Volume 11 Issue 06

June 2011

June Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


27/05/11 Surfing at Crosby
The winds were up, blowing a steady NWly for 4+ and the surf was rolling in at Crosby Lifeboat station.  5 of us met up by the Iron Men and looked out to sea.  John was in his little boat and was first in playing in the “soup”.  Brian and Mike has brought their sea kayaks and punched their way out into the bigger stuff.  Mike usefully tried out his new electric pump.

Steve and Keith were in their river boats and enjoyed some good waves only to be swiftly overtaken by a sea kayak racing its way in towards the shore.  This spot can provide an excellent wave, warm water if the sun has been on the sand all day.  With an onshore wind it is pretty safe.  Indeed, we had so much fun some of us paddled on the Thursday as well.

Click for more photos………..

Click for more local venues and Wednesday night paddles……….

27/05/11 Quarterly Coaching Seminars

Gareth Field – our BCU Paddle Development Officer will run either a Fundamentals update for those that want it or a practical seminar on forward paddling. The idea is to share coaching ideas and practical tips on how to teach more effectively.

As a BCU Coach your place is free.  It would be great to see most of our coaches there.

Thursday 23rd June 2011 (6:30-9.00pm) at the Marina

Click here to reserve your place now……..

27/04/11 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.


26/05/11 Sea Kayaking Talk Monday 13th June 2011 – Reserve your seat now.


All interested in adventures and the sea are invited to another FREE canoeing talk at the Liverpool Marina Conference Suite.


Monday 13th June 8pm

Jim Krawiecki will give a talk on Sea Kayaking in the North West, the best trips to do and his adventures when writing his latest Book.


For more information and to reserve a seat go to:


















25/05/11 Sunday paddle – River Dee from Farndon to Chester


Report to follow – Dominic Buckley

24/05/11 Easter – Sea Kayaking on the Outer Hebrides

Over the Easter holiday I travelled up to Oban with Will Herman, Tim Pearson and Mike Hinson. We got the ferry to Loch Boisdale on South Uist where our holiday began. We had unusually good weather ,it rained once in the night, each day was generally sunny with light winds and generally good paddling conditions. We had planned to spend two weeks there, and as it was we cut the trip short by a few days as there was a big weather front coming in, and we were all pretty paddled out.


Each day of our trip has been reported by Will Herman on his blog, along with plenty of fantastic photographs.  Extract Below.


Chris Drew 


Outer Hebrides: Beyond Great Bernera - Day1

Throughout our crossing of the Sound of Harris the previous day the weather had steadily improved until by late evening, the makings of a fine sunset held the promise of a fine spell to follow. We were not disappointed. Driving north from Leverbergh on a fine morning, there can be few who manage not to stop; certainly our journey was delayed more than once by the indescribable beauty of the beaches and islands the road passes.  Eventually we arrived at Bhaltos, not far from Gallan Head, in the north west of Lewis. Standing amongst the dunes above Traigh na Beirigh, we looked across white sands and clear shallow waters surrounding the inner islands, towards the deep blue of the Atlantic...  With the boats loaded for two days amongst the rugged outlying islands of Lewis, we launched, following the curve of the beach...

Already the westerly swell was making itself felt, though for now it was gentle enough to allow for some entertaining rock hopping...


...with half an eye open for the bigger sets.
Heading north along the west coast of Great Benera we explored the craggy shore in detail, until passing inside the small island of Greineam...


...we emerged behind a large reef being hammered by the swell.


In the chop behind the reef, I watched in awe as waves crashed beyond sending foaming cascades across the dark rock, spray flying, showering the boats.


It was a wonderful display and awe inspiring when the benign conditions of the day, in comparison to those of a big sea, were acknowledged.
We dallied awhile before heading north again...


Read more about the trip on Wills Blog………..



23/05/11 SATURDAY – Anglesey Weekend


Report to follow – Helen Siertsema


23/05/11 SUNDAY – Anglesey Weekend – Surfing at Treaddur


After a late night relaxing in the campsites pub, not only staying out of the lashing rain but entertainingly cheering on ‘Gingerbread Man’ with his life significant??? and eye catching tattoo, to another boxing career victory.....  a lot were no doubt kept awake throughout night by the gusting, gale force winds and rain. With no chance of sleeping in, a good few decided to rise early and pack things away before any heavy rain, soaked belongings once again. During this time, similar to the day before another tent decided to disintegrate in the wind and it was quickly agreed to head to Trearddur Bay to check out the waves after the excellent late afternoons surfing session the day before.


