Sidmouth Surprise

Scintillating Sidmouth

 Down here in the west country we have been lost in a gloom world of mist and drizzle and complete dampness and depression for over a week. The sun might as well have gone out.

The forecast for Sunday was essentially more of the same but the wind was expected to be very light so Sidmouth and a new section of coast towards Seaton was my plan.

Not easy to turf out of bed before six but I couldn’t believe my retinas which registered a clear starry sky….www..ww.w.what?

And as I was contorting into my drysuit at the seafront at Sidmouth another surprise…a fellow kayaker called Martin rolled up also with a sunrise paddle in mind.

Change of plan: do the fantastic Ladram bay trip, the red cliffs should be looking at their best in the low February sun. I wasn’t disappointed. 

     I stopped for the briefest of comfort breaks on the excellent sandy beach just east of Ladram bay and shed a layer as I  was fast approaching boiling point.

Hern point beach

Martin came round the corner as I headed off again so we teamed up for the superb down sun trip beneath the cormorant infested cliffs to Budleigh Salterton. Quick break behind the shingle bank at the mouth of the Otter and then back to Sidmouth.

Below Budleigh's brick red cliffs

 A woodpigeon was cowering on a ledge on one of the sandstone islands only just above water level. It was wet and had clearly been for a swim. However woodpigeons do not swim in the sea unless trying to avoid the clutches of  a pursuing peregrine and the terrified look in the pigeons eye suggests that is eactly what had happened. At least it was more fortunate than the last pigeon I had seen in this place last May which had ended up as a peregrine’s main meal.

Greedy cannibalistic Great black-backed Gull

….and a gull’s snack.

For the last three miles to Sidmouth the sea glassed off even more…remarkable.

Back to Sidmouth

 I can’t remember the last time I paddled on such a flat sea..it certainly isn’t like this on the north Cornwall coast very often.

Sidmouth bay. High peak behind (not the most original name)

 I am very pleased with Sidmouth. Maybe it was because it was such a lovely day but it really does have a very attractive sea front and is clean and tidy. It certainly knocks spots of Newquay and Perranporth.

Sidmouth sea front

 And great to have a touring companion for the day with the same enthusiasm for kayaking and a similar outlook on life. Kayakers really are peas out of the same pod.