Volume 12  Issue 1

January 2012

January Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


29/12/11
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.

 

29/12/11 Menai Strait`s Tuesday 27 Dec
Brian, Ian and I decided to avoid the worst of the strong SSW gusts and keep to the shelter of the Menai Strait. If we started from the old Mermaid pub and headed up to Beaumaris we'd have the wind behind us and the tide wouldn't be a problem...right?

 

The plan went well and with wind and tide to help us, we flew along towards Plas Newydd country house. The tide was high enough for us to look inside the boathouse, before heading towards Britannia Bridge. Shortly before reaching the bridge, the tide turned, but with the wind behind us, progress was still easy. By eddy-hopping, we sneaked under it to the Swellies. We kept along the Anglesey shore, with the flowing tide now pushing harder and harder against us. The hillsides had closed in on either side, sheltering us from any wind assistance. Eventually we ran out of eddies and were confronted by an uphill gradient of whitewater. Ian and Brian eddied out into the main current and just about made headway, shortly followed by me. We managed to fight our way upstream through boils of water to reach the shelter of the island with the fish traps, where we had a well-earned rest and looked for the way ahead. On either side of us there was fast moving whitewater - flowing as fast as any river. To the right it was impassable due to a foot tall uphill slope of water. To the left, the fish traps aerated the water, so although it looked turbulent, the incline was OK. We took that route and ferry glided back to the Anglesey shore.

 

There was then time to play under the Menai Bridge before stopping for lunch. Back on the water, the Strait began to open out and the wind began to help again. There was a chance for some surfing and to gawp at the real estate, before reaching Beaumaris. As we did so, the wind really picked up so it was a good time to end a really enjoyable day. If I hadn't been with Brian and Ian, I'd never have thought it would be possible to navigate against such a strong current. Thanks again gents!

 

John Maddock   More Photos…..

 

24/12/11 Cold Hands – how do I cope?

After two weekends of paddling and getting to the point of not feeling my fingers completely – I want to know what experience people have had of keeping their fingers warm.   I have had already 3 pairs of gloves and find paddling with or without them little difference – “perhaps some say - just man up and get on with it”

 

Cold affects people differently I know - however I find after 2.5 hrs paddling and finding that I couldn’t take off my helmet because couldn’t depress or feel the buckle - it’s time to buy something this time that actually does what it says on the tin.

 

I have tried so far:-

OSX 3mm NEOPRENE GLOVES cold and could not feel paddle – sold back on ebay.

CSR Thermal – rubber with fleece lining – better – but still after 2 hrs fingers gone again.

Lomo 2mm gloves -£ 10 great glove can feel paddle but still fingers turn to ice when wet not immediately but later.

 

After a multitude of reading it appears that your fingers have to be in contact with each other like in a mitt – this is the only way to truly keep warm when the water temp drops seriously low. The Inuit Indians new this so wore mitts in the arctic.  So here goes - Anyone own any of these and can advise before I waste another £20 - £40 quid on 4th pair of Gloves.

 

Mittens  Good reviews – expensive good if you can cope with loss of feeling.

Pogies  Unsure? Some great reviews some people swear by them.

Open Palm Mitts Unsure?

 

Answers and advice from club members –

 I use paddle mitts lined with thinsulate fleece as they trap the water which your body warms up whilst allowing your hands to hold the paddle directly – good news in decent white water. I find gloves tend to not to grip as well as your bare hands. I can’t remember the make but they are a decent brand and I bought from Brookbank in Lancaster a few years ago.

 

Go for the palm decent pogies, I paddle throughout the winter months and they are just spot on.

-------------------

aha, my chance to be a clever-clogs....

 

Back when I were a lad working on the farm, the old workers used to say that if you got cold feet then "get a hat". The same applied to hands. The scientific explanation appears to be that as your core body temperature starts to drop, your body cuts off blood to extremities like hands and feet to try and save heat loss. So try adding extra layers to keep up your core temperature to keep that nice warm blood flowing out to your hands.