Although destroying belongings on the campsite, upon arrival beside the lifeguard station we immediately witnessed the wind was once again helping to provide a continuous supply of great clean surfing waves coming into the bay. Without delay, myself Mark and Jenny headed out onto the water and getting out past the shelter of the rocks realised how big and steep the waves were, especially in the centre of the bay. Catching a number a waves in and heading out behind the shelter of the rocks, being the most efficient route to save energy, we were soon joined by Sarah, Keith S and then an increasing number of more members arriving from the campsite to enjoy the great conditions. Not only this, at last the gods decided to smile and bask us in sunshine and clear blue skies all day.


After over 3hrs of great surfing and battling the oncoming waves, it was time to get out  when the tide nearly reached the concrete wall and it became a bit too dangerous to surf. After changing you realised how physically drained you were, by which time the grey clouds had returned and everyone departed their different ways.


In all, a great final days surfing in sunshine which made up for the previous miserable conditions.


Neil Moult.  More Photos………..

23/05/11 White Rose Polo Tournament – Leeds Saturday 21st May


Five of us travelled over to play in this friendly tournament organised by White Rose Canoe Club.  We had many close games but managed to win them all.  The final went to three extra half `s finally needing a golden goal to win. 


Our passing improved over the day and our game play evolved but we had several penalties that could have won us the game, we really do need to practise these more.  Many thanks to all those at White Rose who helped put together a great tournament in the sunshine.


Dinny, Joe B, Phil H, Keith S, Darren B


More Photos……..



17/05/11 35th Annual Scout Kayak and Canoe Weekend, Bala Lake


Friday night found a number of LCC members gathering at the TY ISAF campsite along with over 150 scouts.  Following a briefing from Ian Bell giving us an idea of what we where doing the following day, some new acquaintances where made and old acquaintances renewed. 


Saturday morning dawned and the move down to Llangower Point started by 9:30am the first sessions where underway, 4pm soon arrived having completed 5 sessions and the transfer back to the camp site commenced.  A quick shower and we where ready for the BBQ which went down very well. By Sunday 3pm a further 4 sessions had been completed and the scouts had enjoyed themselves having participated in courses such as BCU Paddlepower Discovery & Passport, BCU 1 Star, BCU 2 Star.


All of the coaches and assistants I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed themselves and where amazed at the resilience that the scouts showed through out the weekend coping in very difficult weather conditions. 


If this is the first time you have heard about the Bala camp it is an annual event organised and run by Wallasey District Scouts with the aim of both introducing Scouts to canoeing and kayaking as well as developing their skills.  A large number of coaches over the years have supported this event and continue to do so.  If you feel you could help support the event next year watch the website next year for details. 


Chris Turner  More Photos……

17/05/11 Great British Salford Swim 2011 – Sunday 15th May


A few pictures from the Great British Salford Swim 2011 !!! ... splendid wet day!


 Michal G.


More photos……….



11/05/11 BCU Lifeguards Training Weekend (Swim Event Safety Award)
39 club members gained their SESA Award over the weekend.  This is a fantastic achievement and probably makes our club No. 1 for Kayak Event Safety in the North West.  Many thanks to all who were involved, especially the team from Hertfordshire Canoe Lifeguard Unit that run the course for us.  More Photos…….


If you are an experienced paddler or hold the SESA award why not register to help out on the Liverpool Triathlon.  This is a big fund raiser for the club and helps to keep our costs so low.  They are looking for 30+ paddlers.  The organisers will donate £25 to the club for each paddler that helps out.  Last year over £1000 was put into club funds. Please volunteer if you can, you need to be of 2 star ability.  There are also swim practice sessions for new competitors in the weeks leading up to the event if you can help out at these it would be appreciated.
Swim practice sessions; 22 May, 05 June, 12 June
Triathlon 26 June
Please follow this link to register and drop me an email so I can keep track of volunteers and keep you up to date with times etc.  For any further information phone or email



John Worswick  07905627066  johnworswick@hotmail.com





10/05/11 Pyranha Demo Boat Evening
Dave Cusack from Kayaks North West brought about 30 of the latest Pyranha Demo boats down to the dock last Wednesday.  It was great to see many club members down and they all tried a variety of the different designs. Club members get 15% of all new boats and paddling equipment at the shop (excluding composite boats).  There is often a good selection of ex-demo and 2nd hand boats behind the shop in the yard.


