CSCC Reports 2004: Dorset coast, 28-30 August 2004

"Five go mad in Dorset" - twice over - or some such...

David P, Chris, Dan, Bridget, Matt, Alex, Luis, Peter and Hilary, and Richard made the trek to Dorset for the Bank Holiday weekend - after a week of often dire forecasts and the usual grief with trying to find any campsite that took bookings. David P's researches finally settled on Woodyhyde Farm, just east of Corfe Castle. Fortunately, Friday's wind and rain had spent itself, and the sea had settled remarkably, by the time most people arrived...

Saturday 28th

With a good forecast, we elected for one of the classic coastal paddles from Lulworth Cove westwards to White Nothe - with the obligatory photo stops in the rock arches etc along the way... Several people were paddling unfamiliar sea kayaks, with David P taking on Tony's surf ski. After a lunch stop, we made our way back to Lulworth, where several people tried out the surf ski, Richard in particular doing DP's street cred no harm by falling off after 30 metres (and discovering that without thigh or lap straps, there's no chance of rolling it. [Thanks to Chris for the GPS map plot!]

Saturday map - GPS plot

009-DP2-P8280007 010-DP2-P8280008 011-DP2-P8280009 015-PHL-P8280108
016-PHL-P8280109 018-PHL-P8280111 021-DP2-P8280011 022-PHL-P8280113
027-DP2-P8280015 031-DP2-P8280018 034-DP2-P8280020 035-DP2-P8280021
037-DP2-P8280023 039-DP2-P8280025 043-PHL-P8280117 044-DP2-P8280029
047-DP2-P8280032 051-DP1-040828-PICT0001 055-DP1-040828-PICT0003 060-DP1-040828-PICT0008
080-DP2-P8280035 082-DP2-P8280037 083-DP2-P8280038 085-DP1-040828-PICT0023
087-DP1-040828-PICT0025 090-DP1-040828-PICT0028 091-DP1-040828-PICT0029 092-DP1-040828-PICT0030
098-DP1-040828-PICT0036 100-DP1-040828-PICT0038 101-DP1-040828-PICT0039 104-DP1-040828-PICT0042
105-DP1-040828-PICT0043 113-DP1-040828-PICT0051 114-DP1-040829-PICT0001 117-DP1-040829-PICT0004

Sunday 29th

With much stronger (W-SW force 5-6) winds forecast, we elected for what should have been a sheltered trip, from Studland Bay to Swanage. Indeed, when we left a shuttle vehicle in Swanage, all looked just fine...

The paddle across the bay from Studland (Knoll beach car park) to Old Harry was wholly uneventful. As expected, the current was starting to flow southwards by the time we rounded the point, and indeed there were some little waves to surf on. The scenery was stunning, with far more caves, arches etc than we'd expected.

When we got to Ballard Point, however, things took a turn for the worse... We found that the wind had really picked up and was funnelling round the point, and together with currents etc (we suspect there's an eddy current around Swanage Bay...), was kicking up a truly horrendous mix of short, sharp waves combined with a ferocious head wind. Group control became a little tricky, with most people primarily trying to look after themselves for the first few hundred metres before things settled down a little! Hilary, struggling to control the direction of an unfamiliar sea kayak in the wind, and Dan, together with Chris and David P, coming back to check on them, took refuge behind the point before having another go... In the event, David P (also struggling to control the rather unsuitable surf ski in the conditions) and Hilary elected to return safely (albeit breezily) to Studland, whilst the others successfully made it to the beach, and in turn, after a few more minor epics, to Swanage. Everyone coped amazingly well with the unexpectedly extreme conditions.

Chris's GPS track clearly shows his to-ings and fro-ings around the point! Not surprisingly, no pictures of the conditions at Ballard Point are available (not least because David P's camera battery had chosen this moment to finally expire for the day).

Sunday map - GPS plotSunday map - detail - GPS plot

120-DP2-P8290041 122-DP2-P8290043 123-DP2-P8290044 124-DP2-P8290045
125-DP2-P8290046 126-DP2-P8290047 127-DP2-P8290048 129-DP2-P8290050
133-DP2-P8290054 135-DP2-P8290056 136-DP2-P8290057 138-DP2-P8290059
144-DP2-P8290066 146-DP2-P8290068 148-DP2-P8290070 149-DP2-P8290071
150-DP2-P8290072 151-DP2-P8290073 153-DP2-P8290075 160-DP2-P8290082
161-DP2-P8290083 164-DP1-040829-PICT0008 178-DP1-040829-PICT0024 206-DP1-040830-PICT0032

Monday 30th

With the wind continuing seemingly unabated overnight and on Monday morning, people elected either for an early start to head for London via various tourist attractions, or (the bulk of us) for a very pleasant walk from Worth Matravers westwards towards Chapman's Pool then around St Aldhelm's Head and back via Winspit Quarry - to the (excellent!) tea shop in Worth Matravers!

All pictures © David Pearson (Peter and Hilary Lawrence if file name includes "PHL") 2004