-------------------

I find this subject comes up every cold spell! First off when I first started paddling in the winter I'd used to do marathon paddling so I too got fed up of getting cold fingers!   From my experiences gloves are bad! Every pair I've ever used leads to blisters or lack of control of the paddle. Having said that the best gloves I used was a pair of washing up gloves!

 

Pogies are a different matter. I was lucky enough to be used in the production and testing of the palm descent Pogies and think there the best on the market for general paddling and ww! There warm and allow you to have full control of your paddling!

 

But the best piece of advice I can give is a subtle change in your paddling style. Every time you put a forward stroke in the water. With the top hand open it up when pushing on the shaft. This works in two ways. The feeling of cold in your hands is actually due to lack of blood to your hands. Moving your fingers draws blood back thus "warming" your hands. Also doing this encourages trunk rotation which is a more efficient way of fwd paddling. Any other questions just yell

-------------------

I've just got myself a set of Peak UK open palm mitts, no complaints yet. Nice grip when needed and the index finger is sewn separately in the mitts so they don't come off or move. Cheap at £14 something from Paddleworks.

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Have you tried decathlons triband dry suit gloves i used mine all last winter and had nice warm hands?

First off, I hate paddling in gloves or pogies and will do almost anything to avoid wearing them - i.e. man up, and then warm them up as often as possible by sticking inside my pfd. But it is a case of after paddling for so long i have probably acclimatised.

Things to check if hands are getting that cold (beyond the norm for paddlers) could include that your cuff latex seals are not so tight that stopping blood flow to hands, and that your core / head are warm enough with good thermals / skull cap / helmet. Also, see doctor about Raynaud's Syndrome - which affects hands in cold.

As for gloves, not found a bought set that work for me. I have known several paddlers swear by marigolds or latex - which you could wear as an under glove to pogies if gets very cold.

 I have the palm descent, for when I do wear gloves, and the neoprene does allow a warm microclimate within the glove, but water can get in so you could consider the under glove above as an extra if you are so badly affected.

Know others who swear by the open palm mitt. Both of these get good reviews and might work, but as you say, we are individuals and are affected in different ways. The pogies work for me, but I don’t feel cold that much.  Also, this is a cold sport and you might just need to acclimatise. So get paddling!
­-------------------
I use neoprene mitts with pre cut hole in palm area so i can still feel the shaft and therefore feel i have more control, also can peel them back once i warm up which helps temp control, easy to peel off ( with hand through hole ) and back on with teeth so no need to stop paddling. don’t like pogies once wet are heavy and worry about getting hand back in when in an emergency. pretty cheap for the comfort they provide. i love paddling in the winter but hate cold hands, these work believe me. Also I do think paddling in a good dry suit helps I find I am actually a bit to warm in general after 10-15 mins steady paddling which helps hands stay warm.
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I have some Palm pogies which I bought on impulse and hate using them. Make me an offer if you want to try them. Personally I think you would be better off wearing Polartec fleece gloves with a goretex outer mitten, but this still won’t be very effective if you get the gloves wet. Unfortunately unless you are prepared to lay out some serious dosh for high end technical equipment like these mitts:

It might be better to take several pairs of dry gloves and maybe get some of those hand heater gel sachets you can re-use by boiling them.
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Those with the Marigold gloves are the ones who do the dishes at home..............Maybe they should man-up!  As with those who choose the Vaseline.
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I have pogies and I think they're awful. On the river I don't like the feeling of being attached to my paddle.

I have neoprene gloves and they are not much better than having no gloves at all. The most effective way of keeping my hands warm on the water I have found so far is by wearing mountaineering mits but they get heavy and offer no feeling of the paddle but they keep your hands very warm even when completely wet in January. My next purchase will be neoprene mitts with a hole in the palm that dont attach to the paddle, if they exist.

