Volume 10 Issue 6

   June 2010

June Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


27/05/10 Anglesey Weekend No. 1 Tyn Rhos Campsite at Trearddur


Saturday four Mile Bridge

Saturday morning the 4 mile bridge team (Jon , Jim, Neil, Chris & Jenny) set off at the respectable time of 8:30am. We launched onto the ever building jet at 9 before realizing the potential fun that could be had!  Jon and Neil quickly ditched the kayaks and joined the local kids jumping off the bridge and swimming through the jet to be flushed out on the other side. Well I say quick – it took Jon about 45minutes to get over his fear of heights! Jim used his time wisely practicing with a throw bag, and successfully missed everybody he threw it at!  This then inspired Jon to explore the possibilities of tying rope to the (gas?) pipes running overhead along the bridge.  In the mean time Sally and James arrived and bravely plucked up the courage to paddle through the tunnel and join us in the jet.  Jon had finally set up a kind of rope swing ready for some home made wake boarding. A retro pink body board was ridden in the jet shortly followed by kite boards!


Once everyone was thoroughly wet, some cool kids turned up with matching (day glow pink) helmets, shoes, kayaks and rash vests - we thought this was a sign that it was time for lunch!  We spread our kit out on the grass to dry and whipped out the camping stoves. Jon fried, then burnt then scrambled some eggs, while Jim made warm bread – Yum! This was followed by ooooooooooooooo’s on toast, cooked to perfection by Jim!  We then headed back to Trearddur for Ice cream.  Neil and Jim proudly showed the locals how to wear neoprene on a scorching hot day!  We then set off to Stanley to meat the others!  Jenny B

Saturday Sea Kayaks Trearddur to Porth Trecastle (Cable Bay) and back again!

Seven courageous LCC members braved the searing heat and blistering sunshine, its a hard life this paddling lark, to paddle from Trearddur bay to Porth Trecastle and back again. An early start saw the group take the last of the (SW) ebb along the coast with the aim of getting as far as possible before the start of the (NE) flood that we would use to bring us home.


The gentle assistance allowed lots of time to practice rock hopping and spelunking as the group paddled through the magnificent coastal scenery that makes up this part of Holy Island. The initial aim of Rhoscolyn Beacon was soon reached, but a quick scout around showed no sign of wildlife, nor any sign of the infamous maelstrom that is Rhoscolyn Tsunami! Disappointed not to find more challenging conditions, this uber group of paddlers stiffened the sinews and battled through the occasional 1 inch swell, eyes squinting in the harsh sunlight, before deciding that is was time to practice the emergency Island landing skills that are required on such an extreme trip! Paul "Flatwater" Wilson showed us all how to master the tricky sea weed landing.


Back in boats, the group decided to split in two to maximise the days paddling, one group to explore Rhosneigr Islands, the other to reach Porth Trecastle.


Expedition aims met, and sun tans topped up, the group headed home; but the tidal race was now running at the Beacon. There was no choice, the seven brave, courageous, young, good looking paddlers simply had to test themselves. They gathered their thoughts and pit all their skill and technique against the boiling, seething maelstrom that had now formed - they entered Rhoscolyn Tsunami!!! It was a close thing, lower lips were seen to quiver, but the British Spirit straightened the spine and stiffened the upper lip, and somehow, just somehow, all paddlers survived, forever joined by the bond formed in such testing conditions.


All agreed, that there had to be recognition for such a testing endeavour. To that end, Paul "Flatwater" Wilson became no more, he is now Paul "Tsunami" Wilson


A great day out, a quick 18 mile paddle in the sunshine with good views and great company - Kirk W, John Y, Chris D, Helen S, Mike A, Daz and Paul "Tsunami" Wilson


Saturday Trearddur Bay to Borth Wen and Rhoscolyn Head


I am first going to put this article into context – which I think will set the scene and may be help others who are contemplating taking up canoeing for the first time or like myself re-acquainting myself with the sea and inland waters, to take the ‘plunge’ so to speak. Not having canoed since the early nineties and my 50th birthday nearly past by two years the thought of getting back into a canoe was becoming an ever present thought, it’s now or never! Only Six weeks previously before this trip myself and Matthew; my 18 year old son went along to the first open night held down at the marina. Having met others who were new to the sport and the existing club members and instructors, we got in to the various club kayaks and set of on a wobbly voyage of adventure.


