Over the course of the season, the New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club have a calendar of events. From rolling sessions in the Saltwater Baths to training paddles on the Beaulieu River. Interspersed throughout these regular events are specific trips organised by various club members. This week Vicky did a sterling job of co-ordinating what turned out to be a sizeable group for a paddle over to the Isle of Wight.
Arriving at Lepe it I was a tad surprised by the number of cars, boats and paddlers. Turns out Upper Hamble Canoe Club had a similar trip planned. I managed to catch up with a couple of UHCC paddlers I had met going around the Needles the previous Sunday which was good. Being fashionably late, Steve and I set off after the main group to play catch up with Steve looking ‘at one’ with his New Ivalu and Novorca paddle.
The paddle over went very smoothly with a warm summer breeze blowing and folks chatting away. I managed to catch up with Matt from the club and take geeky sea kayaking stuff all the way over. Once into the bay we landed and enjoyed a brew and some food for half an hour or so.
All too soon, Vicky gave the 5 minute warning and folks packed up their kit heading back onto the water ready for the return leg. Vicky had timed the trip so we returned at reasonably slack water so sights were set on the Lepe Buoy used as a waypoint.
For the return journey, Mother Nature provided a stunning sunset for us to admire – amazingly similar conditions as enjoyed on this trip almost exactly 12 months ago. I spent a while taking photos then sprinting to catch up and repeat the process.
Our arrival back at Lepe coincided with the return of the Upper Hamble crew who had visited Gunnard. Stories were shared and folks ran through the usual end of paddle se;f rescue and rolling practice before we all headed our separate ways. Evenings like this make you grateful and a little proud of how friendly the sea kayaking community is and make me very pleased to paddle with such as great bunch in the NFKCC. Roll on the next paddle!
A few of the other images from the evenings paddle.