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Romahome, sea kayak and Dorset

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    Romahome, sea kayak and Dorset

    Portland Paddle

    As I drove away in my Romahome once again I never really knew where I was going. After 15 minutes if I was to go west then I must turn left now but I went straight ahead. A couple of hours later I found myself at the top of the Isle of Portland looking down at the sunset over the horizon.

    I drove on to the Bill and thought about stopping overnight in the car park there but sign threatening £70 fines for doing so detered me from commiting a terrible crime.

    To cut a long story short I stayed in the car park of a local pub but slept rather poorly.

    I awoke around 7 and took a quick look outside with the sun rising from the east. Chesil Beach overlooked the buildings and my Romahome, steeped up from years of pounding by the sea. I decided to drive to the bridge that links Portland to the mainland and park there.

    Thirty minutes later at 07:57 I started paddling toward the south entrance of Portland Harbour. It was just gone high tide and I knew I'd have an easy paddle down the east side of Portland. I turned right as I past the entrance and into the open sea. Towering over me was the cliffs and a young offenders hotel with views they may have killed for.

    My GPS read 5.5 mph as I paddled mildly along the stoney shore. I could see evidence of industry and quarrying. Old cranes no longer used. To my left there was a slow trickle of small fishing boats overtaking me heading off to where they thought they would catch some fish, bass maybe.

    As I came near an orange marker float I stopped to see how much drift I had, the GPS read 1.3 - 1.5 mph. I continued paddling turning my high vis baseball cap peak toward the sun. I looked like and adult chave I also had a high visibilty waist coat so I could be seen easier.

    Roughly two miles down the east coast of Portland I came across some old stone workings and another derelict wooden crane. The shore was littered with thousands of cut Portland Stone rocks. Maybe the market had slowed or it could be the quarrying had moved away from the shore due to transport reasons.

    Another mile later I approached some caves. They looked almost symetrical and rectanguler. There were some thaty seamed to have an unsupported floating ledge that could fall into the water at anytime. I went in closer and realised how the ledge could fall at anytime. One hundred tons on my head, I realised it would be very dangerous to paddle into the cave and risk my life and kayak. Only a fool would be so stupid to go under a flaking crumbling hole in the cliffs big enough to drive a buss into. I paddled in, my heart beating faster and waves pusing me even quicker than I would have preffered. I could see small birds nesting in the cave roof. The floating ledge overhead I was worried about so I tried to be quite in case the noise of my paddle dislodged it and it came down on me. The water was so clear I could even see some crabs on the bottom a few fish swam by and seaweed fastened to the bottom by their roots.



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    I back paddled slowly and exited the cave and took some pics with my phone cam. My rudder turning the stern of my kayak to the north and my bow to the south.

    Portland Bill Lighthouse was in the distance. Red and white circles going up its 120ft tower. In front of that there was a very large obelisk type stone placed at the most pointy part of the Bill. At a guess I would say it weighed 100 tons and no Idea how it got placed there.



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    Passing this area is dangerous due to the tidal stream increasing in speed. Several months ago 16 kayakers were rescued when they got into trouble with some of them capsizing. They call it the Portland Race but today it wasn't moving quick at all. A week later with the spring tides and then it would be rather nasty there espcially if there were a southerly wind opposing the ebb tide.

    I don't know if I can honestly say if I did a full circumnavigation of Portland becuase ahead of me and 150 yards to the west of the Bill I saw a rather dangerous looking gap between the shore and a huge vertical rock. There was about 5 feet between the two and the water was rough enough to make it high risk to go through. I pointed my kayak to the middle of the gap and paddled flat out towards it. Once I was between the two I put the paddle alongside the kayak and I squeezed through. Not sure if it was timing or just good luck but If I was pushed into the sharp jagged rocks then God knows what could have happened, badly scratched kayak?

    Further down and heading North I was in the shadow of the cliffs. The sun was shining strongly and I was feeling chilly. The water was so clear I could see to the bottom and if I'd had a wetsuit I could have gone lobster grabbing.

    Along the shore there was more evidence of stone working with huge slabs of Portland stone littering the area.

    I decided to paddle hard and fast just to raise some heat into me, my GPS reading 7.3mph then I saw something very small on the water moving in a panic and fear stricken fashion. I moved past it so quick I had trouble slowing down to a stop with the intention to help it out.

    to be continued
    Last edited by RRH; 18-04-2011, 21:19. Reason: add picture

    #2
    Originally posted by riosromahome View Post
    Portland Paddle


    to be continued
    When???? Waiting with bated breath!!
    Mary

    Comment


      #3
      That's enough of Eastenders

      I reversed paddled and looked down at a bumble bee upside down in panic. I took a minute to get close enough to lift it out the water and onto my foredeck where it could dry itself. I decided I'd make a change and head into the beach and let it off.



