Monday, 2 July 2012

Lulworth Adventures with the Chiverses

I'm in Hampshire with Zappa and family, and we got a call from Chivers saying he and Alice were somewhere near Swannage, Dorset and that we should come and have a deep water soloing day.

Deep water soloing is climbing above water without ropes, based on the concept that if you fall off you just fall into nice, safe, soft, deep water. Enthusiasts have taken it further by grading it on how true this idea actually is for the route, with S grades:

S0 - lots of deep water beneath you, perfectly safe (providing you can swim)
S1 - there might be the odd boulder and/or shallow bits you might want to watch out for
S2 - you should probably only do it at high tide, and pick your landing site carefully when you suddenly loose your footing and plummet downwards
S3 - don't fall off because you will almost definitely die.

We only do S0. Otherwise how is it fun? Anyway. Off we went to Lulworth cove, armed with chalk (for grip), a barbeque, an inflatable kayak and lots of clothes. It was blowing a gale and the sea was pretty choppy. I elected to be photographer.

The rock was doing crazy things. Just cos I hated geography doesn't mean I'm not completely amazed by stuff like this.

A brief sunny moment.  

The others decided to do a traverse all the way around the block on the right hand side of the cave, coming through the cave from the other side. Zappa did a recce of the other side in the kayak. He fell out immediately and I was laughing so hard I completely failed to take a picture.

Off they went, merrily, and I waited in line with the cave to get some good shots of them coming through the cave....

...err and they came back round the same way, looking very wet.

 They'd got halfway round and a big wave had rolled up. Zappa saw it and climbed higher, but Tom and Alice got drenched! Alice's legs actually got swept to the side and she somehow managed to cling onto two little crimpey holds to stop herself being washed down the rock face.

They decided to just stick to playing in the cave.


Zappa comes off!

Zappa and I decided to go for a ride in the kayak so I could see the other side of the rock thingy. I don't know why I didn't grasp how rough the sea was going to be, I could see the waves coming through the cave the whole time and my friends had nearly gotten swept away, but it came as a terrifying surprise. It was ridiculous! I may have just screamed the entire time like some complete girl, couldn't help it. The sea was grey and white and churning, huge rocks would suddenly surface like whales right beside us - I was absolutely terrified! I really thought we'd soon be swimming. To get back through the cave we had to scoot alongside the horrible sometimes-submerged whale rock otherwise we'd miss the entrance. We got through and then a big wave came and dumped us on the rocks of the beach, quite conveniently really, it couldn't have been any luckier. I stopped screaming and proclaimed it enormous fun.