Trearddur Bay and the surrounding area is a micro world and climate of small cresented bays and rocky cliffs and caves. The weather was perfect, blue sky’s, virtually no wind and sun – the turquoise sea reflecting the hemisphere above. The Saturday trips were divided into three main groups – The thrill seekers went of to Four mile bridge while the Sea Kayaks and the remaining paddlers went down to Trearddur Bay where we departed on our various trips – It was great to be back on the water, crystal clear water revealing the Kelp and rock structures. We headed south out of the bay to use the last hour or so of the out going tide.


Once leaving the activity of the bay a magnet for small fishing boats and jet skies you were left with your own thoughts and feelings as the rugged coast line stretched out in front – paddling as a group of about eight or so it was good to get to now people after all they can’t really go any where – dropping in to different groups and having a chat along the way.


An aspect of sea canoeing that I have always cherished is the mesmerising effect of paddling out into open water – breaking new ground seeing the bow cutting through the sea,  the rhythmic action of the paddles pulling you through the water being totally independent surrounded by the noises of the birds and the braking waves against the cliffs – perfect!

Every headland passed revealed a new adventure to explore with rocky out crops to surf through with the gentle swell braking through the crags. Caves and Arch ways were explored as we meandered down the coast. Our group was made up of experienced to relatively new paddlers with a range of boats that reflected this - from very short play boats to a sea kayak who joined us half way through the morning – I think Keith was pleasantly surprised when he suggested that it was time to turn around but we decided to continued on finding a narrow cove near Rhoscolyn Head just before Silver Bay, a trip of just under 8Km. Lunch was shared and a well earned stretch of the legs was had before we returned with the tied turning in our favour back up the coast.


Approaching Trearddur bay, our bodies might have felt a little of the strain of a 16k paddle but the elation of having experienced this paddle in near perfect conditions more than made up for this – turning into the bay we were reacquainted to the world of Jet skies acting out their own version of the movie, Fast and Furious; demonstrating the speed and agility of these 1800cc machines.

 John Pegram


Saturday Stanley Embankment

We had a rough plan to head over to Stanley after the days activities as high tide Liverpool was 7:11pm GMT so around 8:00pm British Summer Time.  People were making there way over from at least three different trips.  Some paddled through the embankment from the sea side about 3hours before high tide while others carried through the wall and over the railway in front of the ATS garage.

As the wave started to build we gained confidence and paddled onto the wave below the railway bridge.  Neil tested his roll in the boils after capsizing on the wave but managed to roll up at the third attempt each time.  All that practice over the winter has definitely paid off (he should be ok for the Alps this summer!)

After a few hours people started to head off to shower and get ready for the BBQ.  By now the wave was fully formed and we all took it in turns to surf and try freestyle-like manoeuvres on its pile (foamy bit). This wave is very safe as there are no rocks or back tows.  The boils below the bridge do need a little care but its well worth a visit if you are brave enough.  Matthew Pegram, who had watched from the eddie, finally gave it a go and survived with a smile to rival Jenny’s.


For more information click here……..     For Movies of Stanley Wave Click here……..


Sunday – Porth Dafarch to Penrhyn Mawr

Sunday started with the campsite bathed in sunlight as we packed tents and equipment and drove up to Porth Dafarch, a beautiful cove and beach. Again a turquoise clear sea glistened under our boats as we paddled out and north up the coast towards Penrhyn Mawr. The paddling group had doubled in number as all the play boats formed a mini fleet escorted by a couple of sea kayaks. The wind had picked up slightly but it was still Tee shirt and short weather, I had my new dry top stowed away, awaiting a suitable moment to baptise it but the need never arose.


Again stunning cliffs and caves gave us endless opportunities to play in the swell that was building slightly with the changing tide – apparently the tide really rips around this headland when the tide is at its strongest – again the brilliant weather conditions allowed us to paddle this section. At one point we came across an out crop attached to the cliff face where the swell created a standing wave that sucked you in and then spat you out the other side – this kept us amused for a while as we all had a play – another inlet was full of jelly fish, golf ball size and seemingly suspended on invisible wires about a metre under the surface like a jelly fish mine field.


