Volume 12  Issue 3

March 2012

March Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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29/02/12 New Button Polo Shirt in Club Range of Clothing

We have increased our range of club clothing again and you can purchase the new buttoned polo shirt in a range of colours with the club logo embroidered on the front.  The clothing is excellent quality and very good value.  The small profit we make on each purchase goes into the clubs funds.

Click here to see the full range at the clubs shop……


29/02/12 Next months talk is about the circumnavigation of Jura last summer – Club Trip.
As part of our monthly series of presentations, Frankie and the expedition team will be giving a talk on last summers trip to the West Coast of Scotland  Monday 12th March – 8pm at the Marina


Several days of Force 10 gales ensured that we opted for plan B.

Strong times and beautiful scenery ensured that all were kept on their toes. The trip culminated in a journey through the infamous Corryvreckan Whirlpool.   Click here to reserve a place (free) or to find out more…….


29/02/12 River Lune Trip (River Rawthey confluence to Devils Bridge)
About 24 of us met up at Devils Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale.  After changing in the car park a quick shuttle up the road to the get in saw us swiftly unload in the lay-by on the outside of a bend and a 500m carry down an old track to the river.  (Most of us did not even see the “No Canoeing” sign.


Once on the river we split up into four groups of 6, each with a leader and second.  This large and relatively easy river gave us plenty of opportunity to hone our river skills.  The occasional grade 2 with large eddies meant that we could break in and out easily.  We stopped just after the old iron Ringmaden Bridge on a small gravel bank.  The 4th group eventually arrived after having swapped boats and paddlers many times.  (You really do need to have a kayak that is both big enough and has enough volume for moving water!)


The final stretch down to the ledges was interesting enough and passed very smoothly.  It was here that it all went horribly wrong (for some!).  Ben, a student from Lancaster had paddled with Ian in his open canoe and wanted to do some research work with some of our paddlers.  He was looking at decision making and which routes people take down rapids.  This caused a few paddlers some problems as they were challenged with route choice and a short time frame.  At the same time Alan decided to take a swim while attempting a breakout higher up; he must remember to tie in his Peli Case in future as it had his car keys in it. 

While this was all happening Roy was desperately trying to be nominated for paddler of the year again.  He capsized in the smallest of waves whilst playing but then attempted to roll three times, each time almost getting himself to the surface!  I remember his forlorn final glance in my direction on the third attempt and both of us knew he was going to bale.  More practice is required at the pool Roy!  Fortunately I have the photos to help analyse Roy’s problem.  Look carefully at his hand position, desperately trying to extend the length of his paddle to lever his mighty weight out of the water with the other end way deep – oh dear!.  


More Photos……….


29/02/12 Canoe Polo (Division 3 and 4)
Last Saturday both our canoe polo teams were playing in their respective leagues.  Our A team struggled a little at York with some injuries and key players being absent.  We lost all but one of our games but still managed to finish 4th for the season. (Table opposite)


Dinny D, Theo G, Phil H , Joe B, Keith S, Dave C and Chris B.  Many thanks to Katie for running the table and supporting us this season.


Our B team was playing in Division 4 in Derby.  Their tournament was a little more successful .


They won two, 2-0 & 5-1, drew one,3-3, and lost one 7-0.

“It was a good tournament with a big warm up pool that was used as a mini murder ball pitch. Pushing each other and rugby tackling. I don't know what the other teams thought”.


Paul, Daz, Pete, Tom, Will, and Josh.


If you are interested in playing canoe polo we have a fleet of boats stored at the docks and would welcome new players.  Please contact any of us or click on the link for polo emails.



29/02/12 On The Bonny Bonny Banks ...


When buds are bursting in Scotland and even the daffodils are blossoming, it’s time to admit that the winter has past and, even at the end of February, just using cold, wet and dark as an excuse not to go paddling no longer rubs. That’s the theory anyway but when eight LCC members poked their heads out of their tents on Saturday morning, in the Ardlui Campsite at the head of Loch Lomond, it was slightly damp and grey to say the least and the sharp wind didn’t help matters either.


