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January 20, 2019, 06:44:54 PM
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CSCC Reports 2017: Devon Trip - April 2017

On the early May bank holiday weekend Naomi, Fiona R, Fiona M, Mark, Stephen, Matt and Dan travelled down to South Devon for some sea kayaking.  We stayed at the Upton Manor campsite. As before, our visit coincided with the pirate festival.
On arrival we went for a pleasant Friday evening paddle from Broadsands bay to Brixham and back.  The sea was flat calm, Brixham is a pretty fishing/tourist town and Stephen and Naomi (who'd arrived first) made it as far as the guillemot colony.
In the evening we went for dinner and a pint in Brixham town centre and went 'pirate' watching.  
On the Saturday the weather was a bit breezy, but still sunny, and we had a fantastic paddle, launching at the marina at Kingswear (pronounced Kingswhere, not Kingsweir, apparently).  We paddled past some expensive yachts and ventured out of the estuary where there were some historic forts.  These gave way to cliffs as we headed to the south west towards Slapton Sands (not quite reaching it).  Those who wanted to practised their manoeuvring skills round rocks.  We were able to take regular breaks on quiet beaches.  The conditions were fairly challenging, but our inexperienced paddlers made it look easy.  On the way back in to the estuary we took another break in Dartmouth for a delicious cream tea with loads of cream and then watched the steam engine puffing into Kingswear station as we returned to the marina.  We finished the day with an excellent dinner at the Weary Ploughman Inn in Churston.  This was a splendid day which was worth the long drive on its own.
Unfortunately, our plans for the rest of the weekend had to change radically, because the weather took a turn for the worse that night - heavy rain.  Most of us were staying at a campsite on the edge of town, along with many of the pirates.  At this time of year the site is nice and quiet, but as the weather deteriorated, Fi and Mark's decision to stay at a caravan park instead began to look wiser.  The pirates' heavy coats made out of what looked like curtain material weren't really suitable for torrential rain and we felt a bit sorry for them.  We decided to cancel the paddle and most of us went for an alternative breakfast in a Brixham (very tasty, but much to Matt's surprise, no full english!).  Some of us then went on a trip on the steam train to Paignton while Fi and Mark visited Agatha Christie's house and garden (Greenway).  We reconvened by the harbour in the afternoon and went to the fun free pirate concert and two of us went round the replica of the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
The weather started unpromisingly on Monday, and some of us no longer had any dry gear left, so we decided to head for home.  Better to leave wanting more like the first two days, rather than put off by paddling in the rain we decided.
Our thanks go to Rob who organised most of this weekend for us, but sadly had to drop out due to illness, and to Stephen for stepping in to take charge at the last minute.
Photos here.
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