Volume 11 Issue 05

May 2011

May Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


28/04/11 Ten days of paddling season opener.
The club is paddling every day at the docks over the coming 10 days.  Please come down and help out / join in with the paddling.  All welcome to the come and try it sessions.


Friday, 29 April Liverpool Marina Festival - LCC will be running come and try it sessions (free) from the slipway at 1.00pm and 3.00pm Click for more.........

Saturday, 30 April Liverpool Marina Festival - LCC will be running come and try it sessions (free) from the slipway at 1.00pm and 3.00pm Click for more.........

Sunday, 1 May Liverpool Marina Festival - Tour of the docks for club members.

Monday, 2 May Liverpool Marina Festival - LCC will be running come and try it sessions (free) from the slipway at 1.00pm and 3.00pm Click for more.........

Tuesday, 3 May General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)

Wednesday, 4 May Pyranha Demo Evening - Liverpool Marina Festival - open to all club members

Thursday, 5 May Canoe Polo Training (several plastic polo boats are available at the Marina) - Contact Dinny Davies if you want more information.........

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

Friday, 6 May Introductory / beginners course for new members (4 sessions) Click for more information.......

Saturday, 7 May All day  BCU Lifeguards Training Weekend - Part of Liverpool Marina Festival - Click for more information.....

Sunday, 8 May All day BCU Lifeguards Training Weekend - Part of Liverpool Marina Festival - Click for more information.........


28/04/11 Scottish White Water – Easter Weekend 2011
Theo had booked us all into the Chase the Wild Goose Hostel just outside Fort William.  The ground was as dry as a bone but fortunately the River Garry was Dam released and Theo had organised a release for our first day.  Unfortunately every other paddler in Scotland found out about this as well so the Forestry Car park was heaving.


We paddled the River Garry, River Lochy, River Arkaig, Spean gorge and Middle Spean.


Full reports to follow in the next newsletter



More Photos…….



24/04/11 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.



Informal trips arranged by club members are circulated by the club`s Googlegroups email system.


19/04/11 Hilbre Island Saturday 16th April 2011
Six of us met up at the sailing club in Hoylake at 745am. Karl, Will, Steve, Andy, Roy and myself (Paul). Unbelievably Karl was early, arriving at 710am. "He's keen." I thought to myself as I strolled in at 8am. I really tried to be on time.
Everyone else thought I had lost the plot with the meeting time as there was no water near the island, but by 830am the sea was lapping up the slipway with an unnatural calmness. Not a leaf stirred, the sun was trying to shine and barely a ripple was on the sea ,which was great as I had brought my traditional canoe ( half the paddle etc.).
It sounded like a good idea in the pub on Thursday. When Karl saw me, he was surprised. He told me he was only joking that I should take it. But, with the sea so calm it seemed like such a good idea that even Steve joined me for a fast tandem journey.
We all went around the island followed by half a dozen seals. Roy and Andy were eager to show us their offside rolling skills as still no one had seen them (practice rolls, not accidental). Round the back of the island we
all managed to surf a couple of waves, even me and Steve in an open canoe.
 The seals were sunbathing and I was getting sunburned and Roy, Andy and Karl must have been sweating with their dry gear on as it was now at least 28*C. When we landed on the beach I cracked open my cooker, sausages, bacon, bread, and ketchup for a proper cooked breakfast. Will stripped to his smalls and went for a swim. Steve remained Welsh, Karl dived in, and as he hadn't burped his drysuit, Will paddled him back as he was like an inflatable.
After breakfast we had an easy paddle back and then all had a go at poling my canoe. Of course everyone found it easy apart from Karl who decided he was too warm and went for a swim instead. Yes, this really happened!!
Another great day organised by members of Liverpool Canoe Club.
Paul Harwood       Photos……………

14/04/11 Spring On The Waterfront” These events will be run alongside our 10 days of paddling season opener.