Kayaks North West Discount Scheme.
Marina Village
Preston Brook
Runcorn WA7 3DW
Phone: 01928710770
Email: mattbostock@pyranha.com

15% off for members of Liverpool Canoe Club.

Where are the nearest kayak shops???





11/05/11 Scottish White Water – Easter Weekend 2011
We paddled the River Garry, River Lochy, River Arkaig, Spean gorge and Middle Spean.


Journey Up Thurs Eve

It was April, it was a massive drive, it was abnormally roasting and we set off to somewhere in Scotland. Theo had booked us all into the “Chase the Wild Goose” hostel just outside Fort William. 


Day 1 Good Friday

River Garry

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.

Sarah’s impressions:

I had never been on a proper river trip before so I set off with Martin and Katie with butterflies in my belly and a new shiny green helmet in my kit bag ready for the day ahead. When we arrived it was like a mass of canoeists beaming with enthusiasm for the day off paddling ahead. Myself felt like a fraud, maybe looking the part but totally clueless. Wow, that river noise is loud I thought nervously.


 We split of into groups; Theo was my leader so I set about getting in and learning how to break in and out of the flow. When I realised I was wobbling along in Scotland’s finest highland water I decided to take a closer look and taste! Mm not too bad and a good cool down too – I might get a taste for this.  I was swiftly rescued and continued on going over which side was left and which was right in my head.


We approached the next big rapid which as we got there we caught the head of Jo bobbing up after a meeting with a rock, shortly after I was to meet the same rock. On reflection I decided it wasn’t a good idea to watch Theo all the way down as I didn’t quite notice the rock in front of me. Next thing I’m grabbing my spray deck and tumbling down a torrent of water, I managed to get my feet up in the air and to be honest it was a good ride even as I bounced out of the water as I went over several rocks on my bum.

Later I was to come a cropper in the same spot but took a tumble and ended up back to front. I remember Theo shouting turn round eventually I got round and Ian came to my rescue. Maybe not as enjoyable this time, especially as I had been on a CPR course for work the day before being taught about anaphylactic shock. One of the symptoms can be the feeling of impending doom. As I tumbled out of control down the river I thought, oh my, this is what impending doom feels like…..!


By the end of the day I was knackered but not put off and grateful to be part of a good bunch of people. I watched in awe as the professionals paddled with ease down the top section of the river. Even if some people will have words to say about swimmers in pink (editor’s note: that’s fuchsia and grey we are assured by Roy) boats.  Thanks to all my rescuers, and people who helped me carry my boat. I’ve learned so much and can’t wait to get out again.

The evening was spent in the hotel/pub round the corner from the hostel.  Sarah Gille   More Photos…..


Day 2 Easter Saturday

River Lochy

The day started looking much greyer and wetter than the glorious sunshine of Friday but the light drizzle was unlikely to have made any impressions on the river levels. We headed of to the River Lochy for a relatively gentle alleged grade 2/3 paddle that felt more like grade 1/2 (but the single grade 3 feature came as a surprise later for some….)


The paddle started in the spirit of club camaraderie with Keith spitefully pushing Kirk’s boat into the river (even after he had kindly carried his boat and paddle over to him). Wading out into the water to retrieve it did not count as a technical swim (no need really, the real thing was bound to happen at some point….and it did).   After a flawless descent of most of the river, including some tricky rapids, Fiona made the mistake of relaxing and chatting about skiing. Distracted by thoughts of persuading the team to invest in some higher quality accommodation (and perhaps angering the god’s of karma with a few observations on Keith’s legendary focus on value for money….), the unnoticed rocks crept closer…..A cry of “are you mad?” as Kirk made his normally dodgy line call was followed by a well hugged rock but alas still a swim. Never mind, at least there was no damage done to the custom diamante helmet decoration.


Near the end of the run we came across the grading feature on the run, a metre or to fall through a tight’ish constriction into some confused water full of boils and hard eddy lines….a few of the more experienced paddlers tested their roles at this stage and even an unexpected swim for Martin when he got wedged against the rocks upside down.   More Photos…..


