Volume 12  Issue 8

August 2012

August Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


31/07/12 Fun and games in the Swellies  -  in a north easterly gale....

Here it is....

The trip was advertised as Ormes Heavy boats, 22km. So in the list of retractions. It was the Menai Straits, Day weight boats and only 16 km.  So there we were, Llanduno bay 10 am and it did not require binoculars to see the sea off the Orme nibbling the horizon. So after a brew and a vote we wandered off in the direction of Beaumaris where we parked at Gallows point so we could have a 200 metre portage over shingle and mud. Never let it be said LCC spend money on parking when they can incorporate a pre paddle workout in the day.


So there we were, a fantastic tail wind all ready blowing strongly for the return trip. So all that was required was a bit of clawing to windward. A good bit of clawing to windward. We began by playing the zombie game, don't look back or you'll turn over.  To which was added the Olympic cycling breakaway game. 

We re-assembled at Telfords bridge for photos and pretended to be a well organised group as we passed some other paddling groups hiding from the wind.  Lunch was taken on an inter tidal island in the Swellies. In such fantastic natural surroundings with nature putting a spark of sun on the water and dappling the trees, it was only natural that conversation turned to specialist kit, cameras and shopping.   Fortified with coffee and sausage butties we took a gentle pootle against the young flood tide.  This gentle pootle did not get us very far so it was full indigestion mode and eddy hopping South-westwards to Britannia Bridge.


Only about half the party had enough post preamble oomph to make it to the bridge, so the rest played hide and seek with me as I tried cat herding around Ynys Gored Goch. After much lapping and ferry gliding we re grouped and played in the rapids on the young flood tide.  Group order was restored, probably by the proximity of a few power boats and we drifted along in very close order under the Telford bridge in holiday mode.  Holiday mode was disturbed by some rolling, some re-entry rolling and some turning around in the boats and some rescue practice. Followed by some towing and towline faffing.


Meanwhile, there had been another breakaway in the direction of local wildlife. A Gazelle had been sited and it did not move a millimetre as Vicky and Kirk approached.

The gastro pubs around here can be rough*, so we all landed and joined them for a pint just in case they got marooned. I got a bit wet as the wind blew the top off Brian’s pint several times.


But it's an ill wind that blows no good, and the Guinness froth on the salty face crust proved an effective balm.   A gentle surf back to Gallows point brought the trip towards a climax of Peppered and Balsamic Vinegar Ice creams for the adventurous. 
Me? I stuck to chocolate orange.... 
The Magnificent 8 were Pete and Carole, Vicky, Helen, Steve, Brian, Kirk and myself.  (Ade Mould)          More Photos………


*in a north easterly gale....


28/07/12 Do you receive all the latest information about the club?

The club uses google groups email and message boards to communicate with members.  You now have to sign-up for theses services yourselves.  If you are not receiving regular emails about paddles, events or club sessions click the links below to add your email address.  (This is especially appropriate for new members or those who have recently changed their email address.)

Club emails and Messaging System *** Received the latest info ?


28/07/12 July Photo of the Month Competition



Liverpool Canoe Club July Photo Competition winners

Congratulations to Carole Thomas for her winning photo

from the Menai Straits paddle to Puffin Island . 

“Pete and John carrying a sea kayak over the pebbles.”



Runner up Keith Steer:

Roman Bridge on the Ubaye Race Course”


Runner up Mike Alter:

“Canoe on the River Dee - Corwen”


Not found your photograph ? – see all the entries for this month………..



27/07/12 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.



27/07/12 The Club Alpine paddling holiday 2012   (Part One) 20th July to 5th August



Minibus - 14 days


Medical Form







Keith Steer

Burn M








Stuart Toulson

Jeff M








Kurt Toulson









Helen Siertsema

Burn M








Dom Buckley

liquid logic stomper








Michael Buckley

liquid logic remix  M








Anthony Vaccaro

Pyranha Creek M








Sarah Gille

Karnali L








Roy McHale

Burn M








Kathryn Wilson

Burn S








Mark Garrod

Nomad M








Paul Flaherty

Burn S







We hired a newish minibus from Nationwide and it was delivered exactly on time.  The LCF trailer was then picked up from Oldham.  The group then met in Formby to load up the trailer.  With the move towards more Creek boats space in the trailer was at a premium (we need more playboaters on the trip next year).


As usual people tried to smuggle extra items on to the bus or trailer (there was supposed to be a strict weight allowance of 50KG).  Stuart and Anthony did a good job in customs and loading.


We made extremely good time down to Folkestone to catch the Eurotunnel train and arrived on the campsite a good 3 to 4 hours earlier than usual.


All the photographs………..




21/07/12 The campsite Slalom Course – Day 1


After a record 21 hour journey we arrived at the campsite around 5pm and began to set up camp. Mark Garrod, Paul Flaherty and I had already decided to share cooking duties so pitched our tents next to each other. Once the tents were pitched we decided that we didn’t like how we had arranged them so we took them down and pitched them again.


Paul and I then decided to have a quick blast down the slalom course which was running fast and high in the late evening sun it was a great refresher after such a long drive whilst we were eddie hopping down the course we bumped into a Kiwi paddler who we ended up chatting for a while and finished off the run with us.


After we had got changed we met back up with mark and went for a pizza then chilled out with the rest of the group.   Roy McHale   More Photos………


22/07/12 The Campsite to St Clements - Day 2


River Durance, the first river paddled on the 2012 Alps trip and my first ever Alps river experience.  After a short portage from the campsite site we reached the get in point.  On first observation of the river, I was feeling a little apprehensive due to the fast flow of the water.  However, once on the water and paddling I soon settled into the paddle. Not too long into the paddle, there were a few little rapids which of course the rest of the group managed with ease, but proved to be my first challenge of the day and I’m glad to say completed successfully.


The river is 19km long and very wide which made it a great river for beginners.  Additionally, the width of the river assisted with practising eddying in as it provided lots of big eddies that made allowance for my wide eddying turns.  Feeling a little more confident I decided to have a go at eddying out although this is when I made my first big mistake, for in anticipation I turned before crossing the eddie line and took my first Alps swim.  I soon recovered and with assistance in retrieving my equipment we were soon back on track. 


Further along we came across an old dam, where it was discovered that the old weir had been washed away in the floods and now in its place was just one long easy rapid.  Soon the river became narrower with different obstacles to avoid, such as overhanging trees and ripples indicating lots of shallow pebbles beneath the water surface.  After another long stretch of relatively flat water we came to the slalom course.  Determined to complete the whole of the trip I gave the course a go.  After the first rapid I practiced my eddying in skills and watched the others play in the waves.  Finally, we all paddled down the rest of the slalom course and to the get out point at St. Clement.


Kathryn Wilson                     More Photos…………



22/07/12 The Gyronde  – Day 1 Tuesday


The Gyronde back to our camp site

For today’s trip down the Gyronde we put in about 4 km above our usual start point.  Thankfully this was our second river today so we had already had a chance to get used to the Alpine white water.  This was just as well as this high up the river was demanding right from the start, with no warm-up opportunity for the first few kilometres.


By the time we reached our usual put in we had become accustomed to the more demanding upper section and so the rest of the river became a more relaxed paddle.  The weir, which is normally portaged, had a line down the central left closely missing the large boulder in the centre of the weir.  Some of us boofed the concrete weir sill while others took the slot, all without incident.


We joined the Durance in Argentiere and paddled down to the Slalom course.  This left us just 500m of continuous rapids down the course to the camp site get out and the end of a fantastic paddle with a good mix of features and no incidents among our group.


Thanks to all for a top day      


Tony Vaccaro    More Photos………



23/07/12 The Upper Guisane - Day 3 Monday


For our second Alpine river a small group of us were dropped off at our get in near Les Guibertes for a short wait while the rest of the gang headed off to paddle the more difficult upper section from Le Casset.


