Volume 12  Issue 4

April 2012

April Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…

31/03/12 Summer Season

Our last pool session is the last Thursday in April.  All the boats will then move to the docks for the summer.  Club night paddling will be on Tuesday and Thursdays as usual.  We will run the junior club again on Tuesday evenings (parents must be present but many socialise in the coffee bar if not paddling). Canoe Polo and other sessions will be arranged via the calendar.  More information……


In May, Wednesdays will see the return of our local paddles.  Venues include;

Crosby Beach (By Coastguard Station) L23 8SY, Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD, Bridgewater Canal - Runcorn WA7 1JH, Runcorn Bridge and Tidal Narrows WA8 0DT, New Brighton Prom / Lighthouse CH45 2JS, River Alt - Switch Island to Formby, The Burrs - River Irwell - BL8 1DA, River Dee - Paddleworks LL20 8AD , Cosby to Hightown and return (Meet by Coastguard Station) L23 8SY, Leeds / Liverpool Canal Scarisbrick Arms L39 7HX, River Alt from Fazakerley, Sefton Park Lake L17 4JH, Leeds / Liverpool Canal Aintree L10 8JQ, Woolston Weir - River Mersey in Warrington WA1 4AG,  River Weaver (Runcorn Canoe Club)  .  More information……


31/03/12 Compatibility View in new versions of Internet Explorer.


31/03/12 Canoe England Go Canoeing Days Hosted by Liverpool Canoe Club (14th - 15th April 2012)

Liverpool Canoe Club is hosting the cities 3rd biggest event that day, Saturday 14th April. (The other two being the Grand National and the Liverpool Derby) but we are down all weekend from our base at the Marina.  There are lots of events on or you can choose to just try some boats from the beach area or meet other club members to plan trips or paddling.  If you have a kayak that you want fitting out with improved padding, North West Kayaks will help you with their clinic, expertise and padding.  If you are a junior club member who wants to have a go at the Easter egg hunt just email website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk to register.  If you have friends who are not in the club but would like to try paddling then they can register for one of the 4 come and try it sessions over the weekend.  Open Boat Skills Courses are also available if you would like to try the “path of the paddle” open to all interested.

Click for map of the venue………


Saturday 14th April 10:00am until 4.00pm

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

North West Kayaks with Britain`s largest Pyranha Demo Fleet

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

North West Kayaks boat fitting clinic – Bring your kayak along for expert advice on padding and fit

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

Apache Canoes Demo Boats Available to try

10:00 - 4:00pm

Click to book

Introductory Course No. 1 for Club Members - BCU 1 Star for those that complete the course.

10:00 - 12:00pm

Free for club members

Junior Club Polo

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Click to book

Come and Try it session (open to the public)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Click to book

Come and Try it session (open to the public)

10:00am - 4:00pm

Click to book

Open Canoe Skills day for club members (Coach Rosie Diver)







Sunday 15th April 10:00am until 4.00pm

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

North West Kayaks with Britain`s largest Pyranha Demo Fleet

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

North West Kayaks boat fitting clinic – Bring your kayak along for expert advice on padding and fit

10:00 - 4:00pm

Free for club members

Apache Canoes Demo Boats Available to try

10:00 - 4:00pm

Click to book

Introductory Course No. 2 for Club Members - BCU 1 Star for those that complete the course.

11:00- 13:00pm

Email for place

Junior Club Easter Egg Hunt (Free entry) Email website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

11:00- 13:00pm

Free for club members

Tour of the docks – Albert Dock and Liverpool Wheel

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Click to book

Come and Try it session (open to the public)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Click to book

Come and Try it session (open to the public)

10:00am - 4:00pm

Click to book

Open Canoe Skills day for club members (Coach Anthony Brockway)




Monday 16th April 8pm Free Presentation / Talk 2011 Mount Denali (Mt. Mckinley) Expedition click for more information….