Spring On The Waterfront”


Liverpool Yacht Club and other kindred clubs are planning a series of events and races on the river on 30th April and 1st and 2nd May. The various races on each day start from 0930 to 1030 and will continue for at least 3 hours. This means there will be a busy lock-out and lock-in period using the Brunswick Lock and potentially the Canning Lock which services The Albert Dock. There will also be lock activity on the Wirral side using the Alfred Locks.


Just out of interest they have produced special regatta regalia for the event – see logo left.


Additionally LYC are also planning events for the rest of that week and will be manning their own “stand” to help visitors. They will also operate greater than normal safety rib activity.


In practice, all of this may impact Liverpool Canoe Club insofar as there will be a lot of boat movements in the marina and South Docks during the mornings of the races. The car parks around the marina will probably be very busy during that week; to say nothing of the marina bar, toilets, showers and changing facilities; hopefully a very bustling picture with lots of visitors if the weather is kind but also a need to avoid collisions or near misses!


13/04/11 New Brighton Paddle on Tuesday Evenings

8 paddlers met up at New Brighton Lighthouse for our, now regular, Tuesday evening paddle organised by Chris Fletcher. Excitement had grown all afternoon with the strong winds promising to create some massive waves for us to play on.  Unfortunately by the time we met up at 18.30 the wind had dropped and the river had calmed down a lot.  However, there was still enough waves for us to have a good time and still some large enough for some of us, including myself, to be tipped out of the kayak and washed up on the beach in front of a smiling Chris.


I encourage anyone to join us on Tuesdays at New Brighton.  There is always something different to do.  After last nights play in the surf  I cant wait to face the full on surf on the Pembroke weekend.  Bring it on.



    Mark Moore            More Photos……..



13/04/11 Sarah Hooper Talk

Last night saw the club host a riveting talk from Sarah Hooper about her exploits in the Canadian Wilderness.  This 10 week trip was sponsored by the
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and has written several articles and spoken at several talks around the country.

Sarah is full time outdoor education instructor at Water Park Lakeland Adventure centre, based on the shores of Coniston, The Lake District.  Sarah described her exploratory descent of the Arctic Rae River, close up encounters with Grizzlies, a moonlight solo paddle, howling to wolves, and an amazing wilderness therapy program for disadvantaged youngsters.


All of Sarah’s proceeds from the talks will be donated to St Marys Hospice, Ulverston.

More information on Sarah’s talk……

Check out more Monday evening talks……..

13/04/11 First Aid Course – Wallasey

6 club members attended the Aquatic first Aid course run by Ian Bell.  Congratulations to
Jim Slater, Peter McComaskey, Michal Giezgala, Matthew Pegram, Ben Cooke, John Cooke. 

This 4 hour award is required by all L1 and L2 coaches and can be used for the one day Swim Event Safety Award that our club is running on either the 7th or 8th of May.  


This will be part of our 10 days of paddling.  If you would like to sign up for the free training offered by the BCU Lifeguards who will be running courses at our base at the Marina go to http://www.bculifeguards.org.uk/training.php and book online.

10/04/11 Sunday 10th April 2011 - The River Dee

A gloriously hot sunny day greeted us in Llangollen as four members of LCC met at The Ponsenby arms to discuss a plan. Michal had decided not to paddle after already testing himself on the Tryweryn the day before. Instead he was put to good use as a Expedition Porter/Photographer/Coach for the others, Sam, Roy and Chris, as he cycled between playspots.
We put on at the Chain Bridge Hotel and after a couple of practise rolls headed down to Serpents tail. We each ran it twice with no real dramas other than an unscheduled roll in the middle of the rapid by Chris and one as the tail stung Sam. Next we tucked into our sandwiches as we watched about 15 members of another club descend on the Tail. Most came through unscathed including one
young lady who went through backwards by mistake.
Next it was off to Mile End Mill where we spent a good couple of hours playing chicken with the waves. A couple of swims followed as first Roy got caught out at the bottom wave and then again at the top wave. This time, the stopper had hold of his brand new, very distinctive boat and was churning it around and around like a washing machine. Weighing up his options Roy decided to ignore everyone’s advice to let it flush out, and swam in to rescue it! I wonder if he would have done  that with his old boat?
There was just time enough for Sam to have a swim as well before we headed off down to Town Falls. At this point Chris, very unselfishly, offered to set up the rescue (so he didn’t have to run it) whilst Sam and Roy readied themselves. The rescue wasn't needed after all as first Sam and then Roy passed through the rapid with ease.
We rounded off a perfect day with pint in the sunny beer garden of what is becoming our (not so) local, the Duke of Wellington.
Paddlers Chris M, Roy Mc and Sam G
Cyclist Michal G                                                     Click for more photos…..


