Well, off we went down to Sidmouth with six paddlers and two non paddlers ,Vince & Jan. Vince & Jan came down for a day out, and to take some photos of us launching and paddling (photos on the club website). The original plan was to take eleven paddlers in all, but five decided not to go in the end, for one reason or another.
We all arrived down in Sidmouth in good time and, to our surprise, the sea was very flat with hardly a ripple. The sun was out; what a good start to the day!
We launched at about 10am from Sidmouth beach, and paddled along the stunning coastline down to Ladram Bay. We had a good look around the five sea stacks just offshore. (The sea stacks are big rocks as high as the cliffs out in the sea to the North end of Ladram Bay, and they are well worth a visit if you are paddling in that area.) Paddling around the sea stacks you feel as though you are very isolated, because you are in amongst the big stacks but in reality you are very close to shore and only about 200m away from Ladram Bay.
Vince met us at Ladram Bay (our first stop) for more photos and a chat. After a short break, it was time to launch again and paddle the 6km to Budleigh Salterton. Just as we were leaving Phil and Annette decided to buy themselves a crab each. Vince made the most of this with another photo shoot, including the two crabs.
The plan, when we arrived at Budleigh, was to paddle up into the River Otter on the incoming tide and spend some time just having a look around the bird sanctuary and the estuary. Running a bit behind the planned time, we only had around twenty minutes looking around the estuary before the tide had turned and we had to make our way back out into the sea.
By now, we were all hungry and needed another break so, after leaving the River Otter and paddling back towards Sidmouth, we decided to land on a beach to have our lunch. During lunch the wind picked up so we decided not to hang about for too long and paddle back down to Sidmouth.
The journey back to Sidmouth was just as rewarding only quicker because we now had the wind behind us, arriving back at Sidmouth around 3.15pm.
After packing our gear and loading our kayaks onto the cars it was time to look for a cafe, so off we went to The Clock Tower, Sidmouth, which had been recommended to us. Apparently the cakes are so big you can see them from space. Well, we are not too sure if you can see them from space, but they were very big and went down a treat after a long days' paddling.
To sum up the days paddling: all in all the weather was very good to us on the day and everyone enjoyed the paddle; what more could you ask for?