IOPCC Trip Report

Aveton Gifford to Hope Cove
29th - 30th June 2013

Pictures of the weekend are on the
Galleries Page.


Paddlers Guests
Ken Baillie Port of Plymouth C.A.
Tony Sandry  
Jo Williams  
Geoff Ridler  
John Christmas  
Jane Seigne  


Five club paddlers met at Aveton Gifford at noon on a lovely sunny day, Jo, Geoff, John, Tony and I. After introductions and a very quick pre trip faff we were off.

This has to be one of my favourite paddles on the club calendar. To start with judging the tide correctly at Aveton Gifford to give the correct water height and some tidal assistance down the river is always a challenge, with a pick up of speed as you reach the river mouth it is always a tense moment as you punch your way out to sea. (Good scenery and wild life is always available on the river) As always we were not disappointed.

On this paddle we had an interesting swell backed up with a 3 – 4 cross shore wind. Once through the swell Jo who had been slightly apprehensive soon settled into a good rhythm and was happy to lead the group as we rock hopped towards Thurlestone Rock. Both swell and wind picked up slightly which kept up the concentration levels and in what seemed like no time we had arrived at Bolt Tail. A quick group discussion, we decided not to paddle on past Bolt Tail but to turn tail and return to the safety of Hope Cove for a well earned ice cream and some provisions for the night. After a 30 minute break we were back on the water and with a short paddle around the harbour we arrived at Beacon Point Beach, our campsite for the night.

In the past, wood for the camp fire has been sparse however this year we had wood in abundance and thanks to John and his Financial Times we soon had a roaring fire.

Combine this with a good meal, a glass of wine, a glorious evening and sunset what more could one ask for?


Reveille 07:00

Breakfast, packed up and beach clean done we were all ready to go by 0830. With a slightly misty start to the day we headed off rock hopping towards Thurlestone Rock and Burgh Island.

By the time we had reached The Island in almost perfect paddling conditions the sun was shining through. After a pleasant paddle around the Island we returned to Bantham and the café to wait for the water to rise over the sand spit. During breakfast Jane turned up with members of the Port of Plymouth Canoeing Association, all in sea boats ready to play in the surf at the river mouth, an opportunity not to be missed. Breakfast over we paddled over to join Jane and co. Some of us who hadn’t paddled a fully laden sea boat in surf were not too sure about this. To reassure them I volunteered to fall out of my boat and show them how easy it was to be rescued. Thanks to JC who performed a textbook rescue I was back in my boat before too many people noticed. Tony then decided to get in on the act and he too capsized, this time assisted by Geoff who rescued Tony without him coming out of his boat. Demonstrations over we all had a good half hour in the surf.

After regrouping at the river mouth we paddled back up the river in perfect conditions and just made it by about five minutes on the tide back at Aveton Gifford. Like I said at the start this paddle offers a lot, made better by the weather and company.

Thanks to Jo, Geoff, John and Tony.

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Report: Ken Baillie
Pics: John Christmas



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