Volume 11 Issue 01

January 2011

January Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


02/12/10 Club Paddles - Click on the main club calendar for an updated list of paddles and events.
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.




Weekly pool session at the Kingsway Leisure Centre - Widnes. 20+ boats and paddles available. Click for more information. Pool time 9 to 10 pm. Please arrive for 8:30pm to get ready. Coaching for beginners, improvers and more advanced. Click here for more information....



Sunday Morning Session at the Docks - coordinator Dom Buckley



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...... Sea Kayaking film - Keith S


Weekly pool session at the Kingsway Leisure Centre - Widnes. 20+ boats and paddles available. Click for more information. Pool time 9 to 10 pm. Please arrive for 8:30pm to get ready- Coaching for beginners, improvers and more advanced. Click here for more information....



VHF Marine Radio Course (1 day) for Club members - Coordinator John Worswick


Div 3 Polo tournament at Stockport pool - Why not come and support our team coordinator Dinny Davies



Sunday Morning Session at the Docks - coordinator Dom Buckley



Weekly pool session at the Kingsway Leisure Centre - Widnes. 20+ boats and paddles available. Click for more information. Pool time 9 to 10 pm. Please arrive for 8:30pm to get ready. Coaching for beginners, improvers and more advanced. Click here for more information....


PADDLE TO HILBRE ISLAND - Coordinator Karl Tattum


River Dee - Farndon to Chester. Contact the coordinator Dom Buckley



Weekly pool session at the Kingsway Leisure Centre - Widnes. 20+ boats and paddles available. Click for more information. Pool time 9 to 10 pm. Please arrive for 8:30pm to get ready. Coaching for beginners, improvers and more advanced. Click here for more information....



Grade 3/4 paddling trip - Lakes - Coordinator Helen Siertsema


Div 3 Polo tournament at Stockport pool - Why not come and support our team coordinator Dinny Davies



Grade 3/4 paddling trip - North Wales - Coordinator Helen Siertsema



LCC Ski Trip to French Alps - Limited places so contact the Coordinator Kirk Williams


Div 3 Polo tournament at Stockport pool - Why not come and support our team coordinator Dinny Davies



Easter Scottish White Water (Open Boats and Sea Kayak) - Club trip to Fort William - Coordinator Theo Gaussen


35th Annual Scout & Guide Training Weekend at Bala - Some BCU courses available to members with pre-requisites - BCU Coaches from LCC usually offer to help - Coordinator Alison Bell


Whitsun Half-term week Scottish Sea Kayak Expedition - Led by Ian Bell Coordinator Frankie Annan


Kayak Safety Cover - Liverpool Triathlon - Why not help provide safety cover as one of our 6 kayak Safety teams at the Liverpool Triathlon - coordinator John Worswick



2011 - 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.


The London Triathlon 2011 - Kayak Safety Cover Team - Coordinator John Worswick



LCC Ski Trip to French Alps - Limited places so please contact the Coordinator Andy Wrigg if interested in receiving more details


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.


24/12/10 Christmas Rolling Competition
The pool sessions over Christmas will see some frantic rolling as members try to better the times set last night.  You have 30 seconds to complete as many rolls as you can.  Boat choice, smooth clothing, paddle type and choice of partner for the Eskimo rescue all seem crucial.  If you fancy having a fun go next week see Dave Reynolds at the pool side.


Hand rolls



Paddle rolls



Eskimo Rescues













Necky Jive

Chris Franks



Sea Kayak

Brian Green




Theo Gaussen



Dan Byrne




Ian Bell



Pyranha Creek  

Keith Scott


Pyranha Creek  

Mark Garrod




Dan Byrne







John Maddocks Junior



Creek Boat

Roy McHale







Ian Bell




John Maddocks Senior










Necky Jive

Chris Franks











Theo Gaussen










Pyranha Creek  

Mark Garrod







At the midway stage Danny Byrne is ahead in hand rolls, Chris Franks and Danny are tied in the paddle rolling competition (both used back deck rolls) and Keith Scott and Theo are tied in the Eskimo rescues.  It will be interesting with some new contenders next Thursday.  Information on the pool…….

23/12/10 Christmas Dinner and Social at Liverpool Marina

42 of us sat down for the Christmas meal this year, with several others dropping in to join us later.  The Marina club has been an ideal home for us this year and is our main base throughout the summer.  The Marina have a 2 4 1 deal on for any meal in January and 25% off all meals in February.  More photos of the evening……..