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Lots of good advice from all, I would follow Pete's, Ian's and Mikes *2 advice first, ie the low cost options !!  And also add this into the equation. Your hands get cold when the heat loss is greater than the heat input. So first make sure your kit is 1. keeping you toasty, 2, not restricting good blood flow to your hands, then look at your paddling techniques, try to paddle with lose hands, ie pushing with an open hand and pulling with only three fingers. This creates a pumping action in the hand's to help the blood flow. If you need a practical demo speak to me at the pool or club session. 3.Are you using Aluminium shafted paddles, if so add extra tape to insulate the hand grips as the metal will take the heat out.

 

Next Look at minimising heat lose around the hands, as wind chill is the greater factor, I personally only use poggies when its very cold and these are home made (will tell you how to make) and usually only on my control hand, being a lefty with power dominate right as this hand has less rotation.

 

But you can make your own very easily / Simply ? as in Slaloms in the 70's we used bread bags, with a little gaffer tape to make a bag on the paddle that you can get your hand in and out very easily. Bubble wrap, and that plastic packing closed cell foam work even better. As a Motor-cyclist I used the same principle to make handle bar muffs witch worked better than the over the counter types.

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Lots of sound advice. Last time we were out I was worried the same would happen to me as it was Baltic. The Pogies did the trick and my hands ended up boiling!. If it's Raynauds it should happen when you're off the water too.

 

May you all have lovely warm hands throughout the festive period. Happy Christmas.

 

24/12/11 Pre Christmas Meal Paddle 21/12/2011

Fiona, Roy and I decided to work up an appetite before the Christmas meal and headed off to North Wales for a paddle. We went to run the Chain Bridge to Town Falls section of the Dee. We have run this river a number of times but when we got to Llangollen to check out the Town Falls Rapid it was like nothing we had seen before. The river was high and it was going to be interesting!!

As we drove to the get in something told me it might be a good idea to speak with the guys at Paddleworks Kayak Shop and get some advice! “It is very high but not quite flooding” was the response. “It will be big, bouncy and fast but if you come out of your boat it will be carnage” was the advice! Fiona rightly decided against paddling this section so it was just me and Roy. The river was big from the start with bouncy wave trains down to the first major feature – Serpents Tail. Roy rolled twice in the big water. I could do nothing but watch and smile, relieved, when he came up. The classic JJ’s play spot had turned into a series of big serious holes. One got me, the same one that snapped my paddle a few weeks ago, and sent me over. One back looped Roy but he regained his composure and we both survived! Finally Town Falls beckoned. Paper, scissors, stone determined Roy was to lead the way. However a big diagonal wave swept him off course and I was left to bounce down through Town Falls and catch the eddy at the bottom.

 

Roy appeared from the side with an impressive boof into the main flow. We picked up Fiona who was waiting with her boat at the Ponsonby Arms Car park to carry on down to Trevor Rocks. This section takes around 2 hours with some gentle rapids but mainly flat water and paddling hard. Today we floated down with barely a stroke in around 1 hour as the flow was so continuous!! Fiona also took the chance to practice her moving water roll.

 

It was a great experience and gave me a real insight into the changing nature of a river based on the volume of water it has in it.

 

Andy

 

By the way the Christmas Dinner at the Marina was also great. It was well attended with lots of familiar faces. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and a few people made the most of the carvery but they will remain nameless!

 

23/12/11 Christmas Meal and Social at the Marina Wednesday 21st December.



Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

 

More photos of the social…………


Paddle Rolling

 

 

 

 

 

Paddler

Kayak

Rolls achieved

Dave Reynolds

Rotobat

13

Dave Harrison

Rotobat

10

Roy McHale

Pyranha  Burn

10, 9

Andy Wrigg

Pyranha S6F

9, 10

Paul Flaherty

Pyranha Varun

9, 8

Chris Murphy

Liquid Logic Hoss

8, 8

Brian Green

Perception Arc

8

John Allerton

Jackson Fun

8

John Maddock Snr

Recoil

7

Dom Buckley

Pyranha Flow 300

4

Sarah Gille

Pyranha Karnali

4

Fiona Wrigg

Pyranha Burn

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Rolling

 

 

 

 

 

Paddler

Kayak

Rolls achieved

John Maddock Jnr

Rotobat

14, 14, 13

Roy McHale

Rotobat

8

John Maddock Jnr

Recoil

8

Andy Wrigg

Rotobat

4

23/12/11 Annual Pool Rolling Competition (Round 1)

 

Last night saw the first of the two rolling sessions at Widnes Pool and the competition was hot as usual.