Keith S Sat & Sunday

Andy Wrigg Sat or Sun

Rosie Diver Sat

Matt Pegram Sat & Sun

Dom Buckley Sat

Keith Scott Sat or Sun

John Pegram Sat & Sunday

Jim Slater Sat & Sunday

Anthony Brockway Sun

Frankie Annan Sun

Steve Bond

Steve Gille Sat & Sunday

Dave Reynolds


Andrew Egan Sat & Sun


Mike Burrows Sun



31/03/12 Climbing Mount Denali (Mt. Mckinley)

 A talk / presentation by Michael Alexander

Click here for more information and to book….


Monday 16th April 2012 (7:45pm for 8:00pm) at the Conference Suite - Liverpool Marina   Click for directions and map.... Our talks are open to all

Club member Michael Alexander, who ran several beginners and introductory courses for us last year, is giving his Mt Mckinley talk at the club.  I know many of you will be interested in this and will want to book a seat (free for all – click here….)


Denali (Mt Mckinley) is one of the coveted Seven Summits. The quest to reach the highest points on every continent. First achieved in 1985 by American Dick Bass, and in 1986 by Canadian Pat Morrow, and also in 1986 Austrian Reinhold Messner. To date around 275 climbers have completed the challenge (January 2010). Two variations are accepted incorporating either Puncak Jaya or Kosciuszko.

Seven Summits are:

Africa Kilimanjaro 5,895m / 19,340'
Asia Everest 8,848m / 29,029'
S America Aconcagua 6,962m / 22,841'
N America Denali 6,198m / 20,335'
Europe Elbrus 5,642m / 18,510'
Antarctica Vinson 4,892m / 16,050'
Oceania Puncak Jaya (Carstenz Pyramid) 4,884m/16,024'
or Kosciuszko 2,228m / 7,310'


Click for more talks.......


31/03/12 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.


31/03/12 St Tudwal’s Sea Paddle 25th March


The weather forecast was good, the start time reasonable, meet at 10am in Abersoch on the beach, obviously it was going to be a great Sunday paddle. Forgot about British Summertime starting, getting out of bed was a little more difficult than planned, but I arrived only 5minutes late to meet Brian, John W, Chris, Debbie and Vicky as planned.


St.Tudwal’s Islands are 2 small rocky islands about 3km south west of Abersoch, Prince Tudwal is reputed to have lived as a hermit on the east island in AD550. A short and very pleasant trip from the beach at Abersoch


The weather so was good that the dry suit and long sleeved cag were abandoned in favour of the short-sleeved top. John was possibly regretting the dry suit option before we got on the water; summer may possibly be this week!


With little wind and gorgeous sunshine we launched from the beach and planned to head off round to Porth Ceriad where the boys planned to surf, as we punched through the swell, which was bigger than expected but very enjoyable, the sight and sound of the waves crashing against the rocks was a pretty convincing argument against heading into the beach. So we turned and paddled back towards St.Tudwal’s island west, some hard paddling into the tide (really it should have been behind us) saw us progress slowly towards the island after exploring the rocky coastline and fortifying ourselves with a jelly sweet handout (once we stopped out of the biggest swell – I got a bit sea sick trying to hand out sweets at first attempt), we headed off over to St.Tudwal’s island east, and in the relative calm rafted up together for some lunch (not too much as still worried about the perfect for sea sickness conditions), Debbie ably assisted by Chris did a great job of steering the ‘raft’ whilst we lunched and chatted, then completed the trip by paddling round the east island and heading back towards Abersoch, we took a moment to have a peaceful brew on a sandy beach by Penrhyn Du before heading back to land, now at this point Brian, John and Chris had been hoping for some surf to play in, lets be honest Debbie, Vicky and I had already decided the tea shop was next on the agenda, so we weren’t disappointed when there was no surf, Brian was and so he decided to liven up the last moments of the trip by rolling, John got to do some rescue practice! He could have got away with blaming it on the Jet Ski………..


A gorgeous day out on the sea, and it was great to paddle with Debbie and Vicky for the first time (and get excited about future trips). Thanks to Brian, Chris Drew, John W, Debbie and Vicky for a lovely day out, can’t wait for next time Frankie  More Photos…..



