Hugh de Iongh
I was keen to do this trip. Firstly, because after paddling
for a few years I had never done this stretch of water and
secondly, my sea kayak was starting to get covered in far
too much dust for my liking.
I watched the forum (and the
weather forecast) with interest in the days leading up. I
thought the weather could go either way but I knew Hugh, who
was organising this trip would make the right decision.
In the end we decided to go as on Sunday the sea state
was predicted good if not a bit nippy in the air.
ďA bit nippy in the airĒ turned out to be a bit of an
understatement as snowflakes were falling as I put the kayak
on the roof of the car. Encouraged by this I went back
inside and picked up my paddling gloves, extra fleece and
We launched at Bowleaze at around 10am. The skies were
grey but the wind had dropped and the sea was calm. Whilst
waiting for my fingers to come to I noticed that Hugh was
trying his hardest to stay upright in his boat. Luckily he
didnít go in as it was very cold. It turns out he had put
his paddles together in the dark and ended up with the wrong
ends on them. Once Hugh switched to his spare set we were up
and running again.
In the initial section between Bowleaze and Ringstead, it
was interesting to see the recent land slips the biggest of
which were around the closed sections of the coast path.
Before too long, we could hear the breaking waves of
Ringstead. We didnít go in near them as we were heading
directly for White Nothe point. This looks even more
magnificent close up than it does from a distance. Around
this point, the cliffs change from the brown and land
slipped Oxford & Kimmeridge Clays to the towering chalk
cliffs that the Jurassic Coast is famous for. Again a few
white lines down the cliffs marked recent cliff falls. The
sea also changed from a light grey/green to an almost milky
white, as the debris from the cliff falls were being ground
down under the water. This was most noticeable as we paddled
back through a line in the water back to the grey green
water as we neared Bats Hole.
We paddled through Bats Hole without event; the usual
wave on the exit side did not appear to catch us out. It was
then a short hop over to Durdle Door where the cliffs
changed again to the harder Portland and Purbeck limestone.
More care was taken in paddling through Durdle Door.
Partially due to the swell that raised us up and spat us out
the other side as it reflected off the beach, but more
importantly due to the number of tourists watching us! We
did this with style of course!
We finally arrived at Lulworth Cove at 12:30 and made use
of the hand warmers so we could get into our lunch boxes and
We were back on the water at 13:10 and pretty much took a
straight path back making use of the small tide in our
favour. We arrived back at Bowleaze at 15:30 totally
exhausted (well I was) and finally feeling the chill. So bad
so we had to enlist the help of a local dog walker to help
us with the straps on the roof racks, whilst a few more
flakes of snow fell from the sky.
On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was a
good trip for me to start the year. Thanks to Hugh for
organising the trip. Looking forward to doing some more.
Sorry...no pictures in this report. Just too cold for any camera work!