We were entertained by watching the tiny kids set off in their rafts and other forms of floatation devices along with building small dams at the rivers edge, skimming stones and playing rock Jenga.


Soon the gang appeared and we were introduced to our river leaders.  We set off into fast moving water.  It took a little while but we soon became accustomed to it. This river was a lot narrower than the first with more rocks to manoeuvre around.  This proved good practice for keeping you alert and it helped to try and relax in the boat in order to avoid them.


We travelled down stream to the town which was quite picturesque and gave a good sense of the Alpine ski resort we where travelling through.  With that in mind the water was a lot colder than the previous day, however, apart from a practice roll in an eddy there no swims on this section of river.

Before we knew it we where at the get out at Chantemerle ready for lunch.


Sarah Gille    More Photos………


23/07/12 The Lower Guisane - Day 3 Monday


After a four year break, LCC revisited the infamous Lower Guisane section which is a continuous grade 3 and 4 paddle. At the start we had to negotiate a nasty weir under the cable car bridge.  You had to run this far right otherwise there would be an unfavourable outcome. The first group made it down seamlessly but we could see the second group veering river left. We knew it was Paul due to the silhouette of the camera on his helmet which made him resemble Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies. It looked as though Paul was about to make a duff decision as we wildly gesticulated at him to go right but everyone managed to get down without incident.


After we had crashed our way down the weir we pressed on along a nice bouncy, graveyard – like section with lots of chunky rapids weaving their way through rocks. Further down there was the killer weir which we had to portage. As we were getting back into our boats a bunch of nutters in full face helmets appeared over the aforementioned death weir, and were still alive by the time they reached the bottom.


 The river was now getting harder and harder and we had to leapfrog from eddy to eddy as we picked our way down. Another hazard on the river were a bunch of young gutter snipes who were throwing stones at Keith from the bank, they must have been put up to it some welsh fishing club. :P Proceedings became progressively more intense and you really had no time to relax whilst thinking about your next move.


This river was an adrenaline packed roller –coaster, scary yet enjoyable at the same time.  Everyone made it down to Briancon safely though Helen had made a couple of nerve-enduced schoolgirl errors.  Also Rescue Roy was determined to make a meal of the fact that Andy Wrigg missed this particular paddle and was going to enjoy rubbing it in.


Helen Siertsema         More Photos………


24/07/12 The Upper Ubaye - Day 4 Tuesday

I stroked a donkey….. After Keith drove off without me in the minibus, I managed to hitch a lift from twinkle toes (Andy W) at the gate to the campsite. Off we drove over the Col de Vars (2100m).  We stopped at the top and the temperature felt freezing!!! After a further 30mins journey we arrived at our get in and unloaded all of the boats. Looking at the dry river bed a few people carried their boats down to the river bank while the minibus took the others a bit further down to another get in. A phone call was then received… change of plan! The river further down was empty and a long scrape along the river bed. Therefore the minibus returned and we re-loaded the trailer and set off to another get it. Luckily for myself this new get in was a better choice and good timing with a heard of goats, donkeys, dogs and a horse arriving along the road. One of the donkeys certainly wasn’t camera shy, resulting in some good snap shots of my mate and I.


Shuttle sorted… of we go! We split into two groups of 7 and descended down the bouncy Upper Ubaye. Lots of wave trains, steep bouncy rapids and the ultimate boofing opportunities was soon followed by Roy’s boat breaking out of an eddy better than with him in it.  He was on the bank! See photo opposite.  His boat drifts further down than expected with Roy running down the bank to catch it! We then reached the get out at Janusiers, with a quick pack up and moving on to the get in of the Ubaye race course, for a bit of lunch and a lot of attention from the Gendarmes! Honestly it wasn’t me!!!   They were checking all the rafting guides qualifications at the Race course get-in.


Mark Garrod    More Photos……


24/07/12 The Race Course - Day 4 Tuesday

Having turned in a pathetic performance the previous year on my first attempt at the Ubaye Racecourse I was determined that this year everything would be different.  After a large, but light luncheon of baguette, cheese, salami and fruit, we set off in the early afternoon. 


Straight away it was fast and furious with rocks everywhere, though by ignoring the odd spasm of fear, we successfully made it to the calm of the first pool at the end of the first rapid.  Our team consisted of Keith, Andy, Paul, Roy, Sarah (doing her first Alps trip and her first Racecourse) and myself.  The rapids seemed to get bigger and faster as we made our way further downstream stopping at the bottom of each rapid for some to play in stoppers, and others to meditate in eddies. 


With all the encouragement, support and flexible hips things were going swimmingly, when an optimist told me I was paddling really well and no way would I capsize on this trip due to my obvious skills, fitness and positive mental attitude.  Next I struck a rock which flipped me, causing me to swim, losing boat and paddle.  The boat was easily retrieved downstream, but the paddle seemed to have vanished into the rushing depths.  All of the team scoured the riverbed for half an hour or so, before finding it wedged beneath a rock.  See, the team never gives up.  After a short rest back in my boat and the fun continued.  I recognised several places where I swam last year but got down them all by continuing to paddle, relaxing in my boat, and letting the river take me.  I was now beginning to enjoy the excitement.  Soon we were bouncing down the gorge near to the get-out and we could relax at the end of the adventure.  Almost at the get-out I dropped and lost my paddle for the second time as a bevy of French ladies in bathing suits were distracting us by waving, but luckily Andy was nearby with his boat to guide my kayak to the bank.  Sarah did brilliantly, taking a swim or two on the way down but getting off the river fresher than a newly baked baguette, garnished with a crisp, green salad.  It was six o’clock and the end of another brilliant day on the river in warm sunshine with great people.  Thanks to all the group.


Dominic Buckley      More Photos………


25/07/12 The Durance to Embrun - Day 5 Wednesday


We drove down to check out the Lower Guil but it was too low so we settled on the Durance run. Having run it from the campsite before (40km) I and others were keen to negotiate starting further down. We settled on the aerodrome and split into 4 groups.  It is a long and relatively open down to the slalom course at St Clement. It can be a little tricky as currents converge from different directions but everyone coped very well.


We stopped and had a play on the waves at the slalom site before moving on to the famous “Rab Wave”.  Last year we were apprehensive about this as it is very steep and powerful. This year however a squad of us spent half an hour throwing ourselves in it and styling play moves. Everyone who surfed the wave was very successful especially Paul who nailed it.


Paul then had a great idea; to swim through the wave.  Most of us stripped down and jumped in the water above the wave.  Unbeknown to us, Cathy decided to join us at the last minute and took the hero line over the rocks before getting sucked in the stopper and spat out!!  We carried on down through the wave trains. We started to entertain ourselves by spinning on the waves and rafting up and floating through them. This was going well until 4 paddlers rafted up on probably the hardest wave train of the lower section. Olivia went over and hand rolled but unfortunately her paddle did not resurface. It was stuck on the river bed and despite our best efforts was not recovered. The now famous LCC split paddles unfortunately had their first use as we paddled down the last few kilometres to the get out.


Cheers to everyone who paddled


Andy Wrigg     More Photos………


26/07/12 Châteaux Queyras - Day 6 Thursday

Day six and the river that myself, Roy, Andy and Mark have been talking about for months to paddle had finally arrived. The famous Châteaux Queyras gorge. After a long days paddle the day before some of the group had decided to have a day off paddling which left nine of us still wanting to kayak. It was another early start and Mark, Roy and I were having second thoughts about the day, not because of the river we were about to paddle but due to the fact we were still very tired and Roy had only managed an hours sleep.


