Kimmeridge Snorkel and Beachcomber Trip Report June 2014

Saturday 21st June 2014 was a glorious day, just perfect for snorkelling. With high tide due just after lunch, it meant a leisurely start with everyone meeting on the beach at Kimmeridge around 11.30am. While lunch was being eaten I talked the snorkellers through their first advanced theory lesson, touching on risk asessement. Getting the snorkellers, especially those new to open water to talk about what is invloved in doing a risk assessment is the best way to make them think about their conduct and actions in and around the water.

Theory and lunch over and with the tide high enough, we embarked on the snorkel trail. This is one of my favourite places to introduce new snorkellers to snorkelling in the sea. It is safe, very pretty, with plenty of fish to see.

It is always a joy to take people out snorkelling in the sea for the first time after weeks of training in the pool, just to see their faces, their enthusiasm mingled with a tiny bit of awe and maybe a bit of nerves. It reminds us as instructors what it was like on our first open water trip. It also makes us look at the fish, the sea weed, the sea bed and rocks again through a new pair of eyes, even if we have snorkelled the Kimmeridge snorkel trail more times than I care to remember.

Later on when the tide retreated, leaving rock pools exposed, everyone, including parents got involved in the BSAC Beachcomber course. With Identification cards in hand we went in search of Beadlet anemones, different types of seaweed, little fish and snails. Everyone had a go at taking pictures and we soon had a few people off the beach showing us what they had found and asking for identication or helping us out with their local knowledge.

As has become an Oxford BSAC snorkelling tradition, the day ended off with fish and chips. This time a quick drive around to Swanage to enjoy chips sat on the sea front looking out as the sun went down.