before the man in the toll booth so a substantial loss of income for the coffers of the estate!

There was a little confusion and possible concern at the notice on the slip advising that the firing range was open and the sea was therefore closed but it turned out the sign had been left out in error and was quickly removed by a slightly sheepish bloke who'd been called by the coastguard.

Inspection from the slip confirmed our expectations as it was already a fresh breeze with a lot of white horses and surf breaking in the bay and on Broadbench, so we decided to go for plan B, which was to head west to Lulworth with the option of putting in at Worbarrow Bay if conditions required. This would be against tide and wind but with some assistance on the return leg. The prospect of rough conditions and lack of landing sites made a trip eastwards and especially around St Aldheim's look a bit too risky.

We launched without mishap and headed out through the surf aiming to go wide and miss the breaking waves on Broadbench. The sea was what we'd call confused as were some of us as there were sets of larger waves coming at irregular timing and from all sorts of directions. Some of you, by now will have guessed where this story leads but let's just say it was a tribute to the paddling skills of (most of) the group and Bertie's leadership that we have only two additions this week to the Swim Tracker! I was first to fall prey to a (huge, obviously) wave but ably assisted by Bertie, followed shortly after by Hugh caught by a wave (almost) as large as mine. A textbook rescue by Clive and we all proceeded with more than a fair share of bracing and good luck. Progress was exceedingly slow and when Bertie suggested a stop at Worbarrow Bay there was no dissent. It had taken us over two hours of solid paddling to cover about two miles!

We spent a peaceful hour enjoying the rest and Hilary's baking before heading back to sea where we found conditions had improved considerably. The swell had subsided, the wind had dropped and the sun made an appearance so it was really rather nice. With conditions in our favour we made the return in under an hour. We took particular care approaching Kimmeridge Bay following the experiences of some of the group members last year. We kept wide of Broadbench and kept a weather eye for rogue waves but arrived back at the slip without mishap. All in all a hard paddle and a good test of skills accompanied as always by good humour and convivial company. Thanks to Bertie for leading and saving us from disaster and welcome to Jim who joined us for his first paddle with the club.

There are no accompanying pictures for this report as Barbara, our resident photographer, was away skiing.


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Report: John Christmas



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast