It was a calm morning, extracted the slugs from my equipment, the sun was shining, there was a little wind and what looked like only small swell. The Bivvy set up had stood up well and Mouthmills was a fantastic spot to camp, definitely going to come back some time. The get in at low water was a long way across rocks so I hauled the gear down slowly and eased off through only small waves. It was calm on the water but as I went past Clovelly and onto Bucks Mills a ground swell grew, forcing me away from the beach, although I had planned to ‘cut the corner off’ a little so this wasn’t a problem. As I entered Westward Ho bay the ground swell had grown, with 4-5 foot rollers breaking quite far out, this wasn’t a problem for me as the sea state was flat between the swell, with little wind.
As I crossed Westward Ho and Saunton Bay, the wind grew to a light breaze, I had intended to stop at Saunton Beach for lunch but the waves looked massive and breaking too far out for me to contemplate surfing in just for a tea break! As I went round towards Croyde and approached Baggy Point a lone Dolphin past with 20 metres of me, at that point the highlight of my day. Getting past Baggy point was interesting, with big waves breaking to out to my left and breakers crashing on the rocks of the headland on my right, followed by a confused sea leading round to Putsborough. The wind got up again, as I crossed Woolacombe Bay and the ground swell still prevented me coming to land at Woolacombe. Just as I approached Morte Point a pod of 15-20 dolphin past me, followed by a smaller pod of 5-6 which came right up and underneath me. I tried to take photos, but by now the sea was a bit too choppy for comfortable snapping and I missed every one!
My coach buddy Darren had told me to go round Morte Point at high tide, to avoid the most, I was about an hour before high water and slack, and although there was a horrible mess of waves further out, the sea close to the point was relatively calm. I pushed on past and towards Bull Point. From here to Lee the sea was increasingly confused and messy, with a following sea and shorter period waves, but I paddled and surfed the remaining 5 kilometers to Lee. Once past Pensport Rock I cut back into the shelter of Sandy Bay, and was very happy to come to land on soft shingle, with no ground swell. At High Water there was only a short distance to drag to the camping spot and set the bivvy for the second night. Unfortunately there was no water near the camp spot, so I was forced into Lee to find a watering hole. I was met soon after and had a good chat with a wild swimmer who had swum across from Lee. Now off to the Grampus to refill my water bottles!