 

We had two main categories hand rolling and paddle rolling and a total of 15 people joining in the fun. The largest number of entrants went in for the paddle rolling comp and the trick (which I for one couldn’t master) was to stay away from the swimming lane ropes which had a habit of getting in the way. Andy, Roy and Dave led the way with 10 rolls in thirty seconds before Dave Reynolds stepped up the plate and showed everyone how it was done with a superb 13. (I think we need to check the rule book in future to see if we should let coaches enter these comps!) Special Mention should go to Paul F who managed 9 on his first attempt despite the fact that he only recently nailed his roll.

 

 The hand rolling competition was dominated by the Maddock family with John Jnr once again killing it with 14, 14 and 13 rolls in 30 seconds from his three attempts. Tied for second were John Snr and Roy Mc who both managed 8 each in the Rotobat with a Gallant Andy W bringing up the rear with 4.

 

Other shout outs go to Fiona W who dominated the field in the Eskimo rescue category with 1, (lets have some more people join in this next week!) and Dave R and myself who tied for equal first in the swim category!

 

Chris Murphy    More photos……

 

Round 2 is next week (Thursday 29th December)  Click to book a place…….

 

 

 

18/12/11 Two new books about the club in paperback published on Lulu.com Titled “Liverpool Canoe Club 2010” Launching on Amazon soon  Click for More.....

 

Liverpool Canoe Club 2010 Liverpool Canoe Club 2010 (Full Colour)(Full Colour)

By Paul Harwood

.....

Paperback, 160 pages

 

 

£28.99

Ships in 3–5 business days

This book is a collection of articles and stories written by Liverpool Canoe Club members about their exploits and ventures in 2010. This includes many journeys and paddles in and around Merseyside together with regular trips to Wales, Lake District and Scotland. The club also undertook several major expeditions to the French Alps and Alaska in 2010. The Club is based in the centre of Liverpool and enjoys use of the facilities at Liverpool Marina with access to Albert Dock. We are one of the most active clubs in the country with over a 150 trips and paddles a year.

Liverpool Canoe Club 2010 Liverpool Canoe Club 2010 (Black & White)(Black & White)

By Paul Harwood

.....

Paperback, 160 pages

 

 

£9.99

Ships in 3–5 business days

This book is a collection of articles and stories written by Liverpool Canoe Club members about their exploits and ventures in 2010. This includes many journeys and paddles in and around Merseyside together with regular trips to Wales, Lake District and Scotland. The club also undertook several major expeditions to the French Alps and Alaska in 2010. The Club is based in the centre of Liverpool and enjoys use of the facilities at Liverpool Marina with access to Albert Dock. We are one of the most active clubs in the country with over a 150 trips and paddles a year.



17/12/11 ‘Slalom Canoeing - The Olympic Dream’. Dr Hugh Mantle OBE (GB Coach & Psychologist)


Mondays talk was extremely interesting.  Hugh`s friendly but engaging style was inspirational.  He talked about the history of the Olympic Games, and then the introduction of Slalom back in 1972 at Augsburg.  Slalom canoeing made its Olympic debut in 1972 in Augsburg, W. Germany. It was not seen again until 1992 in Seu d'Urgell as part of the Barcelona games. Since then, slalom paddling has been a regular at the Olympics.

List of Olympic locations:

·                    1972: Augsburg, W. Germany

·                    1992: La Seu d'Urgell, Spain

·                    1996: Ocoee River, U.S.A.

