Graham, Luke and I arrived roughly about the same time on the Friday night meeting up at Pebble Bank Caravan Park. After a bit of bartering a deal was made on campsite fees. The campsite had amazing views over the harbour to Portland and over the Fleet giving a good idea as to what to expect from the sea conditions. That night things were not looking to good with strong winds blowing.
Next morning saw the early arrival of Caroline. Wendy sent a text to say that she had problems with her water works and was hopeful that Severn Trent could fix it so that she could join us later. The weather conditions were still poor with a force 4 wind blowing. We opted for a local paddle around the harbour area. On leaving our get in at Sandsfoot the wind was behind us and the water a little choppy. This set the mental challenge when we needed to paddle back to the start at the end of the days paddle. Once beyond the breakwater we were out of the wind and the sea conditions were calm we could practice this new skill of edging out on turns. Luke demonstrated how easy it was to roll a sea kayak after taking edging a little too far. After exploring the breakwater and discussing its history we headed for Weymouth Harbour stopping at the Nothe Fort for lunch, ice cream and a very civilised cup of tea in a mug. Caroline was left waiting for her hot-dog. As the man said it only take 2 minutes to make but had to wait until all the other customers had been served before he started. By this time the sun was shining and we had a nice paddle into Weymouth marina.
After we finished our little battle against the wind we pitched up on the beach to meet the owners of the very nice boats we had been loaned from IOPCC (Isle of Portland Canoe Club). Thanks again to them without which trips like this would not happen. From there we headed to the cafe for a cuppa and to discuss tides, trip planning and weather.
That evening Wendy arrived and we all went to town for a hearty meal after our 18km paddle.
The weather had improved for the next day with wind NE 2-3. This looked good to make a trip around Portland. We set off assisted by the tide and wind. There was a bit of swell coming in from the right which was getting bigger as we approached the end of Portland. One of these waves lead to a capsize Luke was along side quickly to right our casualty. We remained close at this stage to negotiate the remainder of the swell as we entered sheltered water around the end of Portland Bill. We all enjoyed the paddling down to the breakwater stopping off at Church Ope Cove for lunch, only to be confronted again on entering the breakwater with a headwind to finish of our 16km paddle. The sun was shinning, Tina came down to the finish with coffee and cookies and another enjoyable days paddling was had. The talk when everyone was leaving for home was of arranging another trip, with ideas of visiting Lulworth and Durdle door.
Map of routes paddled – Weymouth Sep 10