Thursday, 28 November 2013

Meadfoot, London Bridge and Dolphins

The English Riviera lived up to its reputation as a very nice place to be.

A leisurely paddle around the Torbay area a couple of weekends ago had fun paddling, rougher than expected conditions and a surprising and delighting sighting of a large pod of Dolphins.

Thatchers Rock nearest and the Oar Stone in view as we set off. 

 Max and I took Mitch out for a paddle in what we thought were calm conditions. Launching from the eastern end of Meadfoot beach in Torquay we paddled out towards Thatchers Rock and the Oar Stone. Thatchers rock is about a km from where we launched and the Oar Stone is about another 1.5km again but both are pretty close to shore. Around the back of the Oar stone was a bit more exciting than anticipated, a dropping tide, some pushing swell and a good dose of side wind meant that there was some good size waves and roughness on the seaward side of the Island. " That was a bit more than I was looking for" came from Mitch's mouth as we came out of the rough water and into some calmer stuff. You should get out more Boss.......

Dolphins play in the swell between Thatchers Rock and the shore. 

Paddling back towards Meadfoot from the Oar stone we stopped to play in a small constriction between the rocks where there was a bit of swell running into a nice flat bay area making a bit of a wave to surf in on.
Whilst Max was jumping back in his boat from taking photos I saw a fin poking out of the water. To our delight (and Jemma's dismay when we text afterwards as she didn't come out to play) 

we were treated to seeing a pod of at least 8 Dolphins. These were biggun's to, had to be 8ft long each of them playing in the same swell we were using. Max managed to snap a couple of quick photos on his mobile. You always hear of someone else seeing them, this time it was us who were the lucky ones! They played about a bit and then went on towards the bright lights of Torbay. No doubt for some fish and chips..

                                                           London Bridge, Torquay

Back past Meadfoot towards the Marina you can go through the arch known as London Bridge. I have no idea  why its called this. Can anyone enlighten me? A nice arch with clear water and Max told us about a long traverse climb you can do around the area.
A bit of rough water paddling, checking out different boats and some wildlife delights all just 40 mins from home. Go on, get out there. Its there for the taking.

All photos from Max Hodges.