After a couple of weeks where paddling has had to take a back seat, the forecast for this weekend was awesome and I was determined to get out. Checking tide times, it became apparent that early morning and late evening would provide high tides so the plan was hatched.

This suited me fine, as it mean’t I could get a good paddle in and be home in time for family duties. Setting my alarm for 4am I was at Calshot beach by 4:45 and staring out at the twinkling lights on the Isle of Wight. I set about organising my kit and luckily saw the security guard at Calshot Activities centre unlocking their main gate. A quick word later I was safely parked by the RNLI station on the end of the spit and made it onto the water in time to see the sun come up over Portsmouth.

With glass pond like conditions, I spent a bit of time taking some photos – in particular, of some paddling kit I had with me on review. Then, stowing the camera I headed out into the Solent and pointed the bow in the direction of Lepe and the Beaulieu river.

Fast forward 35 hours, and the end of the weekend finished with my first, solo, night paddle. Launching from Hythe Marina at 8pm I hugged the coast closely and worked my way up towards the Oil Refinery and back. I spent a good couple of hours playing with strokes and getting used to the unfamiliar sensations that come with paddling in the dark.

Sunrise

Sunrise Over Portsmouth

Sunrise over bow

Sunrise over bow

Ikea Styled IOW Ferry

Ikea Styled IOW Ferry

Old Coastguard Tower

Old Coastguard Tower

Calshot Castle - Click to enlarge

Calshot Castle

Calshot Activities Centre

Calshot Activities Centre

Absolutely awesome way to get back into it, despite the bleary eyes on a Monday morning. Hope you all enjoyed the good weather too – looks like Mr Rainsley did!