·                    2000: Penrith, Australia

·                    2004: Athens, Greece

·                    2008: Shunyi, China

·                    2012: Lee Valley, England

 

We have a number of key talks planned for the winter season.  Most are totally free.

10th January 2012 7:30pm Start
"A Norse Odyssey In Black Magic" Sailing to Norway - Dave & Jeanette Hardy for LYC

File:Kanuslalom.jpg30th January 2012
Fast Waters, Still Moments: A multimedia lecture by Deb Pinniger (Twice World Freestyle Champion)

12th March 2012
Climbing Mount Denali (Mt. Mckinley) 2011 Expedition - Michael Alexander

16th April 2012
Circumnavigation of Jura - Club trip - Frankie Annan and the team

14th May 2012
'What sailing boats do to canoeists and why.' - Adrian Mould

For more information and to reserve a seat 
http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/talks/

 

 

09/12/11 River Mint & River Kent Sunday 4th December

Justin advertised this trip as a grade 3-4 white water paddle in North Wales but due to the low water levels in Wales it was decided at the last minute to go to the Lakes and after a bit of a discussion on what river we were paddling we decided to run the River Mint down to where it converges with the River Kent then continue down the Kent through Kendal town and eventually to the get out just below Force Falls in total a trip of approximately 14 km. Stu Toulson and I met Justin and Ben mason at the Charnock Richard services and headed up to Kendal where we arranged to meet Darren, Sven and Tom. By the time the shuttle run had been sorted out and we all got on the river ready for the off it was about 11.30am. I had run both rivers recently and because of this I was nominated to lead the group down.

 

The River Mint is classed as a grade 3-4 river and UK rivers guide book says its best after recent rain. When I’d run it earlier in the year it was after heavy rain, the river was very  high and it was committing run, today though the river was a lot lower which made for an easier paddle. The main hazards are overhanging trees and a river wide weir approx halfway down that has a big tow back and needs portaging. Not long after the weir you come to a rapid called “Meal Bank”. The river here is split into two channels in high water the right hand channel looks nasty and the left hand channel has a hole that can back loop you but today with lower water both channels looked fine, we all chose the left hand channel and all made it successfully. The next main feature we encountered was a long pretty steep boulder garden type rapid that lies just after a pipe bridge this rapid was good fun and again everyone made it with no problems. The river then becomes quite flat as you follow it to the confluence with the Kent.

 

The River Kent is quite flat as it flows through Kendal and apart from a few man made weirs that could be tricky in high water there are no major hazards. There are also a few small play waves to surf on in this section but on this trip we really needed to push on as the light seemed to be fading and we didn’t want it to go dark before we’d finished. It took around 45 minutes of hard paddling to get to Natland Bridge and the start of the Kent Gorge. The gorge starts with a rapid that can push you into the undercut wall of the gorge if you’re not careful we all run this quite well apart from Stu who took a little swim (sorry Stu it would of been rude not to mention it) while Stu was empting his boat a few of us stretched our legs and got the circulation going again before moving on down to a long grade 4 rapid that was big and bouncy and lots of fun. I didn’t take the best line down this rapid and had to pull a couple of rolls, the rest of the group made it down unscathed. If any of us had swam here I’m sure we’d of been ok because the Kendal mountain rescue team were on a Swift Water Rescue Course below the rapid and I’d like to think they would of come to our aid. 

