By Brett Scillitoe
19 Aug 21
The original plan was to have a relaxing day at the Beach, play in the gentle surf and generally muck about on the water. Unfortunately, with the weather in 2021 being very changeable and hardly ever as forecast, the fun was going to have to move. There were a few paddle boarders out on the water. I think they were the inexperienced ones as they were rapidly learning the art of Down-winding. Yes, it was a day for the Kite and Windsurfers. They were having a fun time and doing some impressive speeds.
So, what was to be done. With Paddle Boarding there is always an alternative and Emsworth was that alternative. With the tide out, it was decided an early lunch and then go for a paddle. The Blue Bell Inn on South Street threated us very well. The light lunch turned into a full Sunday Roast. Well we did need energy to paddle in the windy conditions.
Sitting outside the pub in the sunshine and out of the wind we were looking forward to the afternoon’s fun. Once the boards were pumped up, we headed for the water. We made a fine sight as we walk down the street.
Once assembled on the water we headed for the main part of Chichester Harbour. We passed the end of the Harbour wall that held back the waters of the Mill Pond (and early example of the use of tidal energy) and were hit with the full force of the wind.
To say we had to be About Our Business was an understatement. The wind was strong and gusting. However, we were in a safe environment to learn about paddling in coastal strong winds. It was an onshore wind, with no surf to speak of, due to the sheltered shore area.
So, we made a game of paddle hard between the moored boards, and when we got to the next moored boat, get your breath back and make sure the group arrived safely, before heading to the next. This way we made progress out into the main harbour. We all had quick Release Waste Leashes, or the Leash was attached to the paddlers Buoyancy Aid. Safety first.
This lasted for some time, with lots of laughs and some fast paddling. After a good while we decided we had enough battling and wanted to copy the morning paddlers and do some Down-winding back to the slipway and find a cup of tea. Which wasn’t hard as there was a lovely tea shop right by the shore.
Playing in the wind we learned a lot about efficient paddling and short powerful strokes to keep the board moving forwards. With down-winding, to stay away from moored boats as much as possible.
Another Great Dittons Adventure. If you would like to come our next one, why not Become a Member.