09/04/11 Saturday 9th April 2011 Half the paddle, twice the man?

Six of the club arrived at the Tryweryn at 10am on Saturday. Keith, Helen, Kirk, Michal, Steve and I (Paul).


I was feeling very brave and confident and decided that I was not taking my SAFE kayak with my cheat stick (two bladed paddle).  I am going to do this properly, like a real man, I was going to take my CU Fly OC1 open canoe. This is the shortest open canoe available at just 6'10" and the best freestyle boat on the water. I am going to look great!


 I thought:


 "Half the paddle, twice the man!"


I knelt in, strapped myself to the saddle and.......


I was upside down scraping my head along the floor. Great, get back in, I'm not strapping myself in this time, a bit scary with my suicide straps. I hit a teeny wave and my head and leg is scraping the floor.


Why did I not bring my kayak?


Back in again, back under again, and so forth.


It wasn't fair holding everyone back, so I decided to walk the long 100 metres back to the car park. Have I only gone this far?


For Sale

Robson CU Fly in red!!


The rest of us headed down to Bala safely knowing we now had a “shuttle bunny” who was going to be waiting for us.  Many little waves and rapids gave us about an hour of fun.  We were paddling well and although two of us had never paddled the Tryweryn before we all agreed to shoot Bala Mill Falls without getting out to inspect.


Helen took a swim at the top before the main drop and ended with her boat going down the chicken shoot without her.  This of course meant that Michal had to go back and shoot the drop a second time for the photos.


We all piled into Pauls van for a quick shuttle to the top and after a spot of lunch headed up to the chipper for a run of the upper section.  We tried to get every eddy on the way down and Michal became unseated in the graveyard.  It took us a while to retrieve his paddle which was jammed by the force of the water in mid stream.  After surfing a few waves we headed off downstream to paddle the lower section again.  Michal drifted a little wide at Bala Mill and went over on the middle ledge.  His paddle again became stuck but washed out on its own after 5 minutes of searching.  Fortunately Helen was still on the water to rescue it.


The day was rounded off with a coffee on the patio of our North Wales Club house (AKA Kirks and Gerries place)



Click for more photos ……



Keith, Helen, Kirk, Michal, Steve and Paul



08/04/11 Developments at the Marina.

Over the past few weeks much work has been going on at the docks in preparation for our 10 days of paddling season opener as part of the Liverpool Marina festival week in May.

1/  Our little pontoon has had a metal frame made and is now bolted to main pontoon so it does not move.  Damaged decking repaired and yellow warning paint added to indicate trip hazards.  Pump out boat and old pontoon moved to allow clear access for kayaks under the main ramp.

2/  Two flood lights have been turned around to illuminate the kayak racks and access point. This will greatly help during dark evenings or if getting off the water late.

3/  Old trailers and van moved from kayak storage area to allow easy access to lift canoes and kayaks from racks.  Wayfarer dinghy  and kayak trailers moved to facilitate this.  There is now a large camper van parked on left but this will greatly aid security for our boats and they are a very friendly couple. (they own the blue yacht moored behind the kayak racks and look after the Glacier, the wooden dive training ship)

4/  £4000 of automated gate opening devices are ordered and will be fitted onto the gates for the pontoons.  They will be fitted over the summer to allow for easy access onto the pontoons while carrying boats etc.