 

After chatting to one of the rescue team for a bit we continued paddling down until we had to portage a river wide weir with a big tow back. Once back on the river the fun began first you go down a rapid that tries to push you into the overhanging gorge wall we all ran this successfully. Next is L shape weir which looks pretty hairy but we all ran it extreme left with no problems finally there  is force falls to contend with. Force falls is approx a 3 meter drop which looks quite scary. Following a group discussion of which was the best line to take I went first. I followed a green tongue of fast flowing water straight down into the hole at the bottom which promptly capsized me and made me roll; Ben and Stu followed me and took the same line both had to roll too. Then Darren, Tom and Sven came down on a line slightly to the left of the one we had taken, all of them made it without having to roll. Last but not least was Justin who took the same line as I had he capsized and attempted one roll before pulling his deck and going for a swim. Between us we got Justin and his boat to the other bank which was the get out we were all in good spirits after completing this long run and made our way up a steep incline and climbed over a wall to the road where the car was parked. I had been up on the road for a minute or so talking to a couple of other paddlers when I heard a faint cry for help I looked back over the wall to see Justin forlornly stood on the bank whilst his boat carried on down the river without him “Chaps, it slipped from under my leg” was his later excuse for this mistake.  Both Sven and I gave chase along the river bank while Darren had to get back into his boat and chase on the water between us we managed to rescue the boat a couple of hundred yards down river just as Justin came floating around the bend confirming that his new dry suit actually kept him dry. Someone mentioned this should be an early contender for the swimmer of the year award.

It took around 30mins to complete the shuttle and get everyone changed and all the boats on the roof racks ready to go by then it was pitch black and we had to use torches to make sure no gear had been left. Everyone in the group agreed that even though the paddle had been long and it was quite cold it had been a great day.

Roy McHale

08/12/11 Llandudno - Surfing the waves, battling the wind, and Christmas dinner.

 
On Sunday, Steve Rose, Mike Burrows and I set off for some surf in Llandudno. During the hour and a half drive Mike just didn;t stop going on and on and on anout McDonalds. "I'm hungry."
 
When we finally arrived at McDonalds in Llandudno we found that Karl, and Daz were on their forth meal. And to make matters worse they had eaten all the cakes. I am quite partial to cakes as Karl knows full well from our last trip to Hilbre Island, and the greedy so and so had eaten the lot.
 
Mike treated Steve and I to a bacon butty whilst treating himself to 7 egg McMuffins. This later showed to be a problem.
 
On arriving at the beach, Mike was struggling to carry his boat to the sea with all that food in his belly, so Daz attached a tow rope to the boat and carried his own and dragged Mikes boat to the sea. Mike is always getting towed and hates it when we mention it. I was also struggling to fit in my surf kayak with my drysuit on. This was due to all the layers, no other reason.
 
The wind was blowing about 60moh, but that wasn't going to stop the hardcore group of Paul, Steve, Karl, Daz and Mike. We had left everyone on the beach to show them how hard we were.
As we got in our boats, Mike, who had earlier eaten 7 McMuffins split his new dry pants all the way round from his belly to his back. See I said earlier it would be a problem!
 
After around half an hour we got to the surf zone. The waves were monstrous. They were at least 20 feet high, and we were showing the chickens at the side how good we were. We all tried a few practice rolls to show that the cold was no problem and after about 2 hours we went back to the beach for some refreshments.
It was around this point that I was showing Mike how to surf backwards when I flipped and got my head and shoulders stuck on the sand floor of the sea in 2 foot of water. I was stuck, after about 6 attempts to get back up Mike Burrows aka The Sick Maker came to me and tried to rescue me. I got a huge mouthful of water, bailed and threw up. Another one there Mike!
 
 We got back in the boat to see Karl and Daz flapping about in the water. Daz was paddling like a lunatic with his feet straddling the boat with his backside stuck fast, and Karl was paddling himself on his back with his boat blowing away from him in the wind. I went to attack him with my paddles of water but he turned and rugby tackled me out of the boat. Next came Steve, who subsequently got high tackled out of his boat by Daz and Karl, Mike swam in 6 inches of water and filled his dry suit up from the huge hole in his crotch.
 
After a quick snack, We were back in. More paddlers turned up but decided not to venture out into the crazy conditions. Our hardcore group surfed for another hour before all dragging each other out of our boats as payback.
 
Later we all met up with the spectators and the group who did paddle on the Dee in the West Coast Cafe for a cracking meal. I ate loads of sprouts, so here I am, warm at home, writing this, battling the wind.
 