We paddled on until lunch time, a time determined by a suitable cove to land our boats, as they are few and far between on this coast line. Such a cove was found just south of Penrhyn Mawr point where we could stretch the legs and have our butties – having a boat with a rear hatch ensures those life’s little comforts are available just when you need it - while we are talking boats a retractable skeg for straight line paddling make a sea trip such as this a joy. Because the tide was turning and would be running against us on the return journey we set of to circumnavigate the Penrhyn Mawr point, this was the first time the sea was noticeably reacting to the converging tides with the top surface bubbling generating some confused waves as we turned south and back to the beach at Porth Dafarch which was a straight run home keeping in to the cliffs to avoid the worst to the tide.


The relatively warm and crystal clear water of Porth Dafarch induced the age old tradition of wanting to be up side down in your boat, seemingly inspecting the bottom of their boats by running their hands along the hull and then banging it – and then expecting to be rescued – I can’t see why they can do all that on shore! Several Screw rolls, sculls and attempted support strokes latter we dragged our boats out of the water; the end of a great days paddling.

Sitting on the harbour wall enjoying a well earned ice cream it was time to reflect on what I hope to be the first of many paddling experiences – although the paddle was not technically challenging we were able to explore a large area of the coast and build a general competence and confidence to our paddling ability. If the conditions were worse we would have not been able to explore all the cliffs in the way that we had just done.


For us first timers it had given us an opportunity and experience that we could not have realised with out going out with more experienced paddlers. Matthew was able to use a club boat and equipment so that if you are not in the position to have your own gear you can still come along and discover the type of boat that suits you best and explore the various types of disciplines that are out their to enjoy. I swapped boats and had a go in a sea kayak which was an interesting experience and I will be looking to explore this aspect of canoeing latter. For Matthew it has been a great experience, his high light was to successfully ride the standing wave at the Stanley embankment on the Saturday evening and for both of us to get to know individuals in the club.


Thank you for the experience.  John Pegram


Sunday – Soldiers Point to Penrhyn Mawr via the Stacks

Six LCC sea kayakers paddled off from Soldier's Point (to the left of Holyhead Harbour) on Sunday morning.  We headed out of the small rocky cove and then a turned a full quarter to port...Stacks bound...  We soon found ourselves heading right into a headwind and choppy water.  Upon getting into the lee of the headland the choppy seas eased. Paddling on further the magnificent view of the Stacks was upon us.  This was the first time I had paddled this section of the island, and it has to be one of the best. 


Moving with the ebbing tide we were soon upon the South Stack and through the gap with the gantry overhead, it was all fantastic.  I then took great pleasure investigating every cove along this section, with the cliffs towering above, and hundreds of various seabirds all around (guillemot, puffin, gannet, terns and gulls). The point at Penrhyn Mawr was then our aim and after paddling around that we then met up with most of the other club members in their various craft.  We put in at a small cove just short of Porth Daffarch, and took lunch on the pebble beach. The sun was shining all day, there was no swell, and it was steady, easy paddling. On the return trip, the tidal race at Penrhyn Mawr was beginning to get going, adding a bit of excitement, and then it was back the way we had come.  The tide had now turned and again we made steady progress back to Soldier's Point where we were met by Brian Green who had not paddled because of an injury to his forearm. It was another great day out with the club, Francesca was paddling her new boat for the first time (North Shore Atlantic with orange deck...very nice), and we were joined for the first time by Simon from Stoke.  Thank you very much to everyone who paddled, another epic day. Mike A, Ian B, Kirk W, Frankie A, Simon H & Christian D


More Photos…….      Jenny B, Chris T, Dom B, Paul W, Daz, Mark M, Ivan, John P, Matthew P, Karen D, Graham D, Keith S, Sara B, Jon S, Jim S, Kirk W, Brian G, Frankie A, Mike A, Sally O, James O,  Simon H, Helen S, Chris D, Neil M