River Arkaig

The Lochy run took quite a while but a few of us decided to finish the day with the short run on the Arkaig.  As we sat on the water waiting to set off, Theo casually observed that Ian and the other shuttle drivers had managed to drop off the cars at the get out, come all the way back and still get on the water before Laura….


The run is pretty much all about a single fall, the only significant feature on the river. In low water there is only one line, straight down the “middle”, which is river right  at these levels (the normal river right channel was dry and the left channel too shallow/rocky. Low water turns the fall into two distinct drops, the first with an eddy river right (Kirk - that can easily spin you unexpectedly!), and the second into a larger refreshing hole.


Everyone negotiated it without too much trouble, although Kirk’s unexpected eddy spin saw him choose a novel “chicken shoot” rocky drop rather than reverse into the main drop/hole! Made an interesting but relatively relaxing end to a longish day. We headed back to the hostel to get changed, and some of us washed, before sampling the top value menu (two courses and a free drink for a tenner) menu at “The Lochy” pub.    More Photos…..


Day 3 Easter Sunday

The Spean Gorge

The really low water levels at least presented an opportunity for some of us to paddle the Spean Gorge for the first time. At more normal “low” levels it would have been a more technical/intimidating undertaking, much higher it’s allegedly washed out/easier but far more committing and problematic for a swimmer. In these conditions Keith and Ian were comfortable in taking a small group down (thanks for that!).


At very low water the run is quite rocky and technical, with some testing rapids, drop series and constrictions where you would certainly rather avoid a boat-less descent. The first rapid of note is called the Fairy Steps, and it’s a pretty good one, consisting of three drops requiring concentration, paddler input and boat control to navigate (especially of you forget to boof at all on the middle drop, which is quite grabby – phew!). 

The major feature on the run is called Headbanger or Witches Cauldron depending on what you read/who you talk to. Either way it’s a serious feature and gave most of us our first close up view of a genuine siphon. IT didn’t take much persuading for us all to portage round that to an interesting re-entry seal launch into the moving pool below the fall.#


After the relative drama of the preceding features, a seemingly innocuous drop took you into some boily water which caught Kirk out and became the scene of a trademark speedy boat exit. Much muttering about hitting head on rocks and general annoyance followed while he struggled to empty the huge amount of water a Burn M can hold before getting back on for the final stages.

The last drop is apparently called “Right is Right, Left is Wrong” for a reason, but even if you go right avoiding the tree in the middle can put you into the end of the left line that sees the flow take you straight at the rock face in front of you before bouncing you into the strong re-circulating eddy, as Katie found out ending in an understandable swim and some difficult exit/rescue work.    More Photos…..

The Middle Spean

The afternoon saw the whole team meet up again and paddle the relatively tame and easy water of the middle Spean, from Roy Bridge to Spean Bridge (where the morning paddle had started). The afternoon passed without too much event until we came to a feature called “Railway Bridge Falls” (or Surprise Ledge”, again depending on who you talk to/what you read, seems to be a Scottish thing…..).


Avoiding the well nasty rocky fall on river left, we got out to found a really nice 2 metre shoot (like a mini Low Force if you know the Tees), which became the scene of much excitement and merriment. First time big drop (Sarah, Fiona), reverse double (Martin, Katie) and Michal “The Pencil” to name but a few. Special note, however, has to go to Ian for putting aside his well known aversion to falling into the unknown and giving it a go!     The evening saw us re-plan our intent to visit the Grog & Gruel real ale pub in Fort William (too long a wait for a table) and revisit The Lochy, undoubtedly to the staff’s delight.    More Photos…..



Day 4 Easter Monday

The River Arkaig Revisited

The final day saw us go for a relatively short run to allow time to get packed/check out and a reasonably early departure homewards. So it was back to the Arkaig and a rerun of Saturday afternoon’s paddle with a slightly larger group. Everyone navigated the main feature successfully, although John and Fiona decided that the sensible route was on foot through the Rhododendrons. The latter part of the trip degenerated into rolling practice, which saw some (awfully pressurised) failures by Kirk. As Mark has already kindly noted on Facebook, embarrassing, get it sorted.


Then the long drive home, easy for passengers (thanks Ian, and other drivers) rounded off by a brew in Keith’s (offered in a choice of Everton mugs). Top weekend.    More Photos…..


