Managed to get to Dancing ledge yesterday on the way to Durdle dor. We did not see any puffins at Dancing ledge as we could not get close to see... we did have fun on the way though.....
Went in a mates Targa 30 and not a rib - but this was the right choice for the conditions. [apologies to rib puriests but if i can get out on the water to see the fantastic coast and gain more experience for use on the rib then i do!]
We left Gosport about 8am and got to durdle dor and back in about 7 hours actual cruising time; but the ride was overall quite demanding....and felt like being on the rib as i spend most of it hanging on!
We experienced much stronger winds than were forecast and even allowing for the chop we expected due to wind over tide, we had some serious moments on the way back past St Albans, and a few minor ones past Durlaston and the Needles! The swell was well in excess of the height of the boat at times, but the swell was not the problem it was the choas of the chopped sea state literally meant we got picked up and dumped at all angles, and on 2 occasions we got tossed sideways.
The boat is designed for this (and if it had not been then we would have turned around at Poole), but i can tell you there were a few 'quiet' moments as we were reminded of the power of the sea.
Its a great part of the coast that I has not done before and look forward to doing in the rib during the summer. The photos just don't do justice to the chop....that 2m wave was actually coming over the bow and not in the distance!.
The sun came out at lulworth, so in good old british fashion time for a dip!
I am planning to take the boat down to Poole this weekend and was wondering where Dancing Ledge is located wrt Poole harbour. I am guessing it is close to Lulworth Cove between Poole and Weymouth??
Any info. on this or any other recommendations as to where to visit this weekend would be much appreciated!!
I dont know what charts or GPS you have, but most features are marked on my Garmin bluechart.
Crudely, Dancing ledge is midway between St Albans Head and Anvil point. Have a look on some of the web pages for Dorset coastline and you'll find some pictures and maps for sure of the main coastal features.
Major ones coming from Poole and heading west are probably Studland bay, old harry and wife stacks, Dancing ledge, chapmans bay, kimmeridge bay, worbarrow/Mupe bay, lulworth cove, man o war/durdle dor.
Studland bay, Kimmeridge and Lulworth are probably your best places to stop or get shelter. Studland bay is easy to beach up and get out for an ice cream! but watch out for a dropping tide. if you beach up on the sand.....
there's lots of bays and interesting cliff outcrops,gulleys and some mini caves along that part of the coast. On a cautionary note if your going to explore the cliffs up close there are many ledges and underwater pinnacles in general according to my Bluechart (especially ledges between chapmans and kimmeridge) so you need to take care in any swell. The other things to watch out for would be a race over St Albans ledge/head and also Anvil point, then usually smaller ones around Peveril point ledge.There's also a sandbar as you come put of Poole and were then to head straight into Studland beach, but buoys mark the safe route out of Poole.
Without wishing to teach you to "suck eggs" I'd plan your route times taking into account the tide race at St Albans point, especially if its forecast to blow over an F3. Personally if Peveril point was very choppy i'd probably turnaround on the basis that St.Albans will be twice as bad ! - but i dont have an aux and normally travel alone in the same compact rib as you.
Many thanks mhb100 for the info. - I have Garmin bluecharts hence I should be able to find the points you mention. Hopefully we will have favourable weather for the weekend and be able to enjoy the delights of the Dorset coast!! Your comments re. the tidal races are well appreciated!!
How are you enjoying your Pro Open 550? I have to say I am very pleased with my purchase!!
Yes, pleased with the open pro. Its quite old now being 1999 but spent along time on a drive!. I think the extra width, oversize tubes and storage differentiate it, but also makes it slower; so i think its a good fun allrounder and not a sporting rib with that seat layout!
Performance: seems to be happy cruising at 20kn all day. Max seems to be 30kn flat out in calm with the honda 90. Out of interest how does yours perform?
Since new I have only done 20 hours so fair to say I am still learning about how she performs. The '07 model has a bolster seat which is very comfortable whilst cruising at about 20 knots however is a bit hairy as you approach 30 and beyond. Hence I have just invested in a couple footstraps to provide a bit more stability. With the 115 etec I have touched 38 knots although the boat started to chine walk hence I pulled back - probably would do 40 knots if pushed on a very flat sea although I am guessing this would be a bit lively!! Overall I am very happy with her - like you say the extra beam and the storage make the difference. Been out in a sloppy sea and I was amazed how well she performed - not a drop of water on the deck and she felt really secure!!
Looking forward to some good cruising this weekend although windguru suggests otherwise!!