26/05/10 Last Wednesdays Paddle at Crosby

It seems that it is very easy to get things wrong.  I seem to have miscalculated the tides when putting together the calendar and while I had reckoned on high tide at 6:05pm it was actually at 4:57pm.  I am sorry that if by 7pm it was already a long way out.  At least Steve and Mike got a paddle in by heading off at 4pm but those that turned up later decided not to carry out across the sands.  I should have paid more attention to Peters talk on tides earlier in the year Keith L

26/05/10 Club Paddles
If you fancy paddling on any of the proposed trips this year then please consider offering to act as a coordinator. You won’t be in charge of the trip; you just select the date(s) and act as a contact point to give information / gather prospective numbers etc. Contact Keith Steer with offers of help or suggested trips.  All coordinators will take a list of names and contact numbers before paddlers get on the water - please contact the coordinator before the trip.



29.05.2010 -

Sea Kayak Expedition to the Small Isles and Skye - Coordinator Frankie Annan, Led by Ian Bell


29.05.2010 -

North Wales camping with a few friends and a BBQ - Surf and general beach activity - Coordinator Jenny Brown - Click for more info,,,,



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Come and Try it Session - Anyone who would like to give paddling a try can drop in at our base by the harbour club for a free taster session - click here for more details (Dom Buckley)



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Leeds / Liverpool Canal Scarisbrick Arms L39 7HX Click for maps. Coordinator Phil Mckearney



Polo Training for polo squad members and anyone who has access to a suitable boat - Contact Dinny Davies if you would like to join us



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Kayak Safety Cover still Needed for Liverpool Triathlon Practise - coordinator John Worswick



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - New Brighton Prom / Lighthouse CH45 2JS Click for maps. Coordinator Keith S



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


12.06.2010 -

Merseyside Canoe Polo Tournament - Contact Dinny Davies if you would like to play for one of our sides



1 and 2 Star training for those wanting to go for assessment - 8 Places - Carl Leungsangnam



Every second Monday of every month we hold a mini-lecture or talk at the Liverpool Marina 8.00pm start - All those interested in paddlesport are most welcome (you do not need to be a member of the club). Click for details Freestyle or playboating - the moves and skills involved - Keith S



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Pyranha and Kayaks North West Demo Boat Evening - Come and try a selection of demo boats at our usual club night venue - Liverpool Marina



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - River Weaver (Runcorn Rowing Club) Click for maps. Cooridinator Keith S



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Kayak Safety Cover needed for Liverpool Triathlon practise session - coordinator John Worswick



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Sefton Park Lake L17 4JH Click for maps.



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


26.06.2010 -

Cheshire Ring 2010



Kayak Safety Cover - Liverpool Triathlon - As many club paddlers as possible are needed to help our 6 kayak Safety teams to provide cover for the Liverpool Triathlon - coordinator John Worswick



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD Click for maps.


02.07.2010 -

North Wales Weekend Staying at Kirks House near Bala or camp in the back garden. Paddle the Tryweryn on Saturday & LCC run White Water Rescue skills day on Sunday using either the Tryweryn (if running) or River Dee. Contact Helen Seirtsema for a place. Places on White Water Rescues Skills Day are limited.



Introductory Course for New Members (3 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S


10.07.2010 -

Capel Curig Weekend (1 and 2 Star Training and Assessments together with an easy river trip for those that want to paddle the LLugwy) Possible 3 star white water assessment as well - Coordinator Keith S



Every second Monday of every month we hold a mini-lecture or talk at the Liverpool Marina 8.00pm start - All those interested in paddlesport are most welcome (you do not need to be a member of the club). Click for details How to take a good canoe or kayaking photograph - John Maddock and Nick Coughlin



Introductory Course for New Members (3 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S


16.07.2010 -

Alternative Anglesey - The endless summer weekend - Coordinator Mike Alter



Introductory Course for New Members (3 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S


23.07.2010 -

2010 - 7th Annual Club Holiday in the French Alps (Briancon) - ideal for playboaters, opens, families and those wishing an introduction to moving water - Contact Keith S if you would like to join us.