Andy’s power of persuasion we were all fired up again and we all clambered into the minibus.  After a short journey we finally arrived at the get in looking up the ancient fortress of “Châteaux Queyras”. It was another hot day and we couldn’t wait to get out of the minibus. At the first look at the river we were all starting to feel a little nervous. We inspected the river from a minor road that runs the length of the gorge from the get in to the get out and it was a lot shorter than first thought and also the river level lower than expected.  Châteaux Queyras is a grade 4 section the river and a committing run due to the fact if you take a swim, you’re swimming the whole gorge because of the sheer sided walls and no bank support. After the inspection me, Roy, Andy, Mark and Keith changed and prepared ourselves whilst Fiona, Tony, Sarah and Kathy walked up the gorge to take photos.


We finally got on the water with Keith leading the group down the first rocky rapid which lead into the gorge and a sweeping left–hand bend to where the gorge starts to narrow and the water accelerated us into several tight cork-screw drops leading into boily water where we used the cushions to keep straight and off the walls. Then we came to a right-hand bend and the gorge opened out a bit.  We paddled a flat stretch down into a must run ledge drop which we all styled.  After this we popped out into the open and we could see the bridge at the take out with the last rapid a little rocky and technical. We paddled to the takeout.  We had all made it down with style. It was a short section but well worth the wait.    Click to see the Video…..


Paul Flaherty     More Photos………


26/07/12 Middle Guil - Day 6 Thursday


We arrived at Mont Bardon Bridge which is the put in of the middle Guil in high spirits after all having a successful run of the Châteaux Queyras gorge which is higher up the same river. The weather was very hot and it was nice to get going after waiting around for the shuttle to be done. The middle Guil is a cracking section of river which gets progressively harder as it goes on, for a lot of the run the river is flanked by the D902 road which is good as people can get off the river easily when it becomes too hard for them. The first person who got off was Kathy who is relatively new to paddling but managed the initial grade 2/3 rapids well. Anthony, as the 2nd driver of the bus, volunteered to get off as well so he could drive down to the next get out where Fiona and Sarah also exited the river.


That left the five of us who had completed the Châteaux Queyras gorge run earlier that morning to test our skills on the rest of the river. Keith led the group and we set of at a cracking pace eddy hoping and reading and running rapids from our boats the back drop to this excellent river is a stunning high mountain range and when out of sight of the road it feels like you’re in a remote location.


I had done part of this section on last years trip then we went from the same put in down to “le tunnel” were we got out then we portaged the most difficult section which is called the Staircase which is classed as grade 4+/5.  This time we ran the Staircase rapid.  We got out and inspected the rapid which was a series of drops, the most difficult of which was only just over a meter but had a bit of a nasty looking stopper below.  We decided it looked okay to go so we set up safety and all ran it. After that the river was a continuous boulder garden with huge rocks around every twist and turn.


The five of us paddled the river really well and I had been really happy with the lines I’d chosen until near the end of the run we reached one of the final major rapids and I made a bit of a mistake that resulted in a swim through the rapid luckily enough I didn’t get any injuries and thanks to the team; including bank support from Fiona who helped me get me boat and paddle back by climbing down into the gorge to release it from an eddy.


The final run down the barrage was done at high speed as we raced the minibus to the end, this was 3 or 4 km of high-class grade 4 rapids in glorious sunshine.  In conclusion even with the swim this was definitely the best days kayaking I’ve had to date thanks to everyone involved with the day.


Roy McHale     More Photos………

26/07/12 Lower Guil - Day 6 Thursday


The sun was shining, sky was blue and we were ready for our last river of the day. We arrived at the get in down a gravel track however the boys were getting a bit tired after their epic morning.

Keith soon mustered them together and once they had dawned their paddling gear where ready to roll.

A short paddle this time and most of us dared to be cag free due to the heat.


We set off down a shallow gravel river where Fiona decided we must take 2 pebble friends each on the journey too.   So we all placed 2 pebbles on the front of our boats to see how far we could carry them. I ended up with 1 at the end.


A few small bends with some rocks to manoeuvre was ideal practice for breaking in and eddying out. The scenery as billed was amazing with steep pointing erosions as a back drop.

Before we knew it we where at the end.

Another good day on the river.


Sarah Gille     More Photos………



27/07/12 Glacier Blanc - Day 7 Friday


We set off at 7am, with barely enough time to enjoy a light tea and coffee before hitting the road in the minibus.  Along the way we picked up breakfast from the bakery and ended up at the trailhead (car park) for the climb up to the Glacier Blanc at 8:30am. 


 We were met in the car park by the first of many suspiciously friendly marmots who modelled for a few shots and were more than happy to degrade themselves for the chance of a bit of food, then we started off along our trek.  The sun finally reached us about a third of the way up, so we slathered ourselves in sun cream and carried on along our merry way.  Reaching the bridge crossing the glacial stream at about half nine, which was apparently some sort of record.  We settled down for a little rest (and a glamorous team photo) before all of us charged off to the refuge higher up.  From this point on, certain sections were getting a wee bit steep and we had to hang off guide ropes and metal fixtures to continue our ascent.


When we finally reached the refuge at the top we rested our weary joints for a while.  Looking down past the way we had come you couldn’t help but feel a little bit queasy at the height we had come.  We grabbed a table and a light lunch, followed by large chunks of brioche which Tony had brought up with him.  After sunning ourselves for about an hour we began the descent back down.  There were a fair few families making the walk up as we were coming down, seemingly oblivious to the scorching heat.  A number of people carried their children in rucksacks, which is probably normal behaviour for the French, we wouldn’t know!  Just as we reached the bottom again the skies opened for the first time that day and we barely escaped a drenching by cunningly scampering into the restaurant for some shelter and light refreshments (booze, aaah!) before piling back onto the bus and heading back into to the relative civilisation of our noisy little campsite.


Mike Buckley     More Photos………



27/07/12 Lilo Race - Day 7 Friday


Today saw the first ever official LCC lilo race!! It took place on the Campsite Slalom course. 9 people took part in the race in 2 groups. There was a variety of lilos in different shapes and colours. Most of us had ‘normal’ lilos apart from Kurt who had a Crocodile and Roy who had an arm chair!! Andy, Roy, Paul and Mark went first. The race was fast and furious and saw Roy limp out on his chair lilo. Apparently his centre of gravity was too high and he kept falling off! Paul won. The next group had Sarah, Mike, Stuart, Kurt and me! We set off from the top, and after much position changing Sarah came in as the winner. Our times are below.



Fiona Wrigg     More Photos………



25/07/12 Tees Barrage

With a lot of our fellow river rats in the alps and having an afternoon to spare, myself and Justin thought we would have a look at the Tees Barrage and the white water course. I had heard good things about this place and a recent article in CKUK had raved about it, and while it is about on the limit of a daily drive at 2.5 hrs from Liverpool, at least you have guaranteed river levels with no shuttles to worry about.


We arrived at around 11am, swopped the endless paperwork for our numbered bibs and took a walk of the course. (The paperwork is a one off -you get issued with a members card as you leave). There are two courses, the first is the 300m "long" course or Jubilee as it has been renamed after a recent visit from the Queen, (I believe she ran it in a Jefe whilst Prince Philip was in a Shiva), and the second is the 95m short course or Diamond. The Diamond wasn't running  (thank God it 'cos it looked horrendous) so we had to make do with the long course. This has about 8 drops on it of various sizes and falls 3 -4 meters over its length. This might not sound like a lot but it is enough to create a fast running "Alpine" like river. There are plenty of waves to play on, the most famous being The Cruncher, and lots of eddies to hit up and down the course. We were finding out that it was a great place to practice your surfing and eddying skills, safe in the knowledge that a swim would be relatively safe, if a little embarrassing due to the high number of spectators both paddling and non paddling.


