Archive for September, 2009

Farewell to the summer season

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

The water is still warm and the sun shines all the short day. Some club members will now move up river to the white water, though the flow is currently very low. Others will paddle the winter Dart estuary with its abundant bird life.

Late summer at Western Combe Cove

Western Combe Cove, seen from the steps which climb up to the coast path west of Dartmouth.

tim P

Dinner at the Watermans Arms, Bow Bridge

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

For our second long excursion of the year we enjoyed a sunny and calm afternoon and were pushed the 11 km upriver by a 5.2 m tide which floods right up across the road in front of the pub. (The image below is high resolution: right click and select view image for full size version.)

After dinner most of us paddled back under the stars.

After dinner

tim P

Not so warm water exercises

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A sunny day in September is, according to our chief instructor, a good time for doing rescues. We start with simple things like getting back in.

getting back in

Then we moved on to more challenging items like self-rescue of a group of three upturned paddlers.

triple rescue

The water wasn’t that warm, but the instructor likes to be thorough in his advice on every stage of the rescue, which makes it quite a slow affair.

tim instructs

The blurred spot on the last picture is water on the lens, the only evidence for my own self rescue with paddle float re-enter and roll, only possible with a sea kayak with sealed forward hold. The ‘Corsica’ style general purpose kayaks are sociable boats – needing a companion to facilitate re-entry, except in very calm water.

tim P

Tail end of the summer

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Dartmouth is quiet after the busy regatta week. Here is a picture of the Dartmouth Yacht Club, our parent organisation. It is the building behind the palm trees.

Dartmouth Yacht Club

The day started with quiet weather also but soon the southerly breeze became fresh and our excursion had to be shortened, giving a long lunch break in Mill Bay Cove.

Mill Bay Cove

On the way back the low spring tide allowed us to sneak into the basement of the WW2 sea defence of Dartmouth. According to legend, a wire or net was stretched across the harbour mouth and on the upper floor, torpedoes were waiting to puncture ships snared in the cable.

Torpedo house

The irregular roof line seems un-military, but it was surely made, and maybe painted, to imitate a thatch roof to fool the aerial photograph. A socially aware interpreter would however have known that the South Hams coast is decorated with the summer houses of the Edwardian rich. They didn’t make so many thatched follies.