Ironman UK 2010 - Kayak Safety Cover Team to cover this event in Leigh (Pennington flash Country Park) - We need 30 club members to help out - Coordinator John Worswick



Swimmer safety cover for Warrington Dolphins Swimming Club Event in Albert Dock - Meet at the slipway in Coburg dock - Coordinator Frank Vaughan



The London Triathlon 2010 - Kayak Safety Cover Team - Coordinator John Worswick


13.08.2010 -

London International Polo Tournament - Come and join our team in London for the weekend, a fun event with access to a safe Lake - Contact Keith S for more information


16.08.2010 -

2010 Trans Alaskan Sea Kayak Expedition. Following our 2008 successful expedition to Prince William Sound we hope to cross the sound from Whittier to Valdez. (200 miles approx 12 days kayaking) Anyone interested in joining us should speak to Keith S



Cross Mersey Swim - Competent Paddlers of 3 star standard and above are required to act as safety cover for the swim - Coordinator Frank Vaughan



Seaquest and Seatour Races on the River Wyre Estuary - Click for more information



Halloween Paddle - Evening paddle in the dark along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Maghull. Please bring a torch, Costume or Halloween Mask, any spare day glow lightsticks or similar. Coordinators Jim Slater and Justin Cooper


Click here for the main Calendar for weekly trips to white water play spots. Informal trips arranged by club members are circulated by the club`s Googlegroups email system.

24/05/10 Wednesday night paddles – Bridgewater Canal from Waterloo Bridge – Runcorn.

We met in the car park of the Waterloo Pub just opposite where the canal barges moor.  We paddled for over an hour along the canal past many hidden houses, moored canal boats.  The sun was low in the sky and produced an excellent sparkle through the tree lined canal banks.  Mark G had also turned up but because of a broken wrist (football!) walked along the tow path to follow us.  He witnessed the nesting swans who ushered us away from the nest and became quite aggressive upon our return leg.  We swiftly paddled on.  This section of the canal is excellent for a first trip and provides and excellent contrast to the Leeds – Liverpool Canal which is more open.   Click for more details of Wednesday night paddles………

C:\Documents and Settings\Francesca Annan\My Documents\My Pictures\Picasa\Exports\seakayak10\P5090002.JPG14/05/10Another LCC Sunday on the sea (9/5/10)


After a bright and early start, we (Brian, Tony, Pete, John, Chris & Frankie) met at Cable Bay just after 9am to head out for a trip to Llandwyn Island and back.

C:\Documents and Settings\Francesca Annan\My Documents\My Pictures\Picasa\Exports\seakayak10\P5090004.JPG

Heading out from Cable Bay on slight seas, we rock hopped our way to a mid morning break, after a short paddle into the F3-5 Northerly wind, that was much as forecast. Fortified by cereals bars and oranges we continued our paddle admiring the seals and the views into Maltraeth Bay.


Keeping to the shelter of the rocks before crossing towards Llandwyn Island.  Our lunch venue was reached in glorious sunshine, we enjoyed a break in the sunshine C:\Documents and Settings\Francesca Annan\My Documents\My Pictures\Picasa\Exports\seakayak10\P5090014.JPGand a brief chat with a paddler who had headed over from Caernarfon, before heading back into the wind across the bay again.


Returning the way we had come, along the rocks we got to see the bikes racing on the Motor circuit as we headed round Ynys Meibion, into a little bit of swell and more wind. 6 happy paddlers arrived back at Cable bay, too late for the traditional Red Boat ice cream , so hot chocolate and cake at the services was our reward for the efforts of the day.

Frankie A



12/05/10 Bala Coaching weekend
Many thanks to Ian and Alison Bell for organising the 34th Annual Scout & Guide Training Weekend at Bala in North Wales.  It proved to be another fantastic weekend.  Some of the biggest numbers yet I believe.  Many of our club coaches were there and it was good to catch-up with all the news around the North West.  Cool and windy conditions on the Saturday gave way to sunny warm weather and less wind on the Sunday.

More Photographs……..

11/05/10 Equipment for the club
Many thanks to the syndicate of four who have advanced the club the funds to Palm Professional Adjustable Reinforced (Big Deck)purchase the two open boats which are needed to develop our paddlers over the summer.  The boats can be used by members on club nights at the docks  Click for more information……  A big thank you also goes to all those members who have donated or lent old buoyancy aids and spray decks etc for use at the docks.   John Worswick has just donated two new Palm Professional Big Decks.  We have also been promised several, currently unused, plastic kayaks for the docks.  Finally many thanks to Steve Thomas for building the floating raft / pontoon which provides easier access to and from ramp by our canoe store.  I looks outstanding.


