2009 08 15 Clevedon Portishead return

No pics this time as I forgot my camera but I thought I would write something to add to my log. Paulo and I decided on a late minute paddle on our local waters, Clevedon to Portishead return. Notice too late for some of our usual paddling buddies who had other events lined up. The tide was right, HW Clevedon 1400 and forecasting F3 bordering F4. We expected it to be a bit lumpy but needed a bit of rough water practise so were prepared.

We looked for a parking space near Clevedon Pier about 1230 but all spaces were full, partly due to the Sailing Club being out in force having decided the wind would also make good sailing. They were all queued on the slipway waiting for the tide to come in so they could launch their RIBs. We decided instead to launch from the beach, punching through the waves and headed off under the pier towards Portishead.

We had a following wind and tide, although the latter was beam on hitting us from the back left. There was a largish swell with a lot of chop so getting a rhythm was a bit difficult, like riding a slow bucking bronco, often throwing us off course and requiring lots of correcting strokes and edging. Still, that was why we were there so we enjoyed the challenge and thrill of surfing some of the larger waves. Predictably, the sea was roughest in the usual places, just off Ladye Bay and the bay where the Portishead Sailing Club are based.

Paul and I both had our VHF radios and when we reached Portishead, picked up a distress message from a sailing boat whose engine had stopped just outside Portishead marina. As we had made it to Portishead in about an hour and the time was just 1400, we decided to hang around for the tide to turn properly and listen to the coastguard transmits and watch the rescue proceedings. We could see the boat about 400m away from us. We could hear they were a bit worried about an approaching tanker but it transmitted it had seen them. Even so, it passed pretty close and totally dwarfed them.

Eventually the lifeboat arrived and we headed back to Clevedon. This time we had wind against tide but it was much easier paddling into the big waves, a bit tiring but basically an excellent work out, which is what we wanted. When we arrived back we found the Sailing Club leaving the water and filling up the slipway with boats again. We managed to squeeze in, loaded our kit on Paulís car and headed back to mine for tea and medals (fresh raspberries and cream with a side helping of freshly cooked almond cake actually).