Ringstead Bay – A Hidden Gem Of The Dorset Coast

The Dorset coast, also known as the Jurassic, is a World Heritage Site, and includes some unique geographical features.

There is Lyme Bay, including the 18 mile long Chesil Beach. There’s the Isle of Portland, where the world famous Portland Stone has been quarried for many centuries, to build some of the most spectacular buildings around the world.

Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney harbour. Much of it is given over to nature reserve, making it a fabulous place to walk, spot rare species of wildlife, and for those who like the water, it is a superb and safe place to explore in a sailing dinghy or canoe.

The South West Coast Path stretches from the north of Somerset, along the north coast of Devon and Cornwall, then along the south coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. The Dorset stretch of coast path takes in some spectacular cliff top and beachside paths.

Nestled in between the cliffs, just to the east of the holiday resort town and fishing port of Weymouth, is Ringstead Bay.

It is a small hamlet, with no more than 20 private houses, one small shop and a small chapel (which is halfway up the cliff to the east). You can drive to the bay, taking a narrow track that heads down between the cliffs. There is a car park, only 50 yards from the beach. You can pay your car park fee to the shop, and then spend the day exploring on foot.

The beach, which is mostly shingle, but with some patches of sand, stretches around the bay in both directions. The part nearest the car park is sheltered by a reef that protects it completely from the waves for most of the day, except for an hour or so either side of high tide.

This makes the water especially safe for swimming and messing around in boats or inflatables, and has the added bonus at low tide of being a bit warmer than the usual sea temperature.

If you have access to a boat, a short trip off the beach, especially early in the morning or late afternoon, gives you good access to some great mackerel fishing.

If walking is your thing, head east from the car park, and you will quickly begin the climb up White Nothe, one of the highest cliffs along the Dorset coast. Just below on your right hand side as you ascend, is an area called “burning cliff”. The composition of the soil here is such that it is flammable, and on rare occasions it has been known to catch alight.

If you are a brave walker, then instead of heading along the coast path, walk along the beech, right around Ringstead Bay. At the end of the bay, you can pick up a path that then winds right up the front of the cliff. Don’t take this route if you don’t like heights !

At the top of White Nothe there is are some old coast guard cottages, and a World War Two look out point, offering superb views across to Portland and Weymouth.

If you continue the walk eastwards, up and down hills and cliffs, eventually you will be rewarded with a view of Durdle Door, a huge natural archway, and just afterwards you will reach the picturesque village of Lulworth Cove.

To the west of Ringstead Bay, a shorter and slightly more gentle walk of about a mile, will take you to Osmington. The Smuggler’s Inn is a good place to stop for a lunchtime beer, an afternoon tea or an evening meal. Remember though that walking back to Ringstead Bay along the cliff paths after a beer, or in the dark, can present some challenges !

In summer, Ringstead Bay can get quite busy, but you only have to venture 50 yards or so away from the main part of the beach, and you’ll find plenty of privacy.

In winter the beach is usually deserted, with just a few brave kite surfers or windsurfers for company.

Some of the houses in the Bay are Holiday Cottages, and make a superb base for a longer holiday. There is also a holiday park in the Bay, with caravans for rent, and occasionally for sale. Otherwise, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding towns of Weymouth, Dorchester and the surrounding countryside.

Business Bay – The Ultimate Destination in Dubai

Dubai is a beautiful place and it attracts numerous tourists from the world over. Revered for the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, and many more exciting touristic spots, Dubai is certainly a must-visit destination.

Apart from being a delight for vacationers, the city is also a major attraction for businessmen and property investors. It is one of the major business hubs of the Middle East and is also a preferred place for investment. People are not only buying commercial and residential properties for self-use, but, they are also investing to reap future benefits.

Business Bay is among the most sought-after developments in the city. Comprising of more than 240 buildings, this area is a hot-favourite amongst investors. It offers a range of luxurious commercial and residential properties which flaunt contemporary amenities. It is among the fastest developing areas of the city and the newer projects, such as the Dubai Internet City and the Dubai Media City have not been able to dampen the popularity of Business Bay.