Paul Harwood

 

 

05/12/11 Christmas Paddle and Lunch at Llandudno Sunday 4th December 2011

 

Having studied the weather patterns over the proceeding weeks, it didn’t look good, high winds, gigantic seas, rain and cold being the content of every weather bulletin over the previous week; it looked like the Xmas paddle anyway, was going to be a flop. That was, until Brian rallied the troops with his sterling idea of two options. Option 1, to heads for West Shore for some surfing and option 2, to meet at Sandy Lane for a good paddle on the Dee then all meet up for lunch at West Shore. The day had been saved.

 

With rain showers being driven by a cold westerly wind howling at 26 to 33 knots onto the shore and breakers rolling over the banks the LLC members arrived at the meeting point, some keen to get their boats into the water, some keen to leave them on their cars and some forgetting to bring their boats in the first place. Gathering to consider the options and we divided into three camps, those daft enough to go swimming, those brave enough to risk being picked up and hurled into the sea while walking around the Orme and those eager to search out the Sunday papers and suffer the warmth of a cafe for the duration.

 

Those heading for the water quickly changed and made for the water’s edge with a variety of boats, soon a group were powering out toward the surf. Four of us followed on behind, some considerable distance behind as we seemed to be pinned to the shore by the wind but eventually we made it out across the channel and into the surf zone and passing Brian going back in (saying something about having to peel potatoes).  After an hour of fighting the wind and Steve and Don going for a swim while Caz practiced her rescue skills and Pete considered the idea of claiming salvage after rescuing Dons boat, our group headed for shore while the others stayed out in the breaking surf over the banks. Very near the bottom of the tide, the main group eventually headed in for refreshments, giving those on shore and interesting if not hilarious insight into re-entering your kayak or not, to cross a deep channel having crossing a dried out sandbank. There was the get-back-in method, the lie-on-top method and the paddle-without the boat method, all with copious quantities of laughter. Later further members took to the water to build up their appetites.

 

Eventually, the Dee group arrived after having a great days paddle and avoiding the worst to the wind and we gathered at the cafe for an excellent meal. In total 34 of us sat down and enjoyed a late afternoon of good banter and enjoyable food (thanks to the attentive staff) to make the whole day a memorable one for all. Nice one Brian.

 

Steve Gille  More Photos……

 

 

05/12/11 Surfing at Trearddur Bay

This the link to a cracking little video, filmed and edited by Jim Krawiecki.

 

It was shot at Trearddur Bay on Sunday 27th November and captures just how good the surf was that followed the previous night’s storm.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj7sN1NHU44

 

Brian Green



01/12/11 River Crake Saturday 26th November (PM)

 

After completing Saturday mornings paddle on the River Leven we were all eager to do something else so after a discussion whether it would be the Crake or Kent it was decided that we were going to do The River Crake. After strapping our boats to the cars and eating a bit of lunch we set off still in our damp paddling gear and headed over to Coniston Water and the get in.

During our drive across the Lakeland weather closed in and it became overcast and chilly but we didn’t care because we were nice and warm with the heaters on full blast, as you can imagine we were freezing when we got out of the cars and had to untie the boats and carry them down to the lake I heard a few people question “why do we kayak?”  Luckily though the paddle across the lake soon warmed us up and by the time we got to the start of the river we were ready to go.

 

When we got to the River we split into 3 groups.  I was with Kirk, Mike Alexandra and Sarah Gille We gave Ian’s group a head start before following them on down whilst the third group followed on behind. The river itself was quite narrow and fast flowing with nice little rapids every so often and for the majority of the section that we paddled it winds through farmland inhabited by grazing sheep for some reason some of these sheep had been sprayed different colours? A couple even resembled Fiona’s Burn.

