I knew it was cold, because my drink valve kept on freezing up. However, setting out before dawn on this grey icy morning meant that I had already run ten miles of hill, cliff and beach before I even saw another living soul; a handful of runners and a couple of horse riders on windswept Studland Beach were the only folk out and about. I reached the signpost denoting the start/ end of the South West Coast Path and turned back; all that remained was a few miles of heathland alongside Poole Harbour, and then a winding (for ‘winding’, read: slightly lost) run through Rempstone Forest back to home at Corfe Castle. Only the final mile was on tarmac, my legs didn’t enjoy this much.
This morning was a wonderful but rather tough experience. I re-started my running just two weeks ago; obviously I’ve skipped the golden rule that says you should increase your mileage by only c10% a week when training. So far I seem to be getting away with it (fingers crossed), although I am certainly pretty slow so far. I have just two weeks before the big event, I have no idea whether I can complete that (simple logic dictates, ‘no’) but I’ll give it a go. Firstly, I’ll see if I can manage a marathon distance next weekend. Nothing can go wrong.
PS Please forgive my self-indulgence on the final photo. It’s nothing to do with today’s run, it’s just my beautiful girl enjoying her first ever snow with her Daddy…yesterday, 900 feet above sea level on Bulbarrow Hill in North Dorset.
Like the card says.
We’ve had a wonderful and productive year, getting some writing done, sharing some great adventures and embarking upon one or two new adventures also. 2012 looks to be an amazing year too.
We wish you all well and hope that you have a good one, also!
Photo taken here in Purbeck in 2009…no snow right now, unfortunately. I’m now off to surf in the bay depicted, Kimmeridge…
Merry Christmas to all those reading.
Myself, I’m not exactly full of Christmas cheer right now, having seriously strained something in my back a couple of weeks back. Recovery is slow and a bit painful, so I can’t go paddling yet … the irony is that I did it lifting up my new whitewater creek boat from the Pyranha Kayaks’ van.
On the bright side, the recent snowy weather has provided diversion – if you believe the UK media, we are witnessing something between the biblical End of Days and a Roland Emmerich movie. Actually it’s all quite pleasant and entertaining, but I imagine that this doesn’t make for good news output. The photo above shows a train passing through our village en route to the seaside, a few miles away at Swanage.
In other news … this week has seen the unveiling of proposals for a programme of huge cuts to the Coastguard service. It seems likely that most of the Coastguard stations in the south west will either be shut down or closed outside office hours. The sheer stupidity and crassness of the proposals simply leaves me lost for appropriate words. The safety of sea users will be massively compromised and there is almost nothing to suggest that the proposals are driven by any logic other than the desire to tick off cost-saving targets in the short term. Anyway, rather than listen to me ranting, have a read through some of the news reports I’ve posted on the South West Sea Kayaking Facebook group about the various Coastguard stations involved. Please strongly consider signing the petition linked to. Bonkers.
A cold raw grey day in Purbeck today, with some fresh snowfall. We headed out to try and locate the 800+ avocets who are currently putting in a guest appearance in a quiet corner of Poole Harbour…
Only those reading from overseas will be unaware that the UK is currently undergoing (what is for us, anyway) an exceptionally cold period. Things aren’t too severe down here in the south west, but I was still too wimpy to go paddling in this weekend’s subzero temperatures and bracing winds. My bad shoulder is my official excuse …
Instead, today we headed to one of the places that has recently become one of our favourite haunts; the RSPB Reserve on the Arne Peninsula overlooking Poole Harbour. Yes, we’re members of the RSPB; middle age looms.
This morning, we were rather surprised to see the above sight out of the bedroom window; I suppose that we should have listened to the forecast, really. The snow melted quickly across the region, however Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck seems to have possessed some form of microclimate as the snow kept on falling hereabouts.
Being subject to a mild Atlantic climate, snow is usually a rare and short-lived thing here on the English Channel. We haven’t seen anything like this much of the white stuff since we moved to the coast in 1994, so we were rather excited! As the sun sank into the west, we dashed up Swyre Head to catch a glimpse of the snow meeting the ocean.
And no, at no point did we even consider going paddling … too cold for wimps like us!
Well, I’m not sure what this has to do with sea kayaking (or the south west), but we simply wanted to thank paddlers Kevin and Alice for giving their friends the most wonderful weekend imaginable. The following photos should give a random flavour of events through their wedding weekend.
Incidentally, Iceland lived up to its name this weekend, with the ambient temperature as low as minus-16 degrees celsius during the day. I quite fancy returning for some sea kayaking, but it’ll need to be a bit warmer.