The Projects:

Business Bay offers an unlimited choice to its prospective investors and residents. It has some of the best and most contemporary properties. The Atria, Fifty one @ Business Bay, AL Boraq Tower, the Aspect Tower, Bay Square, Bay Gate, B2B Tower, Boris Becker Business Tower, Empire Heights, Fortune Bay, Lake Central, and the Mayfair Tower are only a few to name among the tantalizing projects in the area.

Amenities:

Business Bay offers the most scintillating properties which provide top-notch facilities. From huge shopping malls to restaurants serving lip-smacking cuisine, there is a lot in store for the leisure pursuit of the residents. The area is well connected to other parts of the city, making it a great choice for investors. One may use the underground rail or easily hail a cab here. The property provides enough parking spaces for private cars too. The overall architecture of the development is attractive and the well landscaped gardens are the icing on the cake.

The residential units offer a range of services, such as swimming pool, gym, children’s play area, health club, and many other indoor & outdoor leisure facilities. The business units also provide an array of modern amenities, such as swipe access, hi-speed internet, business lounge, reception desk, 24-hr security & CCTV cameras, access control system, fire alarm system, and much more.

Be it for commercial or residential purpose, the Business Bay in Dubai is certainly an awesome choice!

Sailing in the Corinthian Bay

Since sailing enthusiasts today are on a continuous quest to find some nice destination for a sailing holiday, it’s a real struggle to find a beautiful port or even a picturesque route without it being agglomerated. However, that doesn’t stop these modern sailors from seeking relentlessly, just like the old sailors kept exploring the sea for new routes and new lands.

A good tip for a scenic destination would have to be of a place that’s also quite cheap and yet not so popular, giving you the possibility to avoid the summer crowds. A good place to start, especially if you’re a beginner skipper, is the Mediterranean Sea. These old shores are very well chartered so sea charts are often very accurate thus giving good directions, while also offering a range of conditions (virtually no tides, predictable winds and good weather) that mean you won’t have too much trouble at the helm.

A good example of one such “undiscovered treasure” is the Corinthian Gulf, generally considered by veteran pleasure skippers as a mere passage between the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, rather than a stop point for a sailing vacation. Most prefer to make the journey through it as fast as possible, and preferably at night.

Day 1

We recommend starting from west to east, seeing as how that is the general direction of the prevailing winds. The entry point to the Bay is the Corinthian Bridge, or “Rion Andiron” as it’s locally known and that should be the starting location of your sailing trip. Visible from great distances thanks to its size (2.8km long), the bridge is a busy passage point for both commercial and leisure traffic, which is why the locals enforce a couple of rules and regulations.

Please remember to contact the Rion Traffic Authority on VHF radio channel 14 when 5 miles out from the bridge and then again when 2 miles out. They will give you directions from the Coast Guard about which route you should take, since there are only 5 channels reserved for smaller yacht charter boats that pass through the area. As a side note, note that there are some other touristic sights in the region, like the two medieval fortresses on either side of the channel, to the south and to the north.

When you enter the bay, head to the north shore to the small but very beautiful harbor of Nafpaktos, which is located in a semicircular cove which provides good protection from northern and western winds. The name of the harbor is Mezolongi and it has a perfect horseshoe shape. The entrance to the harbor has two large piers on either side, where the yacht charter crew can visit a large ancient temple as well as a fortress dating back to Venetian times.

Mooring here is somewhat troublesome, since the draft is just 5m and there isn’t too much room to maneuver. However, you’ll find that there are many other yachties who venture to drop anchor here due to the beauty of the city. There is another large fortress on a nearby hill, overlooking the harbor, an aqua park where the kids can enjoy dolphin shows just 500m from the sea and, further down the coast to the southeast there is even a beach where you can get a tan.

