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Old 15 July 2005, 15:44   #1
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Kimmeridge, Lulworth, Durdle Door

I am thinking about launching at Kimmeridge on Sunday (17th) and motoring to Lulworth and Durdle Door.

Has anyone ever launched at Kimmeridge? What is it like? (particularly at low tide). I have read a few threads that seem to agree it's a nice place to go but you all launched from miles away.

Can you drive through the "door" at Durdle Door?

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Peter.
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Old 15 July 2005, 16:20   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter J
Can you drive through the "door" at Durdle Door?
I don't know, but i think I would want to do a low water survey first! Beware of other hazards adjacent to Durdle Door.... DJL's post explains more: Camping on the RIB and sinking boats
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Old 15 July 2005, 16:28   #3
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Kimmeridge

We have been there twice in the last three weeks, once from Poole and once on dry land as we hiked from Kimeridge to Lulworth. Firstly you need to check wether the firing ranges are in use, otherwise you get forced way off shore. The slip at Kimeridge looks an easy launch, we watched a 5.5m rib being recovered very easily, although it was very calm. I am fairly new to ribbing, but I have heard Kimeridge can be tough in rough and windy weather to launch.
To get to Kimeridge by road is on some very narrow roads at the end with some blind tight corners so it is worth taking it very easy. When we took our Rib it was about an hour and a quarter from Poole in a big chop and St Aldhelms had a very big sea. We were comfortable at 20 knots. Poole to Kimmeridge was 21 miles from the slip at Baiter.
There is a big ribcraft at Lulworth that goes round to Durdle Door on 1/2 hour trips - it may be worth asking them if you can go through the hole - I wouldnt fancy it though!
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Old 15 July 2005, 16:48   #4
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Its been a few years since I launched there but here is what I remember

1) Windy and steep roads on the approach
2) Steep slipway. Front wheel drive cars will have trouble retrieving boats
3) I think at low tide you will have trouble getting in or out.
4) You can get a swell rolling in there.

In saying that I used it loads of times without any hassle with a 6m Delta.

Regards

Mark
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Old 15 July 2005, 17:06   #5
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Pete, can I suggest you choose somewhere else to launch, like Swanage.

Kimmeridge has two slips, a small steep one south of the cottages which you will need 4 x 4 at low water, but I seem to remember some low posts in the ground which we had to drive over. The larger slip in the NE corner of the bay is good at high water but dries to boulders. Attached pic was taken at high water.

However, Kimmeridge is a very popular site with the tourists and baby divers (there is an underwater nature trail around the bay), so potentially divers could surface anywhere. Both lower and higher car park fills quickly and you have to pay a toll to drive to Kimmeridge. You will have to be early to park in the lower car park. Lulworth Ranges unlikely to firing on a weekend btw, Armies do like to have time off too

Instead use the slip at Swanage, 2 car parks on site and although its still a steep slip its concrete all the way. Drive through the town, along the sea front and just before the pier turn up the short steep hill and into the car park. Though the first car park into the second and the slip starts at the far end.

By all means visit Kimmeridge and Lulworth Cove but by rib would be easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter J
Can you drive through the "door" at Durdle Door? Peter.
don't know, perhaps you could take a look if its calm, there are two rocks in the area called something like the cow and the calf keep a sharp lookout. However stair hole is definately mask and fins only



Pete
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Old 15 July 2005, 17:12   #6
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I launched a SIB at Kimmeridge several years ago at low water,there were a lot of rocks either side of the slipway but several ribs did launch so I think you just have to be careful which way you head out from the slip to deeper water,the water is very clear,the slipway as already stated is very steep and quite narrow,I seem to remember paying around a tenner but I didnt have a trailer.
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Old 15 July 2005, 17:53   #7
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There is a picture somewhere on this site of a large motor boat parked on the rock at Durdle Door!
Mark
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Old 15 July 2005, 17:58   #8
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See post no. 2 Mark!
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Old 18 July 2005, 09:05   #9
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Update

Thank you all for your advice, partly becuase of that and the tide times I changed my mind and launched at Rockley Park in Poole Harbour. 25.00. Having a slipway on to Poole Harbour is a license to print money. Anyway it was worth the extra 17.00 over Baiters to have a hassle free launch and recovery and the jetty to pull in to.

Went to Studland Bay and anchored up. Very nice place to anchor, kids had a lovely time. I think I'll start a new thread on nice places to anchor.
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Old 22 July 2005, 11:49   #10
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We regularly dive out of Kimmeridge, and the slip is perfectly usable for our 6.5m Tornado on the back of a "proper" 4x4.

There is a step of the end of the concete slipway onto a sandy bottom with a lot of boulders towards low tide, and there is a bar about 20m out from the shore which may be too shallow to get your boat over (in which case take your trailer to the boat rather than vica versa).

If launching at high water, be wary on the way out and don't try to "cut the corner" off the slip before you head out of the bay, if you have a look at low water you will see a LOT of boulders in this area.

To summarise, its a nice usable slip, we have never failed to get in or out (though as divers we tend to avoid springs so I have probably never seen it on a "low" low), but it would pay you to have a good look at it at low water, to get a picture of where the hazards are.

HTH

David
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