25/03/12 Tryweryn 25/03/2012

Preparations for the upcoming Scotland trip continued as 7 LCC paddlers met up to practice their skills on the Upper Tryweryn. The plan was to concentrate on the Upper Graveyard Section where the water is fast flowing and the eddy's are endless. We sent the morning running this section and occasionally running the main Graveyard Section before carrying our boats back to start again. We then ran the whole Upper Section and went for lunch in the cafe before carrying our boats to the top again. Everyone was complaining of bad shoulders by the end! Would hate to think what it would be like to carry my boat for a whole day on an expedition walk in. I must remember to ask Roy what he thinks it would be like!!!


Everyone did very well. It amazing to think that some of the eddy's we used to fly past down the river are now easily within our grasp to hit. Particular credit must go to the girls. Helen was back on the water and soon found her mojo returning. It was Fiona's first visit just to do the upper section and she coped very well. Jenny kept saying every feature was dead scary before running it in style and with a big grin on her face.


Well done to everyone. Thanks for a great day on the water and all in glorious sunshine!!


Andy   More photos…….



Fiona, Roy, Paul, Helen, Kirk, Jenny and me!



23/03/12 Skerries Trip 17th March 2012


Are LCC sea paddlers getting a bit soft?? Is the water still a bit too cold???

Despite a club wide email only four of us gathered at Cameas Bay on Anglesey’s north coast last Saturday for what turned out to be a cracking trip out to the Skerries, a group of rocky islets lying 4km off shore from Carmel Head.

A skerry is a small rocky island, usually defined to be too small for habitation.

It may simply be a rocky reef. A skerry can also be called a low sea stack.


As well as being a fair distance from the mainland the Skerries and their famous lighthouse are surrounded by fast flowing currents and, further offshore, there are busy shipping lanes. The light marks the extreme north western tip of Wales, making it one of the most important lights of the Irish Sea.


Navigating out to the Skerries is by no means straight forward, as if you simply headed straight for them in your kayak you would very quickly be swept right past and into Holyhead Bay, and then out to sea with little chance of returning until the tide changed.


Detailed tidal planning and careful navigation is needed to plot and follow, what is essentially, a huge ferry glide.  On Saturday our navigation was put further to the test when, less than half way into our crossing, the entire skerry together with the light itself, was totally obscured by a thick bank of sea mist.  We held steady on our planned compass bearing and were soon relieved to hear the reassuring sound of the fog signal drawing closer, shortly followed by the mist clearing and our objective coming back into view, and better yet, us still on course!


As we had arrived at slack water we took the opportunity of a quick circumnavigation of the entire cluster of islets before landing for lunch and an exploration of the light and its surrounding buildings.

 Another ferry glide took us back to the Anglesey coast and just south of Carmel Head, with some very strong paddling required to make headway against the by now increasing flood tide in order to explore Ynys y Fydlyn before making our return.

Hugging the coast and assisted by the tide, we then enjoyed a very relaxed paddle back to our starting point at Cameas Bay.

Surprising Andy's GPS told us we had covered 32.5 km, must have been all the rock hopping!


Thanks to Helen S, Helen B and Andy T for their excellent company (and for having faith in my navigation).


Brian Green.               More Photos…..



20/03/12 River Irwell (Burrs Weir) and Loop


On Sunday 18th March 2012 fourteen  of LCC's finest braved the sunshine to find out just how little water was in the River Irwell. The original plan had been to run the river from Ramsbottom to the Burrs site, however, one look at the levels made it clear that this was not going to be possible!


Instead, we decided to run loops of the Burrs site, from the weir down. A majority of the group had already left for the weir by the time Jim and I were ready (we weren't faffing, we were doing important stuff!) so we decided to paddle the canal to catch up. Unfortunately, we missed the get out and had to climb out of the canal, to the amusement of the rest of the group and several passers by!


All then had a run (or two) of the large sloping weir at the top of the site, while John Maddock Snr took some great photos.


We then ran the river down to the get out, playing in every feature we could find in the low levels to practice our skills, culminating in the larger (relatively) playwave near the get out. We spent a long time playing in this wave, with only a couple of swims being taken!  


Despite the low levels, a good time was had by all.


