April 27th saw 18 of us make our way to The Royal Hotel in Weymouth. As with previous years, some were there for a long weekend and others for the week. We all met up for our evening meal and on
one of the tables an extra portion of onion rings and potato wedges was ordered. These were eagerly devoured by all on that table.
The Saturday saw us rise early and after a hearty breakfast we made our way to Portland Bill via
Chesil Beach where we saw some friendly fishermen and a not so friendly dog. Once at Portland Bill
we split up to take individual photographs of Pulpit rock, the lighthouse and some of the many birds
that come to feed at the reserve nearby. Light refreshments were served at the cafe including cream teas for some and then we made our way back to the hotel where some of us has a stroll around the harbour before the evening meal which again was supplemented on one table by additional potato wedges and onion rings. The evening entertainment at the hotel had some people toe tapping and others took themselves off to the basement for a game of snooker.
Kimmeridge bay and Durdle Door were our destination for Sunday. As we were making our way to Kimmeridge we came across some banger racers which were just setting up for a day of racing. As
we were in convoy, our leader decided to carry on to Kimmeridge. Once there, we discussed what
to do and some people decided to return to the banger racing after photographing fossils in the
stones at Kimmeridge whilst others decided to carry on to Durdle Door. Back at the hotel we met
up for our evening meal which again was supplemented by wedges and onion rings on the one table.
Monday morning saw the party reduced to 10 as some of our group returned home. After saying our goodbyes we headed off to Swanage, Lulworth Cove and then on to Durdle Door. The walk down to
the beach and then back up is very steep and it was amazing how most of us managed to find things
to stop and photograph on our way back up! With only 10 of us for the evening meal, we were all
able to sit at the same table and to our great surprise, one of the guests who had gone home had arranged for wedges and onion rings to be served with the meal. Thanks Ray.
On Tuesday we headed to Lyme Regis. Whilst on the Cob taking long exposure shots, we noticed
storm clouds coming our way. Rather than gather up our stuff and head to the nearest pub like
sensible people do, we made sure our tripods we secure and made ourselves ready for the onslaught
of wind and rain. As it happened, the storm only lasted 10 minutes and was not as dramatic as we would have liked. With the sun now shining we soon dried out and after a fish and chip lunch,
headed to West Bay for an ice cream and a spot of fossil hunting. One of us found what looked like
a piece of prehistoric sea bed, but it turned out to be a lump of concrete.
As the weather forecast was not good for Wednesday, we decided to visit not only one but two National Trust properties. The childhood home of Thomas Hardy which is at Higher Brockhampton
and Max Gate where he lived in his later years. With the weather getting warmer as the day went
on, a walk around the old harbour in Weymouth was taken before we headed back to the hotel.
You cannot go to the Jurassic coast and not go looking for fossils and so on Thursday as it was our
last full day we returned to Lyme Regis and when the tide was right went on to Charmouth beach
which is known to be a 5 star area for fossil hunting. Undaunted from our last try at fossil hunting
and after speaking to a fossil hunter and learning some tips, we left no stone unturned. Although
we did not find a dinosaur, to our great surprise and delight we did find some small fossils and in the evening after our meal we showed each other our finds. Those that were looking up rather than
down at Charmouth were given the opportunity of photographing some paragliders that were taking advantage of the sunshine.
Friday was soon here and time to go home. Many thanks to Pete and Ange who once again excelled themselves in organising a lovely week away.