19/12/10 Wanted a K2 suitable for DW Race
I am a paddler from Warrington in need of a boat suitable for the Devises to Westminster International Canoe Race. It would be a heavy weight boat like a Marsport Condor or equivalent. Do you have any club members likely to sell?

Mike Ledger email: mike@mikeledger.com

The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire and finishes just downstream of Westminster Bridge in London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948.

The race is 125 miles long and has 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames and the final section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.

The race is a severe test of skill and stamina which produces a memorable sense of achievement for those successfully completing it. The non-stop version of the race is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world.

There are 5 classes within the event:

  1. Senior Doubles – crews of 2 adults who race non-stop from start to finish
  2. Senior Singles – adult single paddlers who compete over 4 days
  3. Junior Doubles – crews of 2 juniors who compete over 4 days
  4. Veteran / Junior – crews of 1 adult (over 35) and 1 junior who compete over 4 days
  5. Endeavour – a non-competitive doubles class held over 4 days

19/12/10 Icicles and Freezing Fog on the Mersey - Sunday 5th December 2010

It was a bitterly cold Sunday morning, the first ice of the winter, when a few of us met in the car park of Burnage Rugby Football Club in Stockport.  The hot dogs and burgers would not be ready for half an hour so 5 of us set off to do the shuttle leaving the others to carry the boats the 200m to the river.  To our dismay, upon our return, the boats were still in the car park and nobody had got us any burgers.


As we got on via the canoe steps three marathon paddlers had paddled upstream to our access point.  We chatted for a while before they turned and heading off downstream.  We swiftly followed passing under several bridges and rapids.  We passed a sign warning of flying golf balls, but not many golfers out today.  Northenden Weir was well signposted but nobody bother to inspect from the bank as we were able to drift up to the lip before following each other down the steep face.  A splash of water from the stopper at the foot of the slope and then a breakout river right for warm soup and a coffee.


We headed off downstream heading past Sale water park and several small broken weirs which gave a little excitement.  As we were nearing the end Helen destroyed a curtain of icicles hanging from an old brick railway bridge just before the award winning photograph could be taken.  With about a mile to go we spotted a better get out by TGI Fridays at Junction 6. (we didn’t fancy the muddy, frozen road at our planned egress point).  With cars parked on the tarmac we quickly changed and headed inside to warm up with coffees and hot chocolate. 


The River Mersey Trail is a surprisingly good run and ideal for beginners and all types of boat.  We had creek boats, opens, sea kayaks and playboats with us.  Click here for more information on the river……..   Dave Rider  


Padders: Dave R, Ben M, Theo G, Jim S, Helen S, Spud, Tolly, Paul H, Kathy M, Keith S    Click for more Photos……

17/12/10 Christmas rolling competition at the pool 23rd December and 30th December

It looks like some members are taking this very seriously and many were seen practising fervently at the pool session last night.  Rumour has it that Mark Garrod is going to polish his boat to reduce its friction, John Maddocks Junior looks strong in the hand rolling category while Dave Collins may have been secretly practising for the paddle rolling section (info from Chris J) although Michal Giezgala is threatening to make a special appearance.  The Eskimo Rescue section will be for those who are not confident in a full roll.  See Dave Reynolds at the pool next week for a time.

Eskimo rescues (30 Seconds)

Paddle rolls (30 Seconds)

Hand rolls (30 Seconds)




15/12/10 Christmas paddle – The Great Orme, Sunday 12th December

Report to follow………..






More Photos from Christmas paddle……   

09/12/10 Halloween Night at the Docks

Photos have now been released, if you have any more please forward……






More Photos from Halloween……   Justin Cooper and Jim Slater


07/12/10 Liverpool Canoe Club Clothing range launched today.

Still struggling with keeping warm after winter paddles? Maybe you’re heading for the sun this winter and need a T shirt or baseball cap?  Struggle no more as you can now order some really good quality clothing branded with the Liverpool Canoe Club logo.  Each item you order will help the club fund the purchase of more boats or safety kit etc. So you win and the club wins. 

For a limited period only Chris Murphy is able to supply full members of Liverpool Canoe Club with a choice of some superb clothing and all at cost price. Each item will feature a quality embroidered Liverpool Canoe Club logo and you can check out all of the details and order online if you visit the club website.

Once your order is confirmed Chris is happy to deliver it to the pool or marina but please note that our margins are minimal so you need to be careful which colour and size you choose as once the logo has been applied we cannot accept returns. A size chart and colour selection is available on the website and deliveries should take approximately 7 to 14 days.

Remember – this is a very positive way you can help the club and you won’t be disappointed with the quality of the clothing.

