Solent At Night

Solent At Night

Having been off the water due to a back injury then the recent atrocious weather tonight provided a spectacular if unexpected return to night paddling. I’d neglected my usual daily inspection of the weather forecasts and tide times having settled my little ones down for the night I stepped outside to be greeted by a windless, star filled night sky.

Quickly checking the Southampton VTS live weather stream showed less than F2 wind on Bramble Bank and Easytide sealed the deal by showing relatively high tides.

Solent By Star Light

Solent By Star Light

Luckily my kit is kept on ready to go so i was able to suit up and be out of the door quickly. The forecast indictated very cold conditions so I layered up well under my drysuit and mad sure my neoprene gloves and hat were to hand.

I put in at Calshot Castle on glassy waters and as i headed out around Calshot Spit was astounded at the lack of wind and quietness of the usually busy Solent. Heading along the coast towards Lepe I could smell woodsmoke presumably from generated by the fireplaces of the large, shore side properties just past Calshot.

Calshot Lifeboat Station

Calshot Lifeboat Station

Looking over my left shoulder the constellation of Orion shone brightly over the Isle of Wight and the sky was punctuated by a plethora of shooting stars. After several weeks off the water, the Solent was providing a spectacular return to paddling.

Having reached the entrance to the Beaulieu River, I headed back to Stansmore Point an spent half an hour or so playing with the camera before picking up the pace for a swift paddle back to Calshot. It felt great to drop back into a quick paddling rhythm I pushed faster and faster enjoying the sensation of the kayak cutting through the still water.

Calshot Castle

Calshot Castle

Arriving back at Calshot I was relieved to find my back had coped well with the paddle with no obvious signs of discomfort. Having loaded up the boat I took the opportunity to snap some shots of the Lifeboat Station and Calshot Castle.

A welcome paddle thanks to some sublime conditions. Hopefully the first of many over the Christmas period.