Please help our relationship with the Marina by not blocking any pontoon or access way with kayaks or eating Sandwiches etc in the Marina restaurant.

06/04/11 Free 15% discount card for LCC members for use at Blacks and Millets

Registration is quick and simple:

                        1.Send an email to steve.broome@blacks.co.uk with the following information (Enter your group in subject box):

                        a)Full Name (Inc Title)

                        b)Full Home Address (Inc Post code)

                        c)Telephone Number (Mobile or Landline)

                        d)Email Address


2. Receive your personalised card in the post****Delivery time approx. 4 weeks but may vary. It may be necessary to produce other identification for your first purchase. Staff reserve the right to retain any club being misused.  Details of a parent or guardian to be used for all minors (Under 18 yrs).

04/04/11 Polo at our new pitch

On Thursday evening 14 of us played on the new polo pitch by the Marina slipway.  Compared to the bay where we used to play it was quite windy and having a high goal was quite disorientating, especially when one minute you're under the goal and next you're ten yards away.

As usual with these sessions there were no rules and the pitch spread way behind the goals. I think I may wear a helmet next time but most of us just use our own kayaks and paddling stuff.  There are boats and helmets to borrow in the shed.  More of the club should join in even though you might not know the rules, it does help your boat skills and is a lot of fun.

Alternatively, members can come down to practise paddling without playing polo.  It is a club session and there is always cover available.

Messing around in boats is fun.  Paul Harwood

Polo Sessions are on Thursdays from 6:30pm

03/04/11 BCU Lifeguards Club Forum update


Two of our members attended the Club Forum held at Emberton Sailing Club, Buckinghamshire over the weekend.  It was interesting to hear about national developments but of most interest to the club were the details for the mini convention and courses to be run at the Marina on 7th and 8th of May.


Most of us will want to book onto the Swim Event Safety Award (SESA).  This is brand new and will be the minimum qualification for covering swimming events like our Liverpool Triathlon on 26th June 2011.  This course will be done in 1 day (Saturday or Sunday).  You will need to demonstrate basic kayak handling ie paddling up to a buoy at speed and stopping, moving safely between swimmers etc.  There is a requirement to swim 20m as a group so that others can practise paddling alongside swimmers so you will need a wetsuit or similar. [pdf] Swim_Event_Safety_Award(FinalDraft).pdf 


The only thing you need to complete this course is a current 4 hour first aid certificate.  Ian Bell is running one specifically for those needing it before the weekend.  The first aid course will be held on Monday 11th May (next Monday) in Wallasey Scout Hut on the Wirral and will cost £20)  The first 8 to contact him will be given a place.  ianandalisonbell@yahoo.co.uk Tel 07768 088876


Assistant lifeguard Course
Club members who have more experience can book on to the Assistant lifeguards course which will be held over both days. 
[pdf]Assistant Lifeguard.pdf  You need a current CST


If you would like to book a place on the course (free to club members – pass certificate cost £6) email your request to keithsteer@gmail.com or Tel 07719459942. 

Click here to see who is already on the courses……….  We intend to run a FRST course later this summer but priority will be given to those who have a Lifeguards SESA.

30/03/11 Sunday Paddle at the Docks 27th March – Albert Dock


Some of us managed to beat the half marathon start at the Albert Dock while others were arguing with some jobs worth who had closed roads well ahead of the planned time. 


Anyway most of us met up to paddle into every dock and even stopped to play a little polo in sea kayaks!  This Sunday Dominic Buckley is running another session – meet at 10.00am at the Marina.


Click for maps etc……

30/03/11 Saturday – River Tryweryn 26th March


It must have been the lack of water or something but a couple of club members headed over to the Tryweryn at the weekend.  They spent most of their time on the upper sections of the Tryweryn mostly surfing on the café wave and generally having a good time.  s

27/03/11 April’s Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link April’s Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..


If you have forgotten your password click here….. to have a new one emailed to you. (Please note that some ISP`s may block our automated system so please contact membership@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk if you have problems)


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