See the clothing range and prices at http://liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/shop/



05/12/10 Club Expedition to Alaska (Crossing Prince William Sound form West to East) – Awesome  (Part 3)

Ever since the clubs first expedition to Alaska in 2008 a group of us had been planning to return in order to cross from Whittier to Valdez using sea kayaks hired from Tom Pogsons Alaskan Kayak School based in Homer.   8 of us completed the journey returning on the Alaskan State Ferry to Whittier on the 29th August.  The group encountered 9 black bears, a humpback whale, Northern (Steller) Sea Lions, numerous harbour seals, sea otters and bald headed eagles.  We nearly got trapped in the ice of Columbia Glacier and paddled through the inner lagoon of Shoup Glacier. 

Brian Green, Theo Gaussen, Frankie Annan, Ian Bell, Mike Alter, Chris Franks, Kirk Williams and Keith S

Day Ten – Sawmill Bay to Jack Bay
Another early morning escape from the midges, saw us stop briefly to top up the water supplies across from the campsite, before heading off to cross a busy waterway, but as someone pointed out not quite as busy as the English Channel! Still that ferry is pretty big, Ian’s wish to see an oil tanker navigate the Valdez narrows wasn’t granted on this occasion either. Once in Sawmill bay, time once again to stealthily paddle along the shoreline looking for bears, once again Keith spotted and led the silent approach to watch to 2 black bears feasting on the Salmon. Lots of bald eagles to see here too, amazing how quickly you just expect to see Kittiwakes, Eagles, sea otters and sea lions, no Puffins after Glacier Island though.


After exploring some of Jack Bay, thoughts turned to the campsite for some as the wind picked up and the rain started. Chris, Keith, Ian and I headed off to find the campsite, as the only person with a complete tent that meant first choice of camping spot, as well as some modelling for Keith. The most interesting latrine of the trip!

Frankie Annan. More Photos…….


Wanting to paddle further and explore the bay, those not heading to an early campsite surfed towards its upper reaches. There we were met with a bed of reeds, but a channel of water heading further inland kept calling us ever onwards. Wary of being stranded by an ebbing tide, we headed up through the swamp, ducking under trees and keeping an ever open eye for bear sign. Alas we didn’t see any, and all too soon it was return or risk being stranded. Reaching the bay it was a slog against the wind, lightened by a trip under a waterfall – which ruined the sharks’ feather – and the exploration of a tunnel. Then we had to find the campsite, hmmm, now which densely wooded part of the bay had they decided to land on????????


Day Eleven – Jack Bay to Shoup Bay
Leaving Jack bay, we stopped at a small waterfall to refill water bottles.  This time we did not land, we used Brian, who was sat in his boat filling the bottles from a small waterfall, as we passed them to him. Once around the point we were in the Valdez Narrows.  This section of the sound, as its name suggests, is narrow but also a point where all the tankers heading for Valdez must pass though.  It is only a mile wide but divided by a central rock island. We paddled up the east side of the narrows close to the shore until we could turn west and paddle directly to the middle rock and view the light on it. All the time we kept an eye out for shipping and ferries.  However, all we saw were local fishing boats and not one of the 300 foot oil tanks.


From Middle Rock we crossed to the west shore for Elevenses and chose to land on a beach between two spectacular waterfalls. It had started to rain at this point so we set up stoves and stood huddled together under a rock overhang for shelter. As we had our drinks and snacks Mike suddenly said there’s a Bear. With some disbelief we reached for our cameras and all gazed across the stream trying to grab a glimpse of the bear. We didn’t see anything until Mike pointed out to us that it had crossed stream and was on the beach heading  for us now only about ten yards away. As most of us tried to get photos Keith jumped up to run to for his boat (his excuse was supposedly to get his camera from his boat). With his movement the bear suddenly realised we were there and doing a back flip quickly ran off back up the rock cliff next to the waterfall.


Having left the waterfall we carried on northward towards Shoup Bay which is a State Marine Park, with camping area and hunting cabins but also the glacier we hoped to visit. It was now raining as we arrived in Soup Bay.  It was also colder than recent days, especially as we drew nearer to the glacier.  We found the first cabin, but not exactly as shown on map so we carried on a short distance to find the channel into the lagoon formed by an old moraine.   At this point of the tide it was not possible to paddle up it, so we landed and did a bit of exploring from the bank returning just as tide was about to lift our boats away.


