Dorset Weekend, Day 2, Oct 2022

Day 2 – Wareham to Poole Harbour Entrance

Sunday morning started with a car shuttle as we were planning a one-way trip. One of our more experienced paddlers later commented “a car shuttle is the most difficult thing you can do in kayaking”.   However, it had all been worked out on a napkin in the pub the night before and by luck or logistics, boats, cars, kit and people all ended up in the right place.

Due to winds of Force 4-5 on the coast our plan for the day was to start in Wareham and paddle out to Poole Harbour via the River Frome.  After some last-minute bacon sandwiches and a briefing by Liza, we paddled under Wareham Bridge and down river through whistling reed beds and past house boats, to emerge into Poole Harbour.

As we entered the harbour, the wind picked up with much more challenging paddling conditions.  We attempting to hug the harbour banks but were outwitted by an outgoing tide and low water that meant we had to head into the more exposed central channel.

At this point, the more experienced paddlers offered lots of encouragement and tips to the newer kayakers creating a lovely supportive environment as we battled the wind.  After a brief pause to help some sailors with a broken rudder, we found deep water along the coast of Arne RSPB reserve.  The harbour was a great contrast to our previous day on the coast with the surrounding lands and islands comprising of pine trees and heathland.

We had a brief lunch stop on a small beach with the more adventurous amongst us heading up in the trees.  Fruit cake was shared around before we re-launched for the afternoon paddle.

We wound our way around the channels of Poole Harbour, skirting Brownsea Island, admiring the nature and some beautiful luxury homes.  The wind stayed strong but everyone did well in making progress with more coaching and tips thrown in.

A “leg-stretch” and loo break was appreciated on another beautiful beach before the final round of the headland and into Studland.  There we were met by David who had spent the day keeping Lola the dog company.  Once the boats were loaded, we had a quick de-brief on a fantastic weekend before starting our journeys home.

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