Paddlers:  Justin Cooper, Tony Doyle , Jim Slater , Dom Buckley ,Keith S , Sarah Gille, Graham Hudson, Mike Burrows, Jenny Brown, Chris Thompson, John Maddock Jnr
John Maddock Snr, Andy Wrigg, Steve Bond   Click for More photos.....    


13/03/12  New boats and equipment for the club


The club has just purchased 5 larger cockpit kayaks to supplement our fleet.  Two are sea kayaks / touring boats (Easky `15 and Flex) both with waterproof hatches and skegs.  The  other 3 are general purpose kayaks suitable for  rivers, surf and general purpose paddling.  The boats are currently stored at the docks along with new spray decks and safety equipment.









Easky 15  SN:XJBBWFJPC111

Flex                SN:XJBB20TTXG111

Karnali - Large    SN:XJBBEPHBLL111

Z one - Large          SN:XJBBTHBUF111

G3 - Large             SN:XJBBHZBYL011



All our kayaks (including BA, paddle, spraydeck and helmet) are available for loan for club related trips and paddling weekends,  A small charge is made for wear and tear and the borrower is responsible for  their safe return.  More information and booking is made via the link on the Information page / tab.  Click here for more information……….



We have also purchased 2 bothy bags and 2 sets of split paddles.  These are available to trip leaders / coordinators free of charge. They can be booked by sending an email to equipment@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk




13/03/12  Surfing & Rockhoppping from Cable Bay to Llanddwyn Island (Sunday 11/3/12)


Brian, Chris, Mark, Helen, John W. and I met up Cable Bay at 9:30 on Sunday to do a return trip to Llanddwyn Island, having though better of Brian's rather ambitious plan to begin with a 7:00 start surfing at the Swellies.

We had a good Spring tide, combined with a max of Force 3 winds and a bit of swell, making this an ideal time for a spot of rockhopping. No sooner were we out of Cable Bay than we were into the nooks and crannies, testing our skill in timing the waves to slip through gaps in the rocks. This led to the execution of some controlled rescue practice which was useful for all of us. The waves weren't at all threatening, but just enough to add a challenge to the proceedings.


Chris spotted some waves about half a mile out to sea, so we headed out to see if there was an overfall to play on. It looked really tempting so we scouted around the edges, but noticed a big rock just below the surface which prevented a full-blown surfing session. The waves on the outskirts were still fun to glide around on.  After what seemed like ages, we made it to Aberffraw beach. This is a wide stretch of sand which was facing the incoming swell to make just the right size and shape of waves for surfing. They came in sets so it was a matter of waiting a minute, then giving a quick paddle to get on the wave...and let fate take over! It was one of those times when exhilaration mixed with adrenalin and I just couldn't stop laughing. In the end we all stopped on the beach for a while to catch our breath and have a quick rest before heading on towards Llanddwyn.


At Llanddwyn we stopped for lunch before making the return trip, still rockhopping from time to time. Mark uses Greenland paddles and he was kind enough to let me try them. Being a bit of a gearhead, I like paddles with feathered blades the size of shovels, lightweight cranked shafts, performance foam-core, carbon fibre blah, blah, blah - so I thought that the Greenland paddles would feel the opposite: There's no feather, the blades look like nothing and the paddling style is low angle. After a few tips from Mark, I had a real shock - I felt really at home with them! They felt as light as my paddle and the same amount of power can be applied to the long slim blades of the Greenland paddle as with my carbon fibre shovels. I'm a convert! Later on, Brian used them to roll and he was equally as impressed.


We returned to Cable Bay at the end of the longest trip I've done in ages. We were worn out but we'd all had a great time. Most of us met up at Frankie and John P's Jura talk the following night and we were still aching!

Thanks again to Brian for organising the trip and to everyone for making it a great trip!  More Photos……



11/03/12 Surfing Crosby. Saturday 10th March 2012

After checking the weather forecast, wind speeds, tide tables etc., it was decided that today was going to be the day for perfect waves at Crosby.

At 1215pm 14 of us turned up at the Coastguard Station for an eagerly anticipated couple of hours in the surf. As it was high tide there was plenty of slack in the sea and it was quite calm.

