Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a couple of great night paddles and one aborted paddle. I recently outlined my self enforced criteria for deciding when to paddle solo at night and the routes I’m prepared to paddle.

Last week I set out in wonderfully calm conditions and enjoyed a great paddle along the shore to Stansmore Point. However literally seconds after a photo session the Isle Of Wight which often features as the back drop for my photos vanished. Dense fog rolled in and up Solent Water. Within minutes the visibility had dropped to around 25-30ft maximum.

Luckily I had stuck to my guns and despite such calm, clear conditions when I set out I was in a position where I was able to follow the shoreline home listening to the booming horns of the shipping out in the deep water channel.

Tonight I arrived at Calshot to find the wind considerably higher than shown on the weather forecast. Whilst it was at a level I would happily paddle in during daylight hours, or at night with other paddlers I decided to abort the paddle and spent a great evening exploring some new launch points for future paddles and taking some night photographs. I was struck by how beautiful the industrial landscape of Southampton Docks is at night and discovered a great public slipway which provides access into the heart of the docks. I’m planning a paddle up Solent Water past the docks on the next suitable night!

Here are the results from the last two paddles (Click on any photo to view a larger version):

Stunning View

Stunning View

Landing Near Lepe

Landing Near Lepe

Calshot Castle

Calshot Castle

RNLI Jetty

RNLI Jetty

Calshot RNLI Station

Calshot RNLI Station

Southampton Docks

Southampton Docks

Docks

Docks

Keeping Warm

Keeping Warm