11/05/10 Monday nights Talk – How to Rescue Canoes and Kayaks
Somehow we all managed to squeeze into the second smaller lecture room upstairs at the Marina Club to see the talk on Rescues last night. A number of club photographs from FRST training courses, general paddling and the Sea Kayak rescue day held on Coniston last September were used to illustrate the main deepwater rescues used for canoes and kayaks.  This was then supported with snippets of video footage.  The main rescues covered were: 

Ø      Kayak to Swimmer

Ø      Swimmer to Kayak

Ø      X – Rescue

l      Playboat / Roll in / Rafted X-rescue / Stirrup / Ladder / Curl

Ø      Bow (Eskimo) and paddle presentation

Ø      Self-rescue

l      Re-entry & Roll, Paddle Floats, Straddle

Ø      Other rescues (H, paddle a swamped boat)

 If you  missed the talk but would like to view the slides and video (without the discussion from the group!) click here….

09/05/10 Bank Holiday paddle on the Mersey
Francesca Annan and I paddled off from Hall Road Crosby late morning last Monday, heading towards New Brighton to make a rendezvous with Brian Green. A slight north westerly breeze and bit of a swell made for a great crossing, in no time at all we arrived and met Brian. The three of us then paddled on the flooding tide down the river reaching eventually Garston docks, where we put in on a little shoreline for a well earned lunch. The wind by this time had veered slightly to a northerly and it was tough going with the wind head on as we paddled back up the river. Shortly after passing the Britannia we made a decision to cross the river and put ashore at New Ferry...another great day out with LCC.  We were out for about five hours or so and covered about twenty five miles. Thank you Brian and Francesca.  Chris Drew

06/05/10 Wednesday Evening paddle – Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Aintree
We met at the car park on Wango Lane and paddled towards for Maghull past 3 sets of baby ducklings, several fishermen and a water vole.  After about an hour we reached the low swing bridge in Maghull and turned for home.  Although overcast it was mild with no wind.  A great section of canal and a very enjoyable paddle.  Next Week we are on the Bridgewagter Canal at Runcorn, ideal trip for those new to paddle sport or who want to stretch their arms a bit.  More details and maps at…………

05/05/10 Come and try it night at the docks was over-subscribed

The first of our BCU sponsored “come and try it” paddle evenings was extremely busy with over 35 people on the water.  Many family groups attended along with individuals and more experienced club members.  5 groups, all led by BCU coaches made the most of the early season paddle.  Although the temperature dropped rapidly when the sun went down, all seem to enjoy the taster session.  Click to find out more about our summer venue…..

The club runs sessions at its home venue every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer.  Please try to arrive between 6:30 and 7:00pm and bring warm clothes, suitable footwear and bring a change of clothing.  If you are attending regularly you will need a swipe card to allow easy access to the changing rooms and boat store.  Click here to find out how to order one………

05/05/10 Pembroke Surf Weekend (May Bank holiday)
Friday night:
  People arrived from late afternoon through to the early hours of the morning.  Jim spent several hours assembling his new tent for the first time by car head light - he should be a pro by the Alps trip!  In the Keith’s absence, a plan was made to get up at “croissant o’clock” to decide on the days paddling activity.  Everyone then settled down for the night lulled to sleep by the not so dulcet snoring tones coming from the little blue tent!

Saturday: “Croissant o’clock” came and breakfast orders were placed while Jim continued to put the final touches to the new tent!  Keith had snuck onto the site in the early hours of the morning, but was up and ready for action!  A walk to the beach at “surf check o’clock” led to a group decision to go afloat on the falling tide, so at “surf o’clock” we all hit the water.  The excellent waves varied from the friendly to the not so friendly monster wave of the day, which washed ½ the group up the beach, shortly followed by their boats!  “Pick nick o’clock” came and the club lazed about on the beach edge with food and sun!  That afternoon the group split to investigate the local towns, hunt for BBQ meat, go for a coastal stroll and continue surfing….Jim had a nap.  “BBQ o’clock” finally came but with no sign of Keith and the BBQ.  Eventually Keith arrived to a hungry mob and the BBQ was lit and rapidly coved with Carl’s chicken.  When it was ½ cooked this was manfully devoured in army style with a beer! Nicole then lit the camp with candles ready for “bedtime o’clock”.  Jenny Brown

