Studland Bay – March 31st

Studland Bay trip – A first timer sea paddler’s report

This was an exciting day for me as this was my first sea trip, and the reason I joined the club.

It was early start, but not as early as Rad’s, who had driven down from Worcester and then car-shared with me. I was glad of the company and he was a good companion on the journey down.

We arrived at the National Trust Car Park in Studland, and could see there was a good turn out for the trip. We kitted up in the car park; at this point I have to say a massive big thank you to Steve Holland for lending me a (semi!!) dry suit, which really helped keep me warm and mostly dry. Annette’s optimistic forecast for Sun wasn’t quite realised, but it had at least stopped chucking it down and things were definitely looking brighter, we could even, just about, see The Isle of Wight.

The trip began with a leisurely paddle out to a buoy directly out from the beach. We then turned south with the tide towards Old Harry Rocks. It was a great feeling to be out on the sea and I felt more comfortable and stable than I thought I was going to on the beach. It was a very different experience to the lake sessions and river trips I’d been on, but realised being out on more exposed and dynamic water of the sea I had built up a lot of confidence and learned a lot of useful skills from these sessions.IMGP7038 (640) As we reached the headland the plan to paddle between the rocks was shelved as the wind and waves picked up. Mike popped through to have a look as we were planning to go paddle around Old Harry Rocks. This, too, was abandoned as the combination of wind, choppier water in this exposed area of the headland and tide would have made the return journey near impossible. We settled for a paddle back to the beach for a spot of lunch. An upturned kayak and a boat on the beach served us all well as camp tables and seats for lunch. Fully filled, we launched and paddled north back along the beach, dropping a couple of people back at the launch point and headed towards Poole Harbour. We didn’t quite make it, as there was mutual consent that we all fancied a nice hot cuppa and slice of cake at the beach café.

This was a fantastic experience for me and I’m really looking forward to my next sea kayak trip, in fact I’m really looking forward to getting out as often as I can over the coming months on whatever type of water it is.

I look forward to seeing you all in the future.

Alexis Hunter-Craig