Reflections on the trip (John Pegram)

The Scottish trip was a blend of fine malts and mountain waters captivating the essence and flavour of the Scottish river - a paddling experience that evoked both the full bodied taste and ambiance of the River Garry paddled with the upstream dam releasing its waters into a melee of waiting kayaks. Contrasted by the sharper blend of gorge dropping, rapid running, bedrock scraping, river paddling that gave a defiant but pleasant edge to the pallet. 


The trip was a great experience, although I had decided to go along with a certain fear and trepidation. My main objective was to push my limits and improve my paddling ability. It was great to have the support of the experienced paddlers giving the confidence and the safety cover for the likes of me to have a go, so a big big thank you to you guys!!! We were an interesting mix of paddlers and personalities. My day of heaven was a 4 hour paddle down the beautiful River Lochy dotted with grade 1/ 2 rapids, but it was probably someone else’s hell. If they weren't 'booffing' a rock, submerged  deep in the bowls of some over fall whilst  twirling their paddle over head they didn't seem to be completely fulfilled. I suppose it takes all sorts!


Having said that, we all got on really great, the blend of personalities added to our nightly social gatherings in the local pub; good food, good chat and a great time - So; am I one of the converted - aspiring to the thrill of rock dodging? Probably not, but having paddled all four days I know that I am far more confident to committing to my paddle in a wide range of water conditions and managed to survive without a capsize, that's probably a reasonable feat in itself. So once again thanks for a great time and first big white water paddling experience.


More Photos…….



05/05/11 Pembroke surfing, sea kayaking and general activity weekend



Friday 29/4/11 a date I had been looking forward to for months, of all the club trips we do I think this is the one I look forward to the most. Up at 6am then on to pick Ivan up ,a quick burger type thing at macky d s  and then off on the 4 and  half hour journey down to St David’s. We decided to take the scenic route down past Bala and then hug the coast all the way down. and a good choice it was.  The scenery  was fantastic.


Arriving at St David’s we got a bit lost trying find the campsite mainly due to the fact the road leading to the campsite has LOCAL BUSES ONLY sign on it which confused me a bit. On entering the campsite the view we had was amazing.  You would be lucky to find a better site anywhere. The tent was quickly thrown up and off we went to meet our fellow paddlers, Dave and Bob who had arrived the day before and had set up camp already.  Then, over the next few hours everyone turned up including Keith and Sara all ready for their 10am paddle.  The only trouble was it was now around 14.00.


When everyone was present and correct we headed off for a paddle in what seemed like our very own bay. I can never get over how clear the water is in these parts, cold but clear. After a few hours of playing in the small surf and general paddling it was time to unveil the latest and greatest member of the club, the world famous LCC BBQ. This BBQ seemed to have the better of us at first but after 6 or more people had a go at wafting, adding wood, lighter fluid and a mountain of charcoal we beat her into submission and finally she burst into life. So a evening of burgers, beer and chitchat followed with all of us trying to get Dave to come out of his shell and talk for a while.  It was then off to bed with the thought that for myself and Ivan we had another five days of this heaven to come. Thanks to everyone on the trip, it would mean nothing without you lot 


Mark Moore     More Photos……



Waking to the sound of bird song and surf in your tent on a Saturday morning – perfect. Add to that a leisurely start with a 9.30am chat about the plans priceless. So with a North Easterly wind we decided to set off from the beach at the campsite, hug the coast along the sound of Ramsey and paddle about 9km round to Porth Clais.

After a short steep carry to the beach, 12 of us launched into the surf and some lumpy seas for an exciting start to the trip. With the wind behind us the challenge for the sea boats was to slow down and stay with the group. Rock hopping and exploring the coast line kept the group together.


The view of the Bitches was great but everyone was happy to leave a closer acquaintance to another time. Lunch was a sunny beach, which some had more of a slog to get to than others (Keith said hug the coast for a reason) inaccessible from the coastal path so we had it all to almost to ourselves (just a little rat for company).

More leisurely rock hopping took us towards our final destination where the wind and sea picked up and made the finish almost as exciting as the beginning. Heading in past the harbour wall everyone smiling but happy to stop the slog into the wind.


With the shuttle for cars underway, the boat sitters enjoyed the sunshine and ice cream before heading back to the campsite via the local supermarket in St.David’s for BBQ supplies.