We ran the course 4 times in the morning, each time trying to hit more and more eddies, before retiring to the cafe for a fantastic lunch. (Justin- cheeseburger and chunky chips, Chris - chicken enchiladas). The generous portions of food and the proximity of the cafe to the course meant that we found ourselves back on the water all too soon and had to do some seriously lazy eddie sitting before we could find the will to continue! Once back into it we realised that the levels had completely changed as the tide had taken over from the four giant Archimedes screws that had provided the power before lunch. There was a lot more water in the channel and the easy middle section had become much harder and the difficult lower section a bit bouncier and easier. The last big last drop that had back flipped both of us earlier had all but disappeared. I got stuck on a standing wave that had appeared from nowhere and had to roll up after it dumped me in. These changing water levels meant that no two runs were the same in the afternoon as the tide continued to rise.


After another four runs and two rolls we decided to call it a day. The course had given us a real work out and we had no doubt put in a bigger shift than if had we run a normal river. The centre is well organised, very reasonably priced at £6 all day, and the people were all very friendly. It also wasn't nearly as busy as the Upper Tryweryn either which was a nice surprise. We have come to conclusion that we would definitely be back in bigger numbers on a future club trip. Look out for a post from Justin as he has kindly offered to co-ordinate. (I got the write up!)


Chris Murphy  Justin Cooper  More Photos…..


25/07/12 Anglesey kayaking, sailing and yet more Olympics!

A beautiful sunny day with little wind greeted us as we woke, but we knew the wind was scheduled to pick up during the day so plans were adjusted to make a trip along the North Coast of Anglesey.


Heading over to Anglesey the wind was definitely strengthening, but upon reaching Cames bay it all looked ok. Once out to the mouth of the bay, all five paddler decided that discretion was the better part of valour, so we struggled back against the wind to have a journey of exploration around the bay instead of a journey along the coast - a good plan!


Whilst paddling around, we chanced upon a yacht that just happened to be being crewed by LCC members Pete, Carole and ?, who later told us that they encountered wind of 35knots! I wouldn't have wanted to be on the boat that issued the MAYDAY call not far from where we were paddling.


All to soon it was back the beach, but not before we had the chance to wonder what the plethora of white tents on a very exposed headland were there for? It turns out that the tents were an art installation for the Olympics, but that the event had been cancelled due to high winds.


Nice to meet new members of LCC as always.


Mike A, Ian B, Kirk W, Alan, Roger   http://www.peacecamp2012.com/locations/cemaes-bay.aspx


25/07/12 Cross River Swim - Liverpool Olympic Festival (21st July 2012)

Ten LCC members, joined up with six FOA paddlers to provide cover for over 60 swimmers as they attempted to swim from the Cockle Hole (inlet near the Liverpool Yacht Club) to Monks Ferry slipway near Birkenhead. Now in its 19th Year, the swim was this year linked to John Hulley who set up a Liverpool Olympic Festival in the early 1860's.

With the tide still flooding in, and big tankers / ships making use of the deep water it provided, the kayakers headed over to Liverpool to get ready at the start point. Soon joined by the swimmers and several rescue boats, the start gun fired and the swimmers were off, on what looked to me to be a very long swim.


The paddlers spread out to cover the swimmers of differing abilities, who were soon being rushed upstream by the incoming tide, and we provided safety, encouragement, pit stops for cleaning goggles and occasional navigational guidance. Eventually the tide turned and the swimmers began to be swept downstream towards the get out.

After a long time, several confusing radio communications from race control and numerous jelly fish stings to the swimmers, we safely escorted all the swimmers to the other side - much respect to the swimmer who decided to do the whole crossing using the butterfly stroke!


Once out, a nice touch, the race organisers made sure that all the safety boaters received thanks, recognition by individuals name, round of applause and a huge medal - before any award giving for the participants.

A good day on the river in good weather, with Dave R making the photo on the Liverpool Echo website.

Mike A, Ian B, Dave R, Aid M, Chris F, Tony B, Anthony B, David B, Claire and others



19/7/12 Wednesday night paddle  Chester Weir 18th July 2012

I've never been to Chester Weir before, but looking at the photos of previous trips with people going vertical and attempting to cartwheel it looked really tempting. Having skived the day off work, the first ever skive in my life, the time had come to get down to Chester. I thought I would take my ridiculously small Drakkar Wheelboy C1 canoe. I've paddled this boat for approximately 20 minutes in the docks and 30 minutes at Four Mile Bridge in Anglesey. I can roll it sometimes and can capsize very easily a lot of the time.

I pulled up at the riverside to find Keith, Sara, Andy, Justin, Chris, John, Gavin, Tom and Kelly all waiting to get in. Keith was first in and quickly paddled over to the far side of the river to check out the levels. He came back to say they were huge. Great!   The steps were washed out and had formed a series of standing waves. The slope was fully covered and had formed quite a lot of tow back, and there was boily water everywhere. Suddenly I felt a little scared. I don't know why. I feel very happy with waves breaking over my head in the sea, but with little waves in a river I get
really nervous. Not to worry, I know I have a good low brace, so I follow every one down. I have no chance of breaking out on river left as my off side paddling is pathetic so I powered through the steps and had a little swim to the side. Nobody saw this as I am quite good at self rescuing. I got back in with a little help of Justin (I told him I was stretching my legs) and was happy watching everyone messing about from the eddy. I practiced my roll which works and took a long time to cross the river with my pathetic off side paddling. I had a go at getting on the waves and messing about and even had a go at some moving water rolls, which worked, and was quite happy that I survived.

I was surprised by the height and speed of the water as it did not resemble any of the pictures I have seen on the website or YouTube. It was fun but I think I need more time in the boat on the flat first to give me more confidence to fall in. Next time will be great and I will be able to show the kayakers how to cartwheel, squirt, and surf with one blade without the use of a stabiliser blade that the kayakers need!

Thanks, Paul Harwood      More Photos………..


19/7/12 Sea Kayaking the Ionian Ring


My girlfriend and I set out to paddle some of the Greek islands in the Ionian Sea on a 6 day expedition , this would take us to 5 islands via many beaches and Taverna’s.


We flew into Preveza (flights £250 pp) and our contact George had organised a taxi (€70) to take us straight to our basic but nice hotel (€30 per night). The next day we got out kit together and loaded up the kayak and after an hour long briefing set out on our adventure. We would be away for 6 days and 5 nights staying on 2 islands and visiting some of the smaller ones. George advised us to take a double Kayak rather than 2 single ones and owing to our combined experience or rather lack of it we were happy to take his advice. The first thing we noticed was the heat (it was over 35 degrees on most days) the second was the lack of navigation equipment which was a little worrying for me as we set out. We were assured that the weather was the same every day still in the morning with a southerly wind starting between 12-2PM and going up to no more than 3 Knots, we would receive a text message the night before if there was any change to this. Navigation was also a lot easier that we thought because visibility is perfect at all times and to make things easier we were traveling along the coast most of the time with only 2 major crossings on the whole trip.


Day one we left Vasiliki travelled to the little town of Sivota for some dinner then headed off to our campsite on Meganisi about a 10 minute walk from a little local Taverna. Day 2 was a big day as well we headed to Spartochori which is a little village up in the hills above a small bay. After Breakfast / Lunch we went on an excursion round the private island of Skorpios owned by Onnassas family home to Jackie O (Kennady’s wife) the men with guns stopped us from landing, so after a short break on a tiny island we went back to Spartochori for dinner. The wind and waves got up between the islands and with the motor boats whizzing around it was quite a tricky 30 minute paddle until we left the lee of the island and the sea calmed down a bit. After dinner we got back to our campsite at around 9PM just as the sun was setting. Day 3 was the longest day with a 3 mile crossing from Meganisi to Kalamos. The morning was paddling in the shade of the cliffs and looking into the many sea caves along the way some so large they sheltered a submarine during the second world war. We started the crossing at 11.30 and with some determined paddling we made it in 50 minutes and stopped at the first beach we found to rest and swim to cool down. From there it was to the deserted town of Porto Leone, which had be abandoned after the 1953 earthquake, which was a very eerie experience and we did not stay long. Continuing along the coast line we stopped at the first Taverna we could for a well-deserved meal of epic proportions. We round a nice deserted beach for a campsite and went straight to bed, the next day was spent exploring the nearby coastline and fishing villages, including the main sailing port of Kalamos.


