Archive for July 2012
We have booked to camp on Lundy, this coming weekend and beyond. My favourite island! I’m so excited by the prospect of returning to this wonderful place, that I’m not going to get angry that my 11 week old daughter has to pay to travel on the ferry, and is also charged the full rate to camp there each night.
A few of us plan to paddle across. However, whether it will be possible to make the 21 mile paddle across from North Devon is entirely dependent upon the weather, naturally. Watching the forecast intently…very much hope that this trip will come off.
What do you do to pass the time, whilst waiting for the shuttle car to return at Kimmeridge Bay? You could do worse than take a close look at the waterfall which trickles down the cliffs…
…it’s about to get rough.
Approaching the St Alban’s Head tide race on a calm day last week.
An evening paddle, this week.
We had planned to visit Skokholm, the island in the image above. However, the wind was quite strong and there was a rolling Atlantic swell which was kicking up the local tide races considerably…so we opted for a more conservative option, a paddle to the much nearer Skomer Island.
Skomer has a huge population of puffins, razorbills and guillemots. They all seemed to be out and about, soaking up the sun.
The Olympics are of course coming to Dorset; Weymouth and Portland Harbour will be hosting the sailing events. The not-great photo above was taken from miles away atop Swyre Head. We watched about 40 of these speeding vessels come through the St Alban’s Head tide race in successive waves, and assumed it was some kind of powerboat race. However, we later learned that they were all police RIBs, brought in to bolster security for the Games. The £2 million contract to supply the RIBs went to a Solent company.
A glorious day hereabouts; I hopped onto the bike and explored some obscure bridleways in the rolling downlands of north Dorset. I nearly died of dehydration, I spent most of the ride performing as a human nettle strimmer and I was mostly completely lost, but it was a fine adventure nonetheless.
This evening, a few of us paddled out of Kimmeridge and enjoyed mirror smooth seas and glorious sunset, as the sea turned orange then pink…
Cooking up lunch on Ramsey Island, having paddled there from the Bishops and Clerks rocks. Graham was cooking curry, which I’m not sure was the ideal stomach settler for the Bitches tidal rapid, which we visited next. Although the rapid was pretty mild compared to what it can be on Spring tides, there were some powerful eddy lines, which some of the group hadn’t experienced before. Ferry gliding across the entire Bitches rapid (it’s a series of linked rapids, about 500m wide) was successfully managed by the whole group, good stuff. We then broke out into the main flow of Ramsey Sound and rode the rolling waves all the way back to Whitesands Bay. The curry didn’t seem to help Graham’s stability on the surf landing, incidentally. But everyone was smiling, a great trip had been enjoyed by all.
Brownsea Island is the largest island within Poole Harbour, and paddling around is always a pleasant experience. For some reason, until last week it’d been a few years since I did it.
As seen from my kayak this afternoon.
Full size here.
Guarding a wild and exposed part of the Pembrokeshire coast, this is one of my favourites. That is, if it is socially acceptable to have ‘favourite’ lighthouses…
Built at a cost of £37 million, this rather snazzy bridge was opened this year and links Poole town centre with Hamworthy, spanning the entrance to Holes Bay, an offshoot of Poole Harbour. It’s a breathtakingly colossal waste of money (presumably a simple ‘bridge’ would have come in at some way under £37 million), but when it lifts up, it is admittedly a rather impressive sight; it stopped everyone in their tracks more than once at a recent wedding I attended.