Having to wait a few hours for the tide we paddle back to shelter by cabin and to have lunch.  After chatting to a group that had stayed the night in the cabin we returned to run the channel into the lagoon on a rising tide.  We quickly identified a suitable camping spot before spending the afternoon paddling across to Shoup Glacier taking those once in a lifetime type photos.  We paddled back past Kittiwake Island and returned to set up camp before cold and tiredness set in. The evening was spent using the shelter of the cabin while we cooked our food.  We settled into our tents for the night as we would require an early start to catch tide out of the lagoon the next day.  We were worried that the channel would become a full-on white water trip or become too shallow to pass over any rock safely. Unlike the bothies in Scotland we were not supposed to use these cabins without a permit, except in extreme emergencies or you face a fine of $1000. The bill is on the way to Brian as I write this.

Ian Bell. More Photos…….


Day Twelve – Shoup Bay to Valdez
The final day…..

The day dawned as grey and murky as the two before it - earlier than usual, as we had to catch enough water in the channel out of the Shoup Glacier lagoon to avoid hitting the bottom.  Luckily, the reconnaissance mission the night before by Ian, Mike and I had paid off, and we all escaped into the open sea without problem.  Fog banks had descended on the valley overnight, and although visibility was a bit limited, we set out, hugging the north bank of Port Valdez.  Brian continued to hug it, even when the rest of the group was about half a mile out, but the scenery at close quarters was fabulous, so we let him off.  More murkiness followed, broken up by an old mine working which we paused to examine.  We stopped in the pouring rain to ensure that our food calculations had been correct to the nearest crumb, and that we should arrive back in Valdez with no food at all.  For the record, Salami is not too good after two weeks in the back of a kayak, and even Theo proclaimed it to ‘taste a bit funny’.

Continuing, we encountered a fishing competition just outside Valdez – the sheer number of boats was unbelievable, as was the number of jumping salmon - some even jumping over the kayaks as we paddled along.  Landing on a beach in Valdez, we walked up back into habitation to find accommodation, ferry tickets and such like, a few staying to guard the boats.  Eventually, we found a few hotel rooms just near the beach, and took them up, leaving the boats outside.  Much fried food followed, and we began to realise just why there were so many err… ‘heavy boned’ people around America.  However, any food is good after two weeks of pasta and rice, so no complaints. 

Wet gear was draped over every possible immovable object in the hotel rooms.  Even the curtains were replaced by Terra Nova footprints, and water dripped everywhere. 


After a good meal, a few ventured out into the local bars, having been assured by the ferryman that we could be sure of a fight in one particular location.  We investigated the matter, and sure enough, a nice local chap who resembled Mark ‘Chopper’ Read in the film, but with no hair, obliged after about two minutes.  He said he’d like to rip Brian’s head off, but the live music was good, so we decided to stay.  Anyway, proceedings went on into the morning, and we managed a couple of hours kip before getting up at 5 the next morning….

Chris Franks. More Photos…….


The Trip Home (via Chicago)
The long journey home began with an early start.  Our hotel room decided to get up at 5am to beat the others in staggering the boats the half mile to the Ferry terminal (we had been out the night before till 4am). With Keith having left his passport in the hire car in Whittier some negotiation was needed go get him though the strict American security checks otherwise it was a long paddle home! With all of us aboard we were treated to some awesome scenery from a different perspective as we travelled back the way we came, just slightly faster!


With us all back in Whittier we sorted all the boats and kit out before treating ourselves to a root beer soda float which was found to be quite disgusting! We then drove back to Anchorage and took an overnight flight to Chicago. With a whole day to kill in Chicago we decided to take to the train into town and explore the city. The day revolved round food (for me anyway) with brunch, Ice cream, fries and pancakes all been enjoyed. We also walked down to the Navy Pier and enjoyed looking back at the city before walking past all the sky scrapers before getting the train back to the Airport. Another long night flight brought us back to Manchester Airport before being transferred to Liverpool Marina. AWESOME!

Theo G. More Photos…….



We hope to return in 2012 to explore Knight Island and the glaciers to the South of Whittier.

Brian Green, Theo Gaussen, Chris Franks, Mike Alter, Frankie Annan, Keith S, Kirk Williams  and Ian Bell

For some more video from Alaska, go to:


Parts 1 and 2 available via the major trip reports section of the newsletter or by clicking here……..



02/12/10 December’s Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link December’s Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..


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The newsletter has now become so large it is not practical to email it to everyone as it may clog up your inbox.  In addition, it is mostly read online and therefore displays better using your browser as it adjusts to fit your screen size no matter if read on a mobile phone or full TV sized monitor.   (You can still print it if you wish!)