Rising early on day 5 we packed and were on the water by 8AM, this time there was no shade to be had and we powered on for most of the morning only stopping to look into caves and for quick snacks. We did our final crossing in under 2 hours and went to the fishing village of Vathi the main place to be on Meganisi. We gave up our tent for the last night for an air-conditioned apartment which was well worth the €40 and we enjoyed the hospitality the port had to offer. The next day was a short 7 Nm paddle via a couple of bat caves before being picked up in Sivota and driven back to Vasiliki.


Total distance in Nautical Miles – Day 1, 12Nm; Day 2, 14.5Nm; Day 3, 14Nm; Day 4, (we had a rest day but there is the options of at 11Nm paddle); Day 5, 12.5Nm, Day 6, 7Nm

Total 60Nm (est)


Website and contact details http://www.seakayakingreece.com/itionianring.htm


This is a very enjoyable expedition and technically very easy, it is only difficult in terms of the distance and the temperature, you need to be confident in navigation by map and happy covering up to 4 miles of open water. It is important to get early starts and have finished the main paddling by about 2PM every day or you will be battling the wind. On Georges advice we took a double kayak which was the right thing to do, but singles are available (bear in mind they all have rudders not skegs). Ionian Explorers offer shorter trips of three days or single days and there is plenty of wind surfing, dingy or keelboat sailing in the area. If anyone wants any more information let me know.


 Al Grantham   More Photos…….


17/7/12 Coaches Seminar – Open Boat Skills at the Marina on Monday 16th July

With 18 open boats on the water it seemed like the single bladed paddlers had taken over.  We were split into 4 groups and each group worked on one of the 5 topics before moving on to the next.  We all had a go at poling an open boat in the shallows around the slipway, standing up and punting your way along is not as easy as it seemed.  We then had a go at lining and tracking, using throw ropes we drew the open along using the wind (current on a river) to provide resistance to keep the boat away from the shore or rocks.  The third session included using barrels as ballast to trim the boat (more weight in the bow to make way upwind).  Some then had a go with some balancing exercises and had a go at gunwale bobbing.  Dave and Stuart won this contest.


Some of the strokes provided much discussion.  We had a go at the goon stroke for power and the more refined J-stroke.  A number of draws and pry’s were tried with some compound (combined) strokes such as an inside pivot turn and box stroke.  One group even had a go at some bow jams.  We finally met on the shore to discuss rescues and Lee volunteered to demonstrate some the solo ones (He had dry suit on).


The next coaches Seminar is on the 15th October 2012 – topic to be confirmed.

Want to know more about canoeing then why not check out the clubs own canoeing handbook compiled by members………


16/7/12 Menai Bridge to Penmon Point, Sunday 15th July

Beautiful conditions greeted us as we set off from the jetty at Menai Bridge, after sorting out car shuttles. The sun was shining and a breeze was blowing up the Straits to aid us on our way, and with a tide giving us a push we made good progress towards Beaumaris. Here we pulled up to a jetty and peeled off the layers to have a snack in the sun.  I had a minor panic as I couldn’t remember where I’d put my car keys, but all was well when I found them in my kayak, phew!

We then proceeded up the coast to Penmon Point, Pete and Carole took a detour out to look at an old wreck. The waves and wind were increasing , but not quite to surfing standard. At the Point we split off into two groups, Carole, Pete and I decided to do a circuit of Puffin Island and John, Vicky, Don and Steve went round the corner to land at Penmon and wait for us.


We had a fast journey up the North side of Puffin Island in force 4 wind and interesting waves, there were lots of puffins flying overhead and Pete and Carole saw an Eider Duck, but not me as I was concentrating on staying upright! There were, as always lots of seals at the far end and one inquisitive one followed us all the length of the Island to the southern point. This was a much slower passage against the now fresh breeze.


A fantastic day enjoyed by all, thanks Pete for organising it, and thanks John for sorting out my skeg, I’ll have to invest in a new one, or new boat, better buy a lottery ticket.  We finished off the day with a very civilized cream tea at the Cafe on Penmon Point which we can thoroughly recommend.


Helen Partridge   More Photos…..


16/7/12 White Water Weekend -Bala

Everyone arrived in good time and spirits and we split into two groups before heading off down the Lower Tryweryn. The river was quiet and we took time practicing on waves and ferry gliding across the river. Every member of the group was paddling really well, especially Mark who was new to the club and not been on the river in some time. Danny was paddling one of his interesting Pyranha Open Boats. He showed us how to roll it after Chapel Falls before running some of the cleanest lines of the group all the way down!!


We got mixed up with a group from down South about half way down the lower section and aided them in a couple of rescues as they had a few swimmers. It was a good opportunity to practice our skills before the Alps. It was also good for "rescue Roy" as he spotted a damsel in distress on the river bank and helped her pull a boat out of the water. Apparently she said "your amazing!!!" but none of us heard this to back it up.


Back on the river and our only incident came when Dom shouted "swimmer" only for us to turn round and see John rise up in the middle of the River and wade over to the side with his paddle and boat. Self rescues are always the best!! We then hit Bala Mill which was a first decent for Mark and all styled it apart from Kirk who decided to capsize and make sure no fish were spawning on the river bed at the bottom of the falls!! He did this having impressively come down the length of the rapid perched on one edge of his boat before finally giving in and capsizing at the bottom.


For the hard core boaters it was then to the Cafe for lunch!!! Danny, Ruth and Mike headed straight for the top and did a run of the Upper Section. We followed but with heavier bellies about an hour later. It was good to see everyone paddling well and quite a few people hitting the playwaves. It is a great way to develop your skills but the waves do hand out a beating once in a while!!!!


Thanks to everyone for making such a good day.

Kirk, Justin, Keith, Roy, Paul, Mark, Dom, Ruth, Mike, Michal, John, Danny, Sam and Me!!

Andy    More Photos…..


White water weekend - Day two.


The day had been planned for a white water safety and rescue refresher, however due to a lack of numbers Keith S, Andy Wrigg and I decided that we were ok at river safety and that a river trip would be a bit more fun!


After discussing a few options in Kirks kitchen we decided to check the levels on the Conwy.


After a good look at the A5 get in ( and the get outs at Rhydlanfair Bridge and Penmachno Bridge we decided that there was more than enough water to get us down the river.


The run is a pleasant gorge with a number of drops and technical rapids that build in difficulty as the river progresses. A clean run was had by all (with a couple of hi braces from me!!!).


As the three of us only had one car, Andy kindly volunteered to run the shuttle back to the car, whist Keith and I kept an eye on the kit.


A good trip and a fitting end to a great weekends paddling. 


Justin C       More Photos…..


12/7/12 Wednesday Evening Paddle – Bridgewater Canal from Waterloo Bridge “The Long and Winding Paddle”

On Wednesday night a group of LCC paddlers met up in the Waterloo Hotel in the car park to do what started off as a short leisurely paddle along the Bridgewater canal, before I go any further I must state leisurely "yes" short ? if you can call about 15 miles short then I suppose then "yes" again. 


Anyway we put in opposite the hotel at about 6.45pm with the sun on our backs and started our journey along the canal, we passed a few people fishing and with the usual pleasantries we proceeded on our way, the canal branched off the left and passed a boat yard and several barges moored up; 30 minutes of paddling passed we came across a pair of swans and their cygnets and with the hiss of an agitated swan we soon passed and paddled on. After another 30 minutes of paddling and admiring the scenery we came across another set of swans and cygnets (this time less aggressive maybe word had got around we meant no harm) we where about to turn around when we were informed by one eager paddler that Kayaks North West was only about 1 mile further.  All agreed we paddled on until we arrived at our destination where after a quick adjustment of foot peg or two and a photo opportunity we made our way back (passing all the swans who by now where settling down for the night).


