Selsey Bill – June 2023

For Mike’s first practice sea lead we had chosen a favourite CKC trip down on the south coast – Selsey Bill. We had an onshore wind F3 with some good swell ~0.5m (although later that would become an issue) and launched in brilliant sunshine with occasional sea fog drifting in.

Once on the water we headed towards the Bill along the long shingle beach.

The Bill itself has the potential to create some significant waves at some states of the tide, but Mike had planned the trip to make sure that our trip only had some slightly disturbed water. Once around the corner at Selsey Bill the wind dropped and we paddled through the fishing boats anchored at Selsey.

Deciding to take an early break, we were lucky to find what all summer sea kayakers need to revive them – ice cream!

After ice creams we decided to practice some skills including the hand of God, towing and rolling. Rich’s hatch opened while in the middle of a roll and his trolley made a dash for freedom, but luckily didn’t make it.

On our return trip, after we had crossed the Bill, one of our group started to feel seasick. As we had just been practicing towing this was a perfect time to form a rafted tow, with one person towing and one supporting the casualty. Swapping out the person towing as they got tired, we were able to make it back to the launch point quite quickly. As the beach had small but strong waves we decided on an anchored tow landing with the casualty (who was feeling much better by this stage) and successfully got everyone onto the beach, much to the interest of the sunbathing public.

Apart from someone feeling unwell, we all had a really enjoyable paddle in the sun with waves, ice creams and using some of the safety and rescue techniques that we train for. Mike’s first sea lead, was certainly an exciting one and a good learning experience for everyone!

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