Day 2

Keeping to the north shore, the one on the mainland, your sailing route will take you to an island called Nisos Trizonia, just off the shore of Glyfada. Here, you’ll find two harbors, with a common entrance facing east. That means that here you’re boat will be well protected from northern, southern and western winds but that during eastern winds will bring a swell in the marina. The water is deeper on the outer piers, suitable for those with bigger draft vessels.

The harbor here is also used by small fishing boats, as is another small harbor to the northeast. It’s recommended that you visit this harbor by foot, since it’s within walking distance of the first. Here, you’ll find a quaint settlement, with a few beautiful restaurants that offer a view of the channel. The visitor will be glad to know that he can find basic repair facilities here at moderate prices in case his vessel needs them.

On the mainland, a good mooring spot is the neighboring bay of Ormos Ay Saranda, to the northwest. Within this bay there is the small village of Paralia Saranda, a real sailing gem, since it offers everything you’d expect from a holiday in Greece. Just a couple of houses constitute this authentic Greek village, but there are some restaurants which offer traditional food at very low prices due to the fact that the region is not frequented regularly by summer crowds.

Mooring in the bay is possible since there are depths of 7-12 meters as well as a sandy bottom. The reason why you and your group should moor here is because it’s free and it offers good protection from all winds except from the south. But since the prevailing winds blow from the west, you’re going to be safe, and you also get to see a very wild part of the Greek shoreline, one that seems to have been untouched by man.

Day 3

Setting sails again along the coast, you’ll come across your next stop, this time a larger city, Galaxidi, which is also located in a nice, mountainous region. The only thing a skipper will have to keep in mind is that the neighboring mountains can produce gust wind effects, especially later in the day, between 3 o’clock in the afternoon and 8 o’clock at night. Though not powerful, these gusts will make approach difficult.

The harbor itself in Galaxidi is rather shallow but it does provide good mooring while also offering the tourists some nice views and good conditions. Among these, you’ll find here gas, electricity and water, all for very low prices. The downside is that at night you’ll be bothered by the noise coming from the nearby bars that play loud music late into the night. Also, sometimes in the summer when water temperatures get really hot, pleasure boats will struggle with algae in the water which can clog filters quickly if not checked regularly. But taking into account the fact that the Oracle of Delphi is in the region and this is also one of the largest ports in this part of the bay, mooring in Galaxidi is somewhat imperative.

Day 4

Your trip is now taking you closer to the Corinth Channel, a busy waterway that spares sailors from circumnavigating the Peloponnese peninsula. You’ll discover that there is a lot of commercial traffic here and it’s also quite expensive, but the advantages are that you save time and you also get a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Cruising your boat between the almost vertical rock cliffs that go up to several tens of meters in some points will make it all worth it. Just make sure to bring your camera.

Before arriving, contact channel authority on VHF channel 11 and wait for instructions. Once at the channel, moor at the indicated pier and proceed with paying and, if necessary, ask for assistance with the crossing. Be careful though as this costs extra and implies nothing more than having an official boat sailing in front of your craft.

Once you’ve past the Channel, head south into the Saronic Gulf. At this point many holidaymakers would choose to sail directly east, towards large ports such as Pireus or Athens, but it’s worth mentioning that the eastern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula has a lot of things to offer to the water-bound tourist.

For the final night, for example, you can moor in the small bay of Korfos, located in the region of the Nisida islands. This bay is very well protected from the winds thanks to its position carved deep into the coastline. The bay provides good mooring for sailing boats, with depths between 5 and 10m and with a sandy bottom which offer good holding anchor. Since it’s just 2.5 hours from the Channel, it pays to moor here as there are no fees, but sadly there are also no facilities.

From here, you can head to any of the major ports in Greece, or continue exploring the Saronic Gulf at your leisure. The important thing to remember is that the Corinthian Bay has plenty of undiscovered potential and for those that like sailing and that venture here, it can be a cheap yet beautiful holiday aboard a yacht.