Seals and a Beast of a Paddle Home

By Connie Ceuppens

Thanks for sending thisinJames. It looks like a lovely day, even with the tough paddle back!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to Alpkit for my replacement Kraku and MytiMug bags.

It was very kind of you to search the warehouse for spares.

They came in very useful on a winter trip out from Poole Harbour to see the resident seals at Shipstal Point and on to Studland Bay.

I headed out first thing, in sunshine and light winds and arrived at Shipstal Point earlier than expected, so got a chance to try out my new Koro stove for a quick brew while waiting for the seals.

After packing up and heading out towards Round Island, a friendly seal made an appearance and decided to play chase for 15 minutes. Never getting too close, but popping up a few feet away before nudging the stern of the kayak and disappearing again.

Leaving the seal behind and setting off for Brownsea Island, I noticed the wind picking up but continued for the Sandbanks Ferry.

Twenty minutes later it became clear that the wind was not subsiding and was gusting at around 20 - 25 knots.

Only once I turned around did I feel quite how strong the wind had become which, coupled with a flood tide, made for a beast of a paddle home.

There was no let up. If you stopped paddling, you went backwards at quite a rate. There was also no chance of running with the wind and landing to the east, as my transport was the other side of the harbour.

Very slow (and wet) progress was made. The seal was no where to be seen and 3 miles and an hour and a half later and I was back on dry land.

It was, however, a great trip out and a worthy excuse for a slap-up pub meal in the evening.

It sounds like the pub dinner was very much deserved!

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