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      As I paddled along towards Chesil Beach I would ocasionally look down at my new passenger walking around my compass and map cover. Still covered with drips of water I had no intention of helping to dry it in case it got aggresive, too risky! About 10 minutes later its wings stated buzzing and then it took off and I had a moment of pleasure till I saw it heading to the south, Chesil Beach is to the North.

      My Romahome was paked at the Ferry Bridge Car Park. Before I left in my kayak I "Marked" my position on my GPS as Roma_H. I paddled past it and 1/2 mile to a lagoon type lake but I had to get out the kayak first. Now for all you small motor homers if you have not seen a steep beach then Chesil Beach is a must for you. I sat 30 yards off the shore thinking how I was to get in to the beach, get out and all without falling in the water. I just went for it crash onto the beach jumped out and grabed the front of my boat in 4 seconds. I dragged it 40ft up the beach then along the top and down the otherside to a fence sign saying keep clear No launching No Landing. I dragged it further along the innershore and through some mud and eventually to some water just before a group ranger walk got close enough to tell me off.
      I started paddling and went under the bridge to the island and back to the camper.

      Once loaded on top I made a cuppa and sat down on a concrete slab looking out to the Olympic Sailing venue of Portland Harbour. Just to my side on the ground there lay a piece of paper. I took a closer look and it appeared to be a £20 note. I went over, picked it up and looked around to see if anyone else was about that may have dropped it but no one near.

      I drove off and headed to a beach called Studland nr Poole. I parked up and spent 3 hours sunbathing French style. Later I drove into the Camping and caravan Club site at Corfe castle and spent the night there on a slope. I thought I'd return on Monday morning to Studland and go kayaking nr Poole, Sandbanks, Bournemouth and spend a couple hours on the beach flexing my muscles.

      I get bored easily though so after all that was done I headed off into new breaking surf and toward Poole Harbour entrance. Outside Poole Harbour there are various marker bouys and the main ones for me were the red and green ones that signify the entry into a channel. Larger vessals shouls always keep the red bouys to their left and the green bouys to their right. I know of a saying, "No red port left in the bottle. So keep the red bouys to the left and the green bouys will always be to your right.

      I played in the rip currant for a while and when the Condor Ferries Catamaran came past I wasted no time surfing in its wake. About 30 ish passengers were looking down from the starboard side wondering if I would survive the waves and angry seas it created as it slipped past with its four 10,000 HP engines doing little more than tick over. My boat is 57 cms wide and only my paddle skills stop me going over and getting wet hair.

      I surfed into the beach on the south side of the Chain ferry and eventually got the kayak back on the Romahome.

      So that's what I did this weekend and I figure at 47 I must be 1/2 way through my life and I have about 25 years of useful life left to live ahead of me before I resort to TV and Romaclub Rallies and a full Eastender zombie.

      God save the bumble bee.
      Last edited by RRH; 18-04-2011, 21:23.

      Comment


        #4
        You are certainly living life to the full Nigel, what an adventure, I enjoyed reading it, thanks.

        I hope the bumble bee made it.

        Graham (Coronation Street Zombie)
        Graham
        Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

        Comment


          #5
          That's a really huge bee!!

          Reminds me of the joke about the trapped bumble bee.......... it was so grateful to be saved, before flying off it filled the rescuer's petrol tank up with Bee Pee!
          Mary

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            #6
            What fabulous photos, the sea is so blue.
            If there is an award for the saving of wee creatures you should be in the running for saving that bumbly bee:welldone: but I don't blame you for not helping it dry off.
            It sounds as if you had a wonderful couple of days - I love Studland Bay; used to water ski off the beach there in my younger days.
            I enjoyed your account of your adventures on the high seas; maybe you could make it a regular feature.

            Comment


              #7
              Lovely photos and a great adventure!:so happy:

              Comment


                #8
                Brilliant account of your trip. The £20 was your reward, Karma , for saving the Bee.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Keep sharing your adventures.

                  You're also making me want to have a go at sea-kayaking although my kayak is just a toy compared to yours!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Super photos, used to live in Dorset, many happy memories of coastine from Studland to Lyme.

                    John

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                      #11
                      Thanks for all your comments. If anyone's interested I could post my trip details of west Cornwall, Land's End , Lizard point and the Castle on St Michael's Mount.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm interested - so, yes please!!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yes please!

                          Andyvan

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                            #14
                            Definitely
                            Graham
                            Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

                            Comment

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