Kirk and I took turns in leading the group down the river where the major hazard is overhanging trees and good eddy hopping and ferry gliding skills are needed to avoid getting entangled in the unforgiving branches the group did well and apart from a couple of small swims we didn’t have any major incidents. An extremely low footbridge lower down the river though caused a few scares as you had to either go face down on your deck  or limbo to avoid it I chose the former strategy and it worked quite well. 

 

You can run this river all the way to the sea but on this occasion we got out at Spark bridge immediately upstream from the get out though is probably the most exciting feature which is a continuous grade 3 rapid called Bobbins Mill Rapid. You can’t easily inspect this feature from the river bank because its private land so you need to read and run it which just adds to the excitement. I’m glad to say that all 3 groups ran the rapid without incident and everyone was in high spirits at the get out.

 

We had a good laugh on the river and I’d like to thank my fellow paddlers Kirk, Mike and Sarah for making it a fun and enjoyable trip.

In conclusion a great little river that’s ideal for honing your river running skills.

Roy McHale

 

 

30/11/11 River Leven – Saturday 26th November

 

After a rather late and noisy night at the bunk house 18 LCC paddlers got up bright and early and met in the Bunk house dining room for breakfast. After much debate and looking at water levels on the internet, we decided to run The Leven. The Leven is a great river which is pretty much always runable even in low water as it is fed by Lake Windermere.  When we arrived at the river we decided to scout out some of the more tricky parts of the river to see if they were suitable for the group. First, we looked at Backbarrow Bridge, which was really high and rather scary looking!!! At this point most of us became very nervous. We then inspected the get out above the ‘death’ weir just after Backbarrow Bridge.  At this point a friendly face in the form of Ade who paddled with us in the Alps came through Backbarrow bridge with 3 of his ‘wouldn’t get out of bed for less than grade 5 mates.’ 3 paddlers ended up rolling and 1 made it through successfully. At this point the decision was taken that we would just run the upper section and leave the lower part for some time far, far in the future!!!!

We eventually arrived at our get in and immediately found a wave to play on. Some of us practised ferry gliding, breaking in and out whilst others battled for control of the wave. We split into 3 groups and were off. The first feature we came across was a slide between two brick walls, ran by all with no problems. Straight after this was probably the largest drop on the section we ran. A few swims later we carried on! The river was wide and open and provided lots of opportunity to practice our white water skills. There are lots of great play waves, even some friendly ones that less confident paddlers could enjoy. I learnt how to drop onto a wave backwards and pretend I knew what I was doing. Many waves later we got to the get out with everyone’s confidence levels high. We therefore decided to go straight to the Crake and continue our Lakes paddling adventure!

 

Fiona Wrigg  More Photos….


30/11/11 Storms & Surf - Anglesey Sun 27th Nov.

 

A last minute dash over to Anglesey on Saturday evening to catch up with some friends at the White Eagle meant I was still there on Sunday morning to enjoy the excellent surf that the previous night’s storm had produced.

 

However, although Sunday morning had dawned bright we were immediately saddened upon hearing the tragic news on the radio of the loss of six lives at sea from the sinking of the cargo ship Swanland.

 

Reading the reports one cannot fail to be moved by the bravery of the RNLI volunteer crews that put to sea in the most awful conditions imaginable to attempt to save lives.

 

A powerful reminder that whilst many of us may enjoy playing in our toys on the smaller inshore waves and surf that these terrible storms create, that every day seafarers every where risk their lives to work in such conditions.

 

After a rather subdued breakfast we eventually headed to Trearddur Bay where we spent a few hours in the surf, looking at the weather forecast this may have been good practice perhaps for the Christmas Paddle this coming Sunday!

 

BUT before you cancel your lunch booking - don’t worry, there is a much more sheltered option of heading up the Conway Estuary if it all gets a bit too windy for our Orme trip on Sunday.

 

I’ll update you all again before the weekend.

 

Some photo’s here but loads more cracking images as usual on Will Herman’s Blog http://runswithaxes.blogspot.com/

 

Brian Green        More Photos……

29/11/11 December Newsletter Published
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