2009 09 12 Clevedon to Portishead

Photos of the trip here.

Weather was forecast as sunny with light winds, 8mph north easterly and high water Clevedon was 12:25 so we decided on a trip on our local water setting off from Clevedon and up to Portishead and back. I wanted to test out my new Capella and Martyn had just purchased a Rainbow on eBay. Carol and I launched from the beach by the Little Harp at 11:00. It was a neap tide so the tide was low down the beach but adequate. We met Martyn near the pier as he had decided to launch from the sailing club slipway further along to avoid any mud. As we headed off we noted the wind was blowing harder than predicted and estimated it at about 10-12mph, causing the sea to be choppier than expected. We paddled on into the wind, which was a bit of a slog compared to the easy paddle we had hoped.

We were obviously making better headway than expected because we soon noticed a large black RIB powering towards us only to find it was the police in full riot gear. However, instead of a speeding ticket they were out on general patrol in the area, had spotted us and decided to check we were ok. After assuring them we had all necessary equipment and had notified the coastguard of our trip, they wished us well, said "rather you than me" and headed off.

We reached Portishead Sailing Club slipway about 12:45. The tide was beginning to turn so we debated whether to paddle on to Portishead lake to have a rest and get a cup of tea or see if we could cadge one from the Sailing Club; we opted for the latter and pulled up on their slipway. What a friendly bunch; they helped lift our kayaks up the slip and before we could beg tea, suggested we pop into their clubhouse for a drink and fresh bacon butties; so off we went. In fact we had several cups, had a chat and swapped sailing and kayaking tales while we admired the fantastic views of the channel.

The trip back was easy with the tide in full flow plus a following wind. Martyn checked his GPS and found we were moving at 2.5mph without any paddling. We reached Clevedon in about 35mins, which was lucky because there was just enough tide left to avoid getting out through deeper mud, but we still got a bit messy and had to cleanup in the lake but all in all, a good and eventful trip.