We paddled through a couple of small bursts of rain, 22 bridges and some very weary and slightly aching arms and shoulders we arrived (under cover of darkness) 3 hours later at our start point, all together a very enjoyable nights paddle.

Cheers to all that attended Phil.
  Paddlers: Keith, Gavin, Phil, Russell, Allan and Simon                     More Photos….





Next week we are at Chester Weir


Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)


Summer holiday break


Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)


Leeds / Liverpool Canal Scarisbrick Arms L39 7HX


Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)





Class 3

Kingston D

Liverpool CC B

Manchester Wildcatz B

Royal Navy

Trentham A





White Rose Sharks

11/7/12 Hull International Canoe Polo Challenge

Every year Kingston Kayak Club run the Hull International Polo Competition at Princes Quay in Hull. Using the water surrounding the Princes Quay shopping center in the centre of Hull brings canoeing and Canoe Polo in particular right into the city centre. Visitors to Hull to get to watch some top class polo from top local, national and international sides whilst taking a break from their shopping whilst having lunch at one of the many waterside cafes and bars.

Our B team was in Class 3 this year and we wish them well over the weekend.


After numerous drop outs from team members for the competition, even one at the very last minute, the LCC B team managed to recruit a squad of 6 players to head to the Hull Canoe Polo Challenge on Friday night. Given that there were flood warnings throughout the country our camping prospects at Ionians Rugby Club were looking grim. Luckily as we arrived at 10pm it looked like Hull was protected by a weather shield and the campsite was relatively dry. Being the pro athletes that we are not we toasted our arrival with a few beers at the club house and then some continued to the early hours with our friends from FOA.


Surprisingly we emerged early without major issue and headed off to Princes Quay at 7.30. Our first game in class 3 was against Manchester Wildcats B, a team who had gotten the better of us at last seasons National Div 4. We knew we would have to dig deep to get a result. Each keeper was tested in the early exchanges but it was LCC who took the lead in the first half with Darren releasing Kate down the left who then finished well at a tight angle. It was then backs to the wall in the second half as our 3 and 1 set up and Tom in goal held out to take a 1-0 victory.


The second game against Kingston C, the host club, looked like it was going to be a similar encounter, Will put Gibbo through to score from close range to take the lead. It looked like we were going to hold out again for another 1-0 win but the defence cracked with less than a minute to go as Kingston got the equaliser. This seemed to be the beginning of the collapse as we lost our shape and composure in the next 2 games with defeats to White Rose and VKC A. Our final game was against Trentham A, the runaway leaders with big margin victories in most of their games. Given that we were a developing team,; Roy’s first ever tournament, (who fair play to him got stuck in and limited his “prison rules Thursday antics”), and Gibbo's first at this level we did extremely well.  We knew that if we kept the score line under double figures it would be ok.   It’s safe to say we eventually lost the last game but that we saved our best performance till last. With a combination of Tom's cat like reactions and 7ft arms, the defence consisting of Darren, Will, Gibbo then Roy in the second half resisting the battering, and Kate putting on the pressure from the front we managed to restrict Trentham A to a mere 4-0 victory.


Reflecting on the first day we noticed that the standard in class 4 was a mixture of lower level teams with the better teams playing at Div 4 standard. If we had entered into this league we could have competed at the top of the league but wouldn't have learnt as much in preparation for next seasons National Div 4. Class 3, the league we entered in to seemed to be a mixture of National Div 4 up to mid table Div 3 standard. On returning to the camp site we consulted with our sports nutritionist who gave us approval for our evening meal of battered fish, chips, and pizza. The nutritionist has since been sacked as it came to light that this food makes you fat, hence why we're competing at the level we are at. We reported back to our coach Chris Benson via mobile who was minding Roy’s dog, Ted to allow Roy to compete at the weekend.


The first game on Sunday was our most disappointing with a defeat to ULU A. We had a word with ourselves, incorporated a new pre match ritual of aggressive piggy in the middle. It seemed to pay off, we got a well deserved 3-2 victory against the Royal Navy, a grudge match given that most of our team are also in the RAF cadets. Our passing was really starting to come together as we worked ourselves in to good shooting positions with good worked team goals from Kate, Gibbo, and Tom. The Navy's tactics was to play for penalty's, which they got 2 of and scored from, something for us to learn from for next season. Anyway we enjoyed the victory with a more aggressive approach and working ourselves in to better positions.


We managed back to back victories with a 1-0 win over Kingston D, who must have been mixing and matching as some of their players had already played against us in the C team. It was apparent that this team was still weaker than their other team with Darren having an early goal disallowed before setting Gibbo up for the opener early on. We decided to experiment with tactics going 5 out, man for man marking. We've never done this before and it showed as we were all over the place and failed to punish them further; one for us to work on back at the marina.


Just like the previous day our toughest game was saved until the end against second placed Tynemouth. We took a shock lead with a goal from Darren before they upped the ante to take a 2-1 lead in to half time. We had played a good physical game to keep the score respectable and it helped that Tom was on fire in goal. The second half kicked off, and after Will had been praised throughout the tournament for his improved composure on the ball he decided that after inspecting the wildlife at the bottom of the dock for 30 seconds he then felt like it was an appropriate time to have a little swim around in the middle of the game. Roy was missing for this game so we were down to 4 players until Will got him self sorted (btw Will says feel free to remind him about this the next time you see him, maybe in the Alps). When we were down to 4 players we actually managed to score and only conceded 1 goal to take it to 3-2. Kate put Darren through to complete his hat trick but Tynemouth had scored another 2 to end with a respectable 5-3 defeat. We even received praise from the Tynemouth captain who mentioned that we had scored more past them than any other team.


In a 10 team league we finished 7th on goal difference with the same points as the Navy and Kingston C in 5th and 6th.  Hopefully we can build on this at training on a Monday night.


Darren Bohanna LCC B team Tom Morris, Will McCormack, Scott Gibson, Roy McHale, Kate Mather, Olivia Rowe



10/7/12 Monthly Club Talk – Devizes to Westminster non-stop canoe race - Stuart Haywood, Tolly Robinson and Hannah Draper

Simply outstanding, I feel privileged to have been their to listen to Tolly and Stu`s account of the preparation, lead up and amazing race.  This race is longest non-stop canoe race in the world and it has been held every year since 1948. 


With support of Hannah and family members the pair paddled through the night to complete the race in 24 hours and 26 minutes.  They dealt with many issues from training in the wind and ice on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal (starting at Vauxhall in Bootle) to coping with extreme tiredness on the Thames in their own entertaining and humours manner.  This was one story you needed to hear.


Several club members were so inspired by the talk that they are talking about attempting the 4 day version of the race next year.  This is for singles or doubles who compete over approximately 35 miles each day.


If you did not manage to see the presentation some of the slides can be viewed here………


Check out the remaining talks this year…….


09/7/12 Junior Club Session at the Marina.


Junior Club meets every Tuesday and runs parallel to the main club session.  We always have a BCU qualified coach to oversee the activities and to paddle with the group but it is pleasing to see that several parents are now happy to run and organise the session.  We have paddled lots of different boats this year and often head up towards Albert Dock and the big wheel.  More recently “seal-launch city” has been a firm favourite.  You can see why from the photographs above.  All our club juniors are invited to join us on a Tuesday. You meet by the canoe rack at the Marina around 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  We ask that younger members are accompanied by an adult.  If you would like more information contact Keith Steer or Dave Reynolds.                  More Photos…….

09/7/12 The 2nd Anglesey weekend – Rhosneigr.

Another successful camping weekend - thanks to all who came.