By the time we got on the water in the shelter of the village of Luss everyone had cheered up and was looking forward to the short paddle out to the island where we were to camp on Saturday night. Once we had padded away from the sheltered bays it wasn’t long before we were once more engulfed by that sharp wind blowing out of the North West. With laden boats, some with gear strapped to their decks, it was fun catching the occasional wave and even surfing for a while towards our intended landing beach.


We quickly pitched our tents and were off paddling once more with a bit of lunch inside us. Steve Bond, AKA, Mr Motivator, soon had us circumnavigating every island in sight and fortunately, the mist rolled in from time to time, obscuring the more distant reaches of the loch. After about 10 klicks, some of them pushing against white horses in the f5 winds, we headed back to our island paradise for a couple of hours comparing gear and kayak packing technique. In much the same way that Coniston’s Peel Island is a great spot to practice your kayak/camping skills, so too is Loch Lomond but with the added advantage that there are far more islands to explore and a much bigger expanse of water to paddle round.


Despite all of the hi-tech stoves that were dragged from the depths of the various kayaks, it was a roaring fire that gave us warmth well into the night and the baked spuds and baked bramleys with demerara were a treat that helped soak up the wee drams that were handed around. Everyone tried to outdo the next person by taking low light pictures of the distant loom of the Dumbarton street lights reflecting off the moody skies. When the final embers could no longer be revived by wafting around Chris’s leather bushwhacker hat, we all went to our tents stinking of wood smoke but happy!


The next morning dawned grey once again but the wind had dropped a notch and was now in the South West. After a quick breakfast and a big clean up of the camping area we headed off upwind to claim even more islands. Some of the waves we paddled through would not have looked out of place on the sea and after a while we turned a headland and began to surf again down the other side of yet another island. Steve took us so far downwind, chasing island after island, that we all knew we had to pay for the free ride somehow. Sure enough, when it was time to turn for home and paddle back to Luss and our cars, we had a fairly exposed paddle to deal with across a few kilometres of waves breaking occasionally on our beam. All great fun which gave us all confidence about handling laden boats in these sort of conditions.

Stopping for fuel on the way home, I could see the garage attendant sniffing the air and looking slightly alarmed. There was a smell of something burning – I think it was us. Next time I will try to remember not to stand downwind of the campfire!


A fun paddle with great company in early Scottish Spring weather.


More Photos……..


Steve Bond, Chris Fletcher, Tony Benett, Nicolas Erickson, Phil Fawcet, Pete Thomas, Carole Thomas, John Pegram


29/02/12 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.



20/02/12 Liverpool Canoe Club Ski Trip to Chamonix


Dear Andy, Fiona, Dom, Dom, Don, Keith, Sara, Helen, Mike and Ian,

It dawned on me as I travelled down the M20, in the Audi A6 executive estate, that I wouldn't have chance to say a proper goodbye to you all!! I also realised that the car was particularly more comfortable than 3 big blokes in the back of a Corsa with 30 tonnes worth of ski gear, and also better than nearly losing both feet to frost bite on the mini bus! However, I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for a lovely weeks skiing and that I felt lucky to have met such a great bunch of people.

Some of the highlights of the week for me:
- the dome of death (mike - hope there is no damage done?)
- when playing the reverse word game "wrong screwdriver" from Dom Jr (ans. Wright-Phillips!!)
- Off-piste Andy Wrigg - classic fall of the week
- Salmon to the spinach (browned)
- the sperm whale and other snoring
- Helen’s drunk friend on the first night
- King of the Mountain dominos (me off course!!)
- Mike, Dom jr, Andy and me as the off pistey boys!
- the Wrigg's offering to fight everyone in Chamonix!! (come on then!!)
Good times!
Love to see you all again sometime, and since I've come home with Helen's skis and not mine, it might be sooner than I first thought!!!
Best wishes to you all, and sorry I missed the goodbye!

Steve Rich      

Just to say thanks to you all for a fantastic holiday, great laughs and adventures!;-) Big thanks to the mighty drivers who powered through got us home safe and sound you did amazingly.