Back at the campsite chief fire starter Dave got the BBQ going and a pleasant evening of food and banter followed. Frankie



More Photos……




The morning saw a clean but smallish wave on the beach below the campsite.  Report to Follow – John Pegram

Later that day a few of us decided to head off up to the top of the nearest hill.  This took us round past Whitesands beach and the surf club training on the beach.  From the summit we had magnificent views back down Ramsey Sound and towards the bitches rocks. 


Text Box: View across the Bay form the camp site to Whiteside Bay


Arriving about mid day on the Friday we were greeted with the stunning views from the campsite. The strong 22mph winds turned putting the tents up into a paragliding event but when all was suitably lased down we went of to explore. We had our very own beach reached by a steep cliff path and a panoramic view of the St David’s and Whiteside Bay in the distance. That afternoon we decided to acquaint ourselves with the surf and a paddle over to Whiteside Bay where we shared the bay with some surfers. We all agreed that it was well worth the trip just to take in the views.



Sunday morning was a relaxed start after the exertions of the Saturday paddle. I was keen to explore the coastal path around the headland and to get a view looking down the Ramsey Sound, the route we had paddled the previous day, paddling adjacent the rock formation called the ‘Bitches’. My self and Matthew surfed with the group for a couple of hours and then set off along the coastal path, we were met with breath taking scenes.



We had been walking for an hour or so and rounding a rocky outcrop I found my self ‘gob smacked’ as we came face to face with Jason, he had been up in Fort William the weekend before climbing Ben Nevis – he had decided to do a 30 mile coastal walk – 5mins either way we would have missed each other; amazing!


Having got to the furthest point of the headland we were in the position of looking down Ramsey Sound with views of the great reef formation that juts out from Ramsey Island. It was low tide and so the jagged outcrops of the ‘Bitches’ were fully exposed. Imagine a full tide race ripping through the sound creating massive over falls; talk about were Angels fear to tread! The Day before we had paddled down the left hand side, the tide was only running on a neap tide but I can still visualize the land moving at a rate of knots as we were in a speed boat. The sea conditions changed dramatically with the change of coastal features and exposure to the strong Easterly winds, leaving the bay we had to negotiate quite big surf and the headland presented what I call ‘lumpty dumpty’ waves until we got well into the sound where the water eerily flattened with swirling eddies appearing on the surface. We then enjoyed some good rock hoping and exploration of the coast line until we rounded the last headland. We then got into more of the same big lumpy stuff until we made the shelter and sunning tranquillity of the Harbour. Thanks for a great week end, relaxed atmosphere and a wide range of characters to keep the evening banter going – good to be back in the sea again – John & Matthew Pegram


More Photos……




Departure day for some, so a shorter day for those heading back to Liverpool, just enough time for a stroll down the road to the riding centre and an hours trek down the valley towards Porth Clais and back around the cathedral. Percy has to be the widest horse I have ridden in a while, short and wide but very enthusiastic, and while the trek was for beginners we managed some sneaky trotting. A lovely way to see some of the countryside we had paddled past on Saturday and a great way to see the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace.


Returning to the campsite, Dave, Bob, Tim, Mark and Ivan had decided to play in the surf, after helping to carry boats to the beach I sat and observed what looked like a very pleasant paddle across Whitesands bay, honestly guys you could have said……………..


Frankie  More Photos……

YouTube Video of Pembroke

Here is what you have been waiting for all week,  Put it on full screen ,turn the sound up and don’t forget to close that annoying advert at the start.  Enjoy, Mark Moore



Paddlers: Keith S, Sara B, Ivan F, Kirk W, Mark M, Dave L, Tim S, Neil M, Bob G, Frankie, Kathy M, John & Matt P.  



04/05/11 MIDWEST SEA KAYAK SYMPOSIUM trip report


The royal wedding day provided a perfect opportunity to drive to Scotland and with almost deserted roads Carole and I arrived at Tayvallich, the picturesque venue for Kari-Tek’s MidWest Sea Kayak Symposium, far faster than we had planned. We quickly erected our tent and went for a walk in the breezy but sunny evening before the symposium registration opened. Tayvallich is an idyllic spot with a natural harbour sheltered from most directions other than wind blowing from the east. Registration opened and we put our names on various lists for a wide variety of coaching throughout the following three days. After a pint in the local pub and a blustery night in our tent we woke early to a bright but very windy morning and discovered that Justine Curgenven and Barry Shaw had arrived during the night and pitched their tent next to ours; they were coaching each day and Justine was also there to give an inspirational presentation on some of their epic trips.