"Be patient," I told them. "the waves will come."

I was looking extremely cool and stylish as I had brought my white water canoe. I was very impressed when Super Dan had also brought his matching white water canoe. I thought I was the only nutter out there. Gosh, we must have looked awesome out there to the kayakers!

At about 1330 the waves finally got going, and it was great. Unfortunately, a few had left before the fun started. Firstly, Mike Burrows capsized, and took three attempts to try and roll up. He bailed out and started panicking. We all laughed when he stood up in knee deep water. A few more left soon after. It must have been the lack of size in the waves.

Patience is a virtue...

When the giant waves finally came they were massive. At least 15 feet high, and a great time was had. I finally rolled my canoe, Super Dan did it first, he thought it was so easy that he even tried to hand roll. What a show off!! He is the reigning rolling champion after all.

Karl finished the trip by ripping the grab loop off his spray deck. He panicked like mad as he was failing to roll. but fortunately this was in less than three inches of water so no harm done. Dan was 2nd in the swimmer of the day competition followed by Karl, though unfortunately I didn't get my camera out in time. I went in once......maybe twice.

Paddlers: Karl, Paul, Dan, Steve R, Steve B, Tom, Mike, Mike B, Mark, Wayne and his daughter and a few more who’s names escape me.
Spectators: Andy W
Champion Picnicker/Swimmer : Mike Burrows 10/10  More Photos…..



10/03/12 Lee Valley White Water Centre


I was passing Lee Valley White Water Course earlier today so dropped in to have a look. It’s awesome. There are two courses the 300m grade 4 Olympic and the 160m grade 3 Legacy Loop. Imagine 12 chapel falls style drops one after each other!


You have to be 3 star standard and the first time you go you have to undergo an assessment before they let you on but it looks well worth the effort. I'm thinking of having a go when I am in London next month. Anyone up for it.  More information and how to book……


“If you enjoy paddle sports, the guaranteed clean fast flowing white water at Lee Valley White Water Centre is perfect for you. Experience the thrills as you tackle Olympic standard wild rapids, drops, holes, eddies and boils on the 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course or the 160m Legacy Loop. With two pumped white water courses which use filtered water fed by an aquifer and a flat water lake the size of two football pitches, you’ll be in white water heaven!


More photos from Chris….



Chris Murphy

07/03/12 Benllech to Moelfre – Sunday 4th March

Waking up 6am, to the sound of heavy rain, the prospect of a sea paddle wasn’t particularly appealing.

After dropping and just about catching the boat during the loading procedure, I made it to meet up with John M and we were only slightly late meeting Brain, Steve and Helen in the car park at Benllech.

Still cold as we got the boats and ourselves ready but the sky was blue with white fluffy clouds and the sun was shining. The wind though was exactly as forecast, so we headed off along the coast seeking shelter from the wind towards Moelfre. Wind against tide produced some swell, which rolled under the boats and made some points of the journey more interesting.


As we took our time, conserving the strength and not testing the variety of recent injuries in the group too much, we saw another a group of paddlers heading towards us in some very pretty coloured boats.


Our first plan was to head around past Ynys Moelfre and see how far we could get, but rounding the corner the full effects of the wind were evident, so while Helen, Brian & John played for a while, Steve and I rested our recently injured limbs and stopped for lunch at Moelfre, we got just enough sun to keep most of the chill away before jumping back in the boats to try and return slowly to Benllech. We slowed down to watch Brian get out of his boat when rock hopping resulted in him beautifully placing front and back of his boat on rocks, getting out he told us doesn’t count as a taking a swim. As we attempted to paddle slowly with the wind behind us, an almost impossible task, there was still some swell and fun to be had, but Benllech appeared quickly. Perhaps John and I shouldn’t have laughed and said that is going in the write up as returning to the beach we both managed to swim whilst tackling the big wave in the surf landing!

A rather longer carry back up the beach followed and then we all headed home, after a lovely sunny winter paddle.


Thanks to Brian Green, John Maddock, Steve Bond, Helen Siertsema for a great day out.   Click for More.....