Sunday: A mid-morning high tide time in the local bay allowed a much enjoyed little extra sleep-in on the Sunday morning, highly required to fully digest the previous evening’s feastings from the proper “Carlsberg” type BBQ (burgers, chicken, sausage, bacon and half a slice of cucumber), elegantly followed by large roasted marsh mellows (professionally cooked by Nicole) and a record 6 eaten-in-1-go! 


After a quick update from Theo, who’d ventured down to the bay to get a visual and reported flat water, it was decided we would venture over to the beach at Freshwater West where we could either try the waves, watch an annual surfing competition occurring there, then go for a meandering walk along the cliff top.

Arriving in convoy to a quickly filling car park we had a race against time to get onto what looked like quickly breaking but decent waves, before a large group of learners belonging to a local surf school. Seeing a single playboater already surfing the waves at the south end of the beach, next to a rocky peninsula heightened hopes of a similar session to the day before. Thus, racing in at the same end  paddling into steep waves proved energetic, indicating conditions were a lot stronger than anticipated. After a capsize or two, it soon became apparent continuous sideways paddling was required to stay within depth and away from the rocks due to a combination of the wind and 3-4mph current running parallel to the beach, then forming a 3mph riptide at the rocky peninsula. Advice to head back in was taken after a capsize required a 10-15min rescue by Keith, Theo, Sara & Nicky, towing across the riptide and back into shore, preventing a boat to be swept around the peninsula or out to sea (nominated to be shown on Seaside Rescue!!).  Following the day’s energetic excitement, we headed to the coastal path at the Castlemartin Firing Range, strolled along the cliff to explore St Govan’s Chapel (Confession’s & all) and ended it with a well earned ice cream.

Back at the campsite everybody sat down for a chill out, while Keith & Sara headed out on an afternoon bike ride before the evenings devouring of BBQ’d meat, meat and more meat, this time followed by BBQ’d banana’s stuffed with marsh mellow’s and chocolate sauce (again artistically prepared by Nicole).   Neil Moult

Monday: A short but sweet sea trip...after a quick check of the local beach, no surf, we decided to take a short trip to a secret cove!  The weather was fantastic sunny, clear, with a little brisk breeze causing a small swell to keep us on our toes. We checked out some of the cliffs, rock formations and a couple of caves always exciting.


Then came the highlight... a deserted beach untouched by human hand or foot. Imagine a smuggler's hide-away and you've probably got the right idea.  Unfortunately, things began to deteriorate from then on, Keith's idea of having a sandcastle building competition turned nasty!!! Split into teams, some of the group laboured away and made the effort to build a realistic reproduction of the nearby castle complete with weather worn effects.


Although clearly the best in class (see photos) this piece of contemporary art finished only forth... a travesty!!!!!! All that forgotten- NOT, we set off back, although only a 2 hour trip it was brilliant.  


As time was pressing on some of us had to leave while the lucky ones were able to catch some surf.


Many thanks to all who made this another great trip... Jim, Mandy, Ellie and Alex


Click for more photos……..


Attendees: Theo G, Neil M, Jenny B, Chris, Sara B, Keith S, Jim S, Mandy S, Ellie S, Alex, Nicky P, Nicole P, Mark M, Ivan F, Carl L and Lucy L


30/04/10 Chester Weir – Wednesday evening paddle  

A group of us made it over to Chester to paddle the fish steps of the weir in the town centre.  It was busy with Bury Canoe Club their as the Burrs site had been polluted so no paddling on the Irewell over the next few weeks.  Although low it was ideal to practice a few moves on each of the pour-overs. These are paddler friendly small stoppers that allow you confidence if you place your bow into the flow.   On the last and bigger step Theo even got his burn airborne.  More Photos…….


We will be returning to the weir on the 26th May but next Wednesday we are paddling on the Leeds – Liverpool Canal at Aintree, an ideal opportunity to get out in your boat on easy water.  Click for more details of Wednesday Paddles……