Our first coaching session was “edging and turning” and with an easterly 30+ knots blowing right into Tayvallich Harbour, it was going to be interesting to say the least! As we walked from the briefing in the local village hall, the symposium hub, I saw two kayaks on the nearby beach take off and fly 2 meters above the ground, landing with an expensive sounding clunk some distance away. Our coach suggested we found a nice sheltered little corner to practice in and everyone in our small group eagerly agreed. The 3 hour session was fun and practical and we both came away feeling that we were on our way to improving. Our chosen afternoon session was “close quarters handling” and for this we paddled further out through the lessening but gusting wind. All went well with the coaching on this too and both Carole and me were on a high and ready to take on the ceilidh planned for that evening.


Being flung around a village hall to the sound of Scottish music was great fun and our high spirits (fuelled also by a bottle of red wine) saw us bidding in a charity auction for some tripping and coaching later this summer. We had the winning bid and feel we got a bargain so it’s off to Connel Bridge, near the famous Falls of Lora in the not too distant future where we will join Tony Hammock of Sea Freedom for a long weekend’s paddling.


 Over the next couple of days we enjoyed being coached on forward paddling, support strokes, rolling and rescuing and we gained lots of useful information just from chatting with other keen paddlers and coaches. The symposium was a first for Kari-Tek and everyone had nothing but praise for it. “The most friendly symposium I’ve ever been on” was said by many and “A far more relaxed atmosphere than the Anglesey symposium” was said by others and many people said it was “the best organised symposium they’ve ever experienced”. We had dozens of demo boats to try out and Kari-Tek had a well stocked trailer selling all sorts of useful kit, new and used boats. Carole and I made lots of new friends and put faces to names we had heard of in the paddling world. We even managed to persuade Justine to come and give us a talk at our Tuesday night sessions sometime soon. Our coaches for the sessions we opted for were: Gill Barnsley and Colin McWilliams from Oban Sea Kayaking Guides,  Barry Shaw, Adam Richards from Kilbowie Outdoor Centre near Oban, Dave Bleazard from Outside Edge near Oban, Les Kirkpatrick and Tony Hammock. There were many other coaches there but the three available days could easily have turned into a week had we been able to sample everything they all had to offer.


We would happily recommend that any beginner or improver from Liverpool Canoe Club should consider this as a must for next year.


Pete and Carole Thomas –(still buzzin)      More photos…………..



02/05/11 Kayak Surfing Crosby 1/5/11

The original plan was a trip to Hilbre Island but after taking advice from Ian Bell regards the low tide and local windy weather forecasts then an alternative paddle was needed to fill our bank holiday Monday morning. Lots of great suggestions were discussed until Paul mentioned in his authoritative manner "lets do Kayak surfing at Crosby........with wind over tide and the geographical phase of the moon.....waves and swell......blah,...blah....blah........"

Okay...okay then Crosby it is. We all knew that waves were never going to be seen at Crosby but well its close and we could just have a paddle anyway, plus he might shut up if we agree with him.


Great so lets e-mail everyone that Kayak Surfing is here.............lots of replies............mostly laughing at our idea of "big Surf at Crosby".

I was glad to see another club member had decided to join us as i pulled into the car park. Sally Orrit was ready and waiting for the big stuff but couldn’t convince her son James to join us...............she said "he just laughed and went back to sleep".


Well it was flatter than a flat thing and Paul mentioned that the reason for this was "cyclonic pressure in the Outer Hebrides plus a fall in interest rates...........blah, blah, blah". I noticed a sand bank and explained that waves will be here if only for a short spell.


Sally was in without hesitation. I started another coffee. Paul emptied a bottle of sun cream on his face (see pics). Ste wasn’t convinced until the biggest wall of water hit the sandbank and Sally was vertical on the wave face. Go Go Go !!! we ran with our gear screaming as if Santa had arrived straight into the wall of wave after wave ...........that lasted for ten minutes then..................FLAT. From there on we saw birds, boats, buoys, more birds and it was windy but NO waves.

A great day with great company............Karl....Paul....Steve....Sally.





28/04/11 May’s Newsletter Published
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