CSCC Reports 2008: Dorset Coast - August 2008

The club made its annual trip to Dorset on the August bank holiday weekend. Daves Pearson and Pite, Lucy, Stephen, Gordon, Chris and I paddled on the Saturday.  Beth, Russ, John, Hils and Pete joined us on the Sunday.   

As usual we camped at the (busy) Woodyhyde campsite near Corfe Castle.  On the Friday night we ate at the Half Way Inn on the other side of Corfe Castle.  The food, beer and service were all excellent. 

The first day's paddle started at Lulworth Cove and after the long portage from the car park we set off towards Durdle Door.  The sea conditions began fairly favourably, but the wind picked up slightly as the day progressed.  We had to abort our first attempt at landing for lunch, because there were too many surf waves to land on the exposed, sharply shelving beach. We opted for a more sheltered spot instead and several of us took pleasant swims (minus boats!)

On returning to Lulworth Cove, I experienced my first unintentional capsize in what must be about 200 miles of sea kayaking after unwisely opting to use my inuit paddle.  I rolled up, but then immediately capsized again.  Thanks for the help getting back into my boat, Stephen! 

The following morning Chris found an alternative use for my inuit paddle - a support for his tarpaulin during a showery spell at our campsite.

The second day saw us starting from Studland Bay and paddling towards Swanage.  Old Harry's rocks are a fantastic place to paddle, but, as on previous trips, rounding Ballard Head proved challenging due to strong tidal currents and wind.  We chose to stop very soon after for a rest and lunch.  Unfortunately disaster struck and I managed to break a finger while trying to assist with surf landings (twisted finger while pulling a boat clear of the waves).  I was grateful that we had stopped somewhere where there was emergency access and Pete, Amelia and I made our way to A & E by car.  Thanks, Pete!   

I understand that the remaining paddlers did very well to 'round the Cape' once more and return to Studland Bay from Swanage.  Special mention goes to John, who was on his first CSCC sea kayaking trip.

Unfortunately the Monday paddle was cancelled due to bad weather.  Meanwhile I spent 3 days languishing in Poole hospital waiting for my finger to be screwed back together again.  Despite having the company of some jolly fellow inmates I eventually lost my patience; I ranted at a nurse that I needed to get back to work and would leave the hospital if I didn't get treated pronto.  It probably wasn't a coincidence that shortly afterwards I got my operation and I now have Barry Sheene style metal screws in my hand.  If you ask nicely I will show you my CD of the x rays. 

No more paddling for me for a few weeks.

'Bionic' Dan

Russell's photos