Although a rainy drive over and a rainy drive home, we had dry weather and the 1st day of real summer for July! The few that arrived on Friday night were able to watch some amazing cloud formations and a brilliant full moon. The sunny Saturday lead to a proper summer evening BBQ without the need to wear every item of clothing packed or waterproofs. I think the kids enjoyed the impressive display of Dave’s ‘Potato Cannon’. For those who missed it I’m sure there will be future demonstrations with a queue of kids with bags of veg!






Saturday Sea Kayak - Cable Bay to Roscolyn

Saturday arrived with the promise of some sunshine and an off shore wind. Arriving at the campsite I was told the plan was to paddle from Porth Trecastell to Borthwen (Cable Bay to Rhoscolyn), hugging the cost to avoid the worst of the wind. Once text messages were sent to those still enroute we headed to the car park by the beach to get sorted and on the water. 13 sea paddlers unloaded boats and anticipated paddling in the sunshine – who would have guessed!


Half of the gang were quickly on the water and raring to go, so Kirk and team set off whilst the remaining half of the group waited for Vicky to arrive. We forgave her for being late; she had just finished circumnavigating Anglesey the day before!


The sea conditions were great, and tucked into the coastline was the best way to avoid the wind, though some were occasionally tempted to more direct routes. The coast between Cable Bay and Rhoscolyn doesn’t have too many rock opportunities but we tried to explore them all. The paddle across Cymyran Bay towards Silver Bay was a bit more of a head down and try to minimize the wind by sticking close to shore. As we headed round corner to Borthwen we spotted Kirk teams happily munching on their lunches and paddled up to join them.


After a pleasant and sunny lunch stop, we got back on the water to complete the trip, as we were such a large group we decided to paddle in the 2 groups (much easier to keep an eye on each other and stay safe). The strengthening wind meant a trip out and around Rhoscolyn Beacon was definitely not happening so the 2 groups ambled slogged (we planned to amble but it was hard work at some points) back to the starting point. Just as we got level with Rhosneigr someone spotted the ice cream van, and headed to the beach, Kirk then presented the group with ice lollies, not from the van it was closed he had to find a shop – cheers Kirk.

Suitably refreshed we headed back to Cable Bay, and then back to the campsite for some and home for others.


Thanks everyone for a pleasant if windy day on the water!


Frankie A


Saturday short boats at Four Mile Bridge


“It was amazing; four mile bridge with fast moving water. I loved it I would totally go again.   On Sunday we went to the beach and I tried to do the sculling and I done a spray deck capsize.”  Jack Gille (Junior Member)

4 Mile Bridge


A group of adults and kids decided to take the playboats down to 4 Mile Bridge for the day. As Jenny had already booked sunny weather for us, it was a fantastic day for getting wet in the moving water.


When we first arrived, there were already a group of sit-on-tops running through the arch and the children with us were chomping at the bit to have a go. For a lot of us, children and adults, this was the first time we had actually paddled in moving water on this scale. We quickly got ourselves ready and did our first run through, much to the delight of the kids. Kelly managed to take an early bath but came up smiling. The experienced paddlers then proceeded to make breaking in and out of the moving water look very easy. However those of us (ie me!) who can’t yet role a boat, spent a large part of our time hanging upside down waiting to be T rescued.


The water was running well in both directions as our timing with the tide was just about right. Sarah took Jake and Jack through without boats which turned out to be much scarier than Jack thought it would! Paul brought a variety of weird and strange craft and seemed to be just as comfortable paddling any of them in the rough stuff; whilst his son, Harvey, is the only person I know who can stand up in a playboat without actually capsizing it!


The beauty of LCC is the range of experience that are on trips like this. Jenny, Chris and Neil were always on hand to either watch over the rest of us or give endless instruction to very slow learners like myself, whilst tirelessly fishing me back out when the water far exceeds my skills as a playboater. Jake had a scary moment when he was capsized and I’m very grateful to the three of them for the way they supported and reassured him. It truly is a friendly club and we had a great day in the sunshine with fantastic company. Can’t wait for the next one but I think I’ll return to the sea; sorry Jenny!


Peter Massey


Paddlers were: Peter and Jake Massey, Sarah Gille with nephew Jack, Paul and Harvey Harwood, Tom and Kelly Prime, John and Kieron Allerton, Neil Moult, Jenny Brown and Chris Thompson.


Sunday morning – Rhosneigr Pootle.


The few hardy paddlers who fancied getting their boats wet for a second day lazily headed to Rhosneigr beach. After a gentle potter around the rocky out crop strokes were practised and many rolls successfully pulled off with silky smooth finesse. A new picnic bench by the beach provided the perfect spot for lunch before the drive home.


Jenny Brown    More Photos……….



05/7/12 River Dee – Chester Weir

Last night we all met up at Soutiers Lane in Chester to paddle on the weir.  Mark, Keith, Andy and John were all in play boats while the rest were in larger volume kayaks.  The river was lower than last time but with reasonable flows over each of the steps.  We spent a few hours playing and practising moves on the tail at the bottom.  11 of us went on afterwards for a meal at Peacock Hotel, 158 Christleton Road, Chester, Cheshire, CH3 5TD.  This flaming grill pub served very big burgers and steaks!


Paddlers: Adam, Keith, John, Fiona, Andy, Paul, Ian, Sam, Tony + others                   More Photos………….



Next Wednesday we are on the Bridgewater Canal - Runcorn WA7 1JH (near Runcorn Train Station by the Waterloo Pub!)



High Tide: 5:30 PM 7.5

Bridgewater Canal - Runcorn WA7 1JH


Low Tide: 6:08 PM 2.0

Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)



Summer holiday break


Low Tide: 9:20 PM 2.0

Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)


High Tide: 5:41 PM 7.1

Leeds / Liverpool Canal Scarisbrick Arms L39 7HX


Low Tide: 8:46 PM 1.1

Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD (Souters Ln then The Groves)



04/7/12 Sunday the 3rd of June: Balmacrara Via Skye bridge, to Crowlin Islands to Applecross 

Text Box:

Having a pint and a good night’s sleep, the morning started early. The vehicles we driven out of the campsite not more than 500 meters to a lay bye opposite. Boats unloaded and carried down Text Box:  
the slipway to the waters edge. The tide was going out so we lost no time shipping gear; the next hour was spent playing the usual game of packing and unpacking until everything sort-of fitted.


The weather forecast was North Easterlies 3 to 4 – as can be seen by the inlay the first 7km of our journey to the bridge at Skye and was sheltered by the Hills that contained the waters of Loch Alsh.


The Skye Bridge literally rock hops from the mainland with a flat deck supported by concrete pillars. The second part rises like a ‘bow’ fully pulled back, rising steeply spanning the remaining gap; I would not have fancied riding a bike over it.


We were now venturing out in to open water, I usually have a map and a mental picture of the paddle ahead (as Pete had bought all the maps at the Green Whellie shop) we were pointed towards an island (Crowlin) and off we paddled. We were heading up into the Inner Sound of Skye and across the opening of two sea Lochs, Kishorn and Carron this created the feeling of being in a very wide open space. In fact the sea crossing lasted 2 hours and 7 more km covered before we closed in on the island. The sea conditions were ok; the wave tops were close together being formed by the wind more than the movement of the water, as we were now exposed to the breezy North Easterlies.


Text Box:  

The Crowlin Islands show signs of habitation with disused crofters buildings and sheep pens worked ingenuously into craggy nooks and crannies.

It was good to get to the island as it was hard to take much of a breather during the crossing.

We paddled up the East coast looking for a place to land. No sandy beaches here.


Having found what was really the only option we dragged our boats up onto kelp covered rocks and had a well earned coffee and butties.

We had left around 10.30 from the slipway and it was now one-ish so we had put in a pretty good stint at the oars.


This was also a good time for adjustments to trim and packing; something that was always a good subject for discussion. I have a very easy solution to all such issues; get an Explorer X!


Text Box:   All fettled and rested we set of to explore the north end of the island and the natural harbour formed by the division of the island.


