Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Kingsbridge Estuary - 25th September 2016

The kayaking gods were not on my side... we had planned a trip to circumnavigate Mull, but the weather was looking awful, so we decided to head south instead and go to Devon. Then on the first evening after we arrived, I did something painful to my back that severely curtailed my activities.

We stayed in Devon for a few days, but I only managed one trip in the Kingsbridge Estuary.

We launched from the lovely sandy Mill Bay beach on the east side of the estuary, opposite Salcombe town. We crossed the estuary and watched the ferry exchange groups of passengers with the sea tractor on South Sands beach.

We were curious as to the conditions on the open sea, so we headed towards the mouth of the estuary to have a look. The wind was blowing strongly from the west, and as we rounded Sharp Tor and into Stairhole Bay, we were met by heavy downblasts as the wind came over the cliffs. The tide was also trying to take us out to sea, so discretion was the better part of valour and we made a hasty retreat for the sanctuary of the estuary.

We passed the infamous Bar that guards the entrance to the natural harbour and resisted the temptation to surf the waves that were being kicked up.

We had a pleasant paddle alongside the Salcombe waterfront and into the multitude of moored boats that cover this end of the estuary.

Once clear of the moorings, the estuary widens out to give a broad vista of the rolling Devon countryside. We carried on towards Kingsbridge and hauled the boats out on a small slipway at the end of the tidal navigation.

We enjoyed our lunch in the sunshine, then retraced our steps back to Mill Bay.

18km paddled.

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