Lots of great memories both on and off piste! - similar to Steve's - but a few to add on


  • Dom Jr's brave-hearted approach to a bloodied face on an off piste adventure!
  • The lovely food -especially food a la Mike and Dom and cheese mmmmm
  • The deck chairs with a shandy in prime position to watch Mike on dome of death...thank god he is flexible!
  • 'Yeah you will be fine it's a nice and wide Black Run......"
  • Ian Bell's incredible comprehensive knowledge of 'Hear Say'!!!
  • The longest celebrity name game on the way back where we had to resort to Bible members! (started by Fiona;-)


no rush on the skis- i don't think i will be skiing until next year now;-( Definitely investing in some dominoes


See you all soon hopefully, Take Care  Love Hel.xxx   More Photos…….


Full report to follow………..


Mark produced a receipt for car repairs upon arrival to prove his absence from the previous days Conway trip was genuine but Pete confirmed it was a fake. Fourteen paddlers with all their gear arrived in time for the epic journey to Hilbre Island......well nearly all their gear as Kathy W had forgotten her wet boots and had to make the trip in a lovely pair of high heels.


Pete as usual questioned our timing and the late arrival of the tide but its delay was planned so as to have plenty of time for our morning pre-brief and discuss paddling skills within the fog. The discussion was cut short the moment water touched the slipway as Steve Bond ran and insisted Kathy Morton help carry his boat ankle deep into the muddy shore so he could be first on the water. "i'm always first on the water" he insisted to Kathy who called him "an evil little s***".


We decided to stay close to shore and take a short cut across Tanskey rocks to keep land in sight due to the approaching mist and the water was totally flat calm with a lack of wind. In less than one hour we arrived at the main island and most paddlers went around the far side to play in the rolling waves. It was asked why do we always go round the island clockwise and not the other way of which Steve had the answer that "the phase of the moon and the tidal directions..........blah, blah, blah................and its because that's where we start from !" came the reply.



A few seals watched as we ate our lunch on the island and were shocked to see a lack of cakes to share or chocolate within the group. Dave had us all enthralled with his paddling stories and predictions of how many races he would win again this year as Peter and Mark explored the area like SAS soldiers climbing up the rock face only to pose at the top for photo's.

On the return journey the clouds parted and blue skies followed us all the way back to the slipway and all paddlers stepped foot onto hard ground and the only mud to be seen was on Kathy's boots.


Another great LCC group paddle with great company. Please let Dave Lynch know that there was NO MUD on this trip.  More Photos….


karl Tattum

Paddlers were :- Nick Erickson, Dave Blake, Peter Massey, Pete & Carole Thomas. Steve Gille, Kathy Morton, Kathy W, Steve Bond, Helen Partridge, Martin H, Rob P, Karl T & Mark Moore.




19/02/12  Conway Estuary -  Saturday 11th Feb

Well it all started at the River Goyt loop when 49 paddlers managed to slip around in the mud to enjoy the days kayaking and it was there that a few members insisted that the next paddle should be mud free. I knew tides would permit a journey to Hilbre island the weekend of 11th & 12th so I suggested that this may be the next trip but after calling the local coastguard mud rescue unit last time I couldn't guarantee no mud. Not only did i have mud to contend with at the Goyt but i also had Mark Moore and Dave Lynch whinging and moaning all the way through the journey.


"OK Ok" i said "lets do Hilbre on the 12th" but Dave wanted to go to Conway and Mark moaned about his work shifts so to please them both we organised a Conway trip on Saturday 11th and Hilbre Island on Sunday 12th.


Dave attracted 21 paddlers to the Conway with his promise of 'no mud'. A group from Salfords Oakdene youth club also joined us but Dave soon set about spoiling their day as he directed the group to carry his boat to the slipway and ordered "fetch me some tea".  "Make sure every-ones name is on the list Karl" he asked in his strictest tone as he thrust pen and paper into my hands. "Yes Sir" I answered as I saluted him and thought i better not get this wrong so i proceeded to check the names twice only to be told that i had missed six people from a passing boat and one man walking his dog. At precisely 1115hrs the command was given to get ready as the quick safety brief was about to start. Something along the lines of "I only want to say this once.........i don't care what happens as long as i have fun" of which i read to mean do as you're told and don't answer back. Then Steve Bond said as part of the mornings brief "i only want to say this once .....i repeat.......blah, blah ,blah exactly what Dave just said". Mark Moore rang to say he couldn't make it as he had car trouble (scared of the cold more like it).