Text Box: Day 1: Leg 2, 
The Crowlin Islands to Applecross.
It was very noticeable as we left our little haven and turned north that the sea had become larger with a noticeable swell. The rise and fall was around 2 to 3 feet, at least it was head on and quite good fun bobbing around. This was the first outing for my Go-Pro, trying to select menu’s, take footage in these sea conditions was a bit of a learning curve.


Having reached the north end of the island we took a bearing on a feature on the mainland and began to paddle across the sound of Caolas Mor. This section was more fun as the waves were bigger and coming diagonally across our bow. At this point I got into an intellectual conversation with Pete, a mind of information regarding quartering seas and such like – just when I thought I got it he threw in the curve ball; it all depends on where the larboard side was!!!!! – Or, something like that.


Talking about throwing, the sea conditions were such that having reached the mainland and paddled our way north towards Applecross through skerries and inlets Carol did get a bit sea sick.


I must add this trip was not only fantastic because of the weather, scenery and paddling opportunities but because of you guys – a great bunch of people to spend a week with, special thanks to Ian for making this happen


Applecross was still a good 9km paddle. The sea conditions flattened of as we got under the shelter of the cliffs that headed north. Again the coastline very rocky but now inlets and craggy bays formed little inviting excursions along the way.


The bay at Applecross is such a contrast to that of the rest of the coast. Situated in a large sheltered bay a little green oasis of civilisation, including a pub and toilets. After some reconnoitring we found a grassy area just above the water line – a feature of this trip was Anthony’s ability to judge sea and tide and the pitching of his tent – inch perfect every time.


As the evening drew in, tents and stoves all used for the first time; we sat supping a pint reflecting on our first day.


We had paddled just over 28km, experienced a range of sea conditions, and been part of some great scenery, overall a great first day and looking forward to the days ahead.


John P      More Photos…………..
















04/7/12 Liverpool Triathlon –Safety Kayak Cover.   More Photos………      Video of the event from John Pegram…………  

Many thanks to all your club members who helped out last Sunday morning.    I am sorry I didn't get a chance to join you all for lunch - I did get redeployed onto the run course straight after the event but I would just like to say Thank-you to you and your teams for making the on-water operations so smooth & successful.

Liverpool is one event I look forward to each year as it's just seems to work seamlessly - which is all down to you guys.

Thanks again, Martin Suzan
Swim Safety Ltd | Event Water Safety Management & Consultancy     www.swim-safety.co.uk


Team 1 (Red)


Team 2  (Blue)


Team 3  (Green)


Entry / Exit lifeguards

Ian Bell


John Worswick


Dave Reynolds


Martin Hurley  (Lifeguard )

Jim Slater


andy wrigg


Andrew Egan


Edward Reynolds   (Lifeguard )

Peter Dickinson


dom buckley


Tom McComasky


Paul Hanley

Gavin Grimes


Martin McCoy


Paul Flaherty


Dave Collins

Sarah gille


Matt Pegram


Anthony Vaccaro


Will Hurley

Simon English


tony mellor


Sara Bergqvist


James Bates







Dave Rider (Entry)








Team 4 (Black)


Team 5 (White)


Team 6 (Orange)



Steve Bond


Keith Steer


John Pegram



Mark Moore


Roy McHale


tony bennett



Peter Massey


Daniel Moss


Richard Quinn



Nicky pyper


Chris Fletcher


Philip fawcett



Allan Schofield


Peter Diamond


Keith Jackson





02/7/12 Liverpool Triathlon – 40 Volunteers from Liverpool Canoe Club – A competitors view.

Having done the safety cover at Liverpool Triathlon for the last two years it was time to take the plunge and have a go.  This being my first triathlon I set off early 7.45 to register and get ready.  As I arrived by the Marina I could see the kayakers out already looking after everyone doing the Olympic distance. The weather was a bit miserable with a fine rain that was doing a damn fine job of soaking me through before I even got in the dock.


 Having registered, I spent a few minutes looking around the transition area and watching some of the swimmers coming out of the water, some of whom were looking worryingly knackered already.   Back to the Marina to get changed in the warm before getting my kit set up in the transition area and donning my wetsuit and red hat ready for the off at 9.45.  Jumping in the water was a relief after walking around and standing on the stones for a good 20 minutes in bare feet.    It was surprisingly quite warm, but this might have been because the wind and rain had cooled us all down while we had been standing around.   After the longest 10 second warning the hooter went and we were off.   This is where my prior knowledge of the course would allow me to sweep to victory.   Making sure I  did not drift to the right I headed straight to the buoy and soon I was on my own as the pack drifted off course, unfortunately my superior knowledge was useless against those annoying people who could swim faster than me.  


I yelled brief greetings at a couple of kayakers I recognised, who probably classed me as another nutter in an all over rubber suit. Then all of a sudden the swim was over and I was being hauled out of the water (thank you to whoever dragged me out).    The first transition was quite long as I was clearly not as prepared as some of the people around me, but in under 3 minutes I was out on the bike course with the rain long gone and people cheering me on.   Two laps of the course later I managed the second transition in less than a minute and was straight into the run my least favourite of the three events.   Tired and hungry I crossed the line a respectable 1 hour 35 minutes and 3 seconds after starting.    The whole event was very well managed, and it was nice to hear everyone talking highly of the safety teams and the overall organisation.   Thanks to everyone for making the whole day was a lot of fun and I would recommend anyone who is interested to have a go, I will be back next year to improve my time.



Race No




Cat Chip Pos









Time of Day

Elapsed Time












































Kind Regards,  Al Grantham          More Photos………


02/7/12 “A Tale of Two Fishermen” – by three Legends and Dom.

Roy, Ray, Dom and myself met at Carrog for a cheeky summer run down the Welsh River Dee, with the original plan being to get out at Horseshoe Falls to the cars parked above the Chainbridge Hotel.

Being aware of possible problems with vandalism and general attitude to paddlers, the superb change of plan was suggested, that we park the top cars in the Carrog railway station and the bottom cars in the Eisteddfod car park – we had checked to make sure it was ok. That way, the cars would be more secure and it meant we didn’t have to climb the steep steps to get to Chainbridge car park.

All sorted, it was on to the river – which was at a great level of about 0.8 on the Rainchasers website. Getting in at Carrog, the three Legends were soon surfing the waves formed underneath the bridge. Not to be out done, Dom joined in in his kayak – making the most of the start of his well earned retirement.


 Fully warmed up, we turned and headed down stream. The brown flow rushed us along, making paddling under the summer sun easy.  The small rapids were fantastic, the gentle cruising excellent as we all took in the abundance that nature has to offer.  Pretty soon we reached Glyndyfrdwy and our first fisherman. He was casting his line, so we held back and then politely asked which way he wished us to pass? “On the ruddy bank!” his pleasant retort. Followed by “There is no paddling here” etc. Unperturbed, we paddled on.


More pleasant rapids passed, with no fishermen in the ample fishing huts, and the miles passed with smiles. A quick session on crossing the flow and break outs followed an initial run down the main rapid of the day, and then it was on to a relaxed lunch on the riverbank. Perfect.  Back on the river, and all too soon we met fisherman number two. The difference was amazing. A cheery wave was followed by a polite request for us to head river left as he couldn’t reach that far, all finished off with a “Have a good day!” Why can’t all encounters be like that.


Then it was on to the canal, a relaxing paddle to the Eisteddfod site, and then back up to the Station at Carrog for tea, cake and steam trains. It is always good practice to put money back into the community, that way paddlers will be more accepted.


A great day, it was really nice to make new friends (Roy & Ray). I would heartily recommend this river as a great place for those new to moving water and those who just want a nice day out.


Mike A  More Photos……..

02/7/12 'Raasay and Rona - Sunny Skyes Scottish Expedition' More Photos published…..

1/07/12 July 2012 Newsletter Published
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