Archive for July, 2008

Froward point

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

A glorious summer sunday pulled out nearly all the club kayaks. The lagoons behind the sea stacks at Froward Point were delightfully calm with clear visibility down to the rocky sea bed. Click on image for high resolution version.
froward point hires

Tim P

Berry Head again

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Frustrated by scary breaking waves in our attempt to paddle from Dartmouth to Berry Head, Bjørn motored us to Brixham and we tried again, from the eastern side and with milder wind and sea.

bjoern berry head

The swell was now from the south and reflected from the steep cliffs, giving choppy water so we could not explore the caves. The water was a lovely clear green colour. We reached Man sands for our lunch break,

bjoern man sand

then returned for a snack in the beachside cafe at Brixham and a stroll up to the botanical rarities of Berry head. Pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis was almost finished, so the summer flowers are nearly over.
berry head top

Tim P

South east wind at the Mew stone

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

This is Bjørn from the Vedbæk kayak club near Copenhagen. We are resting in the tiny natural harbour of the Mew stone, closely watched by the big old seal on its rocky throne (on the rock at the right edge of the picture), while two pups swim daringly around us. In the unusual south east swell the interference between waves refracted round the rocky islands was very evident. The breaking waves further east stopped us from continuing along the coast.

bjoern at mewstone

Tim P

Dinner on the Devon Avon

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

The Avon estuary is a quiet stretch of water, protected by a sand bar at the entrance which often creates disturbed water. So we launched from the sheltered quay at Bantham and paddled in a desultory way, swept up river by the powerful current of the spring tide.


The deserted lime kiln is a typical feature of the Devon estuaries. Many date from the Napoleonic wars when agricultural production was encouraged by the government. The rain-washed acid soils of the south west were sweetened by spreading lime. The coal and limestone were brought in by boat.

avon lime kiln

The tidal river continues 700 metres past Aveton Gifford until a weir stops further progress.

We dined on the river bank in the last of the sunlight, and on the turn of the tide.

avon dinner

tim P

Camping at Sharpham

Friday, July 18th, 2008

There is a primitive campsite at Sharpham Point, half way up the navigable portion of the river Dart.

We joined the Ladies Afloat team at our Dartmouth headquarters.


It was a windy struggle through choppy water to reach the campsite. It turned out not to be truly primitive, since it was within range of a mobile phone mast.


On the other hand the steady drizzle reinforced the impression of tough remoteness.

Breakfast was a more cheerful affair, with steadily clearing sky.


Here is a rare appearance by the main author and photographer of this blog, surrounded by the sporty ladies of the club (photo by Tim Freeman)

breakfast with tim

tim P

Berry Head

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

The first long expedition came late this year, because of unstable weather. We took sea kayaks and covered canoes from Dartmouth to Brixham, starting with a detour around the mew stone.

seals and shags

The adult seals were wary and aloof while the pup was friendly and curious.

The coast east of Dartmouth towards Scabbacombe is rugged, with numerous rocks which form an inside passage.

Inside passage

We lunched at Man sand.

man sands lunch

At Sharkham point the spectacular Devonian limestone cliffs begin. The strata are mostly vertical and tightly folded.
louise at sharpham point

There is a vast cave under the southern fort on Berry Head. There are three entrances (at least).

ian in berry cave

It was a gentle trip with following wind and tide. Three of us paddled back from Brixham to Dartmouth, against the tide and a stiff breeze and choppy sea. But the sun shone intermittently and the Dart estuary sucked us in with a typical sudden change of wind direction.

Tim P.

Invisible nature reserve

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Tryggevælde stream is a nature reserve in Eastern Zealand, 30 km south of Copenhagen. The sluggish river is covered with yellow water lilies. The banks are mainly reed, with very few flowering plants. The damp meadows beside the stream are invisible, and our group didn’t think to get out to look at the reportedly rich flora, being mainly concerned with completing the 11 km to the sea.

tryggevaelde aa

The rain turned to thunderstorm. We took a cool windswept lunch in a park near the mouth of the river.


Much praise to Bjarne, the driver of the 20 kayak trailer. It took a while to load and unload the trailer and about an hour from clubhouse to the starting point. So there was much logistics for slender reward on a day where the weather dampened our spirits.
Tim P.