Straight into the action through the moored boats which seem like they are being driven at speed towards you and under the bridge past Conway castle and the start of a seventeen and a half mile journey began although a bit chilly. Techniques were exchanged and future journeys planned on route. At high tide we stopped for lunch after a climb up a mud less bank to find a grass verge...................... covered in s**t. Well at least it’s not mud I thought.


The return journey with the tide saw us back in record time although Nick moaned all the way home "are we there yet" "are we there yet". "Yes just around the next corner" i replied every other mile. Once we were under the Conway castle bridge Andy Trowler disappeared and Nick and I searched the full marina to find him queueing at the local chip shop. As we landed at the return our feet sank into the bank but Dave insisted "its soft sand not mud" but i know mud when i see it and recently it seems to be on every trip.

This is one of the best journeys to take in a kayak or Canoe whether winter or summer but today was extra special as we were led by Dave Lynch who timed the journey and tides to perfection to complete a great day. Cheers Dave.


Karl Tattum.  paddlers were :- Nick Erickson, Carole Thomas, Pete Thomas, Steve Gille, Chris Fletcher, Tony Bennet, Dermot Miller, Dave Lynch, Andy Trowler, Steve Bond, John worswick , Karl Tattum plus nine from Salfords Oakdene youth club.


p.s. Guaranteed 'NO MUD' for Sundays paddle to Hilbre Island.  More Photos…..



01/02/12  Division 4 polo – Stockport

On Saturday, the B team was joined by new player Josh Cook. The team consisted of Paul, Pete, Darren, Tom, Will and Josh. We had all been to Decathlon earlier to buy new red lycra tops so we would all look extra smart all in red, instead of the usual multi-coloured ensemble of previous tournaments. All except Josh, who refused point blank to wear red. We even had to change the colours of our buoyancy aids to suit him to blue.

As veterans (over 25!), we didn't warm up for our first match and never really got into our stride. We only drew this game but should have hammered the opposition. The second game was against promotion favourites, the Welsh Warriors. Although our passing and defending was getting better we got battered! The third game we won comfortably. Our passing was good switching from side to side, but when teams counter attack we just react far too late. The forth game should have been easy for us but the counter attack foiled us again. and we lost. We only had 4 games this week, but we found that as a team we are definitely improving. I need to work on my fitness amongst other things. Who would have thought 10 minutes polo was so knackering?

Played 4. Won 1. Drew 1. Lost 2.

The next Tournament is in a months time, and hopefully with a bit more training we will win a few more.

Paul, Daz, Pete, Tom, Will, and Josh.  More Photos……..




01/02/12  Fast Waters, Still Moments”:  A multimedia lecture by Deb Pinniger (Twice World Freestyle Champion) 30th January 2012


Thank you to all the members who turned up to hear Debs speak on Monday night.  It was a great turn-out and our club is getting great feedback around the country with all its activities.


Debbie had driven up from Bristol earlier that day to give her talk on a recent expedition on the Zanskar and Tsarap Chu Rivers in the Indian Himalaya.  She had taken a group of youngsters out to kayak in the area in the weeks before staying on to paddle with 6 friends.  She had a number of stunning black and white shots of the area which were mostly portraits of the people they met. This fitted in with her interest in Anthropology which she is currently studying at Bristol. 

A short film was then shown detailing the two trips through some enormous water and a variety of landscapes.  After taking a series of questions from the floor we persuaded her to show pictures of two other trips to central Africa.  The Zambezi waves looked enormous and some of the promotional shots of board surfers on the massive barrel wave on number 9 rapid took several days to capture. 


The second expedition looked a desperate affair on the Ogooué (or Ogowe) river which drains most of the Gabon.  A multi day paddle along a largely unknown river with dense forest to most of its banks with a number of dead-end cataracts which needed back tracking.

Although quiet speaking it was clear the Debbie is highly knowledgeable and a very accomplished paddler.  She was happy to chat to us in the bar afterwards and offered to give anyone advice or information on any of the many rivers she has paddled.

Click for more talks and visiting speakers this year……..

31/01/12 February 2012 Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link February Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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