Volume 12  Issue 10

October 2012

October Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…

 

01/10/12 Annual  Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race 2012

42 competitors had entered this years Sea Kayak.  They race out to the sandstone islands which lie a few kilometres from the West Kirby shoreline.  This is Liverpool Canoe Clubs local sea trip and many members were in the highly competitive field.  Unfortunately, gale force winds were forecast for the weekend and although we really wanted a race on the sea all our alternatives had to be discounted given the highly gusty nature of the forecast.

 

In the end the race had to be held in Liverpool Docks.  This proved the correct course of action as winds topped 40 knots from the SW at 1.00pm

 

We had a course around two buoys we travelled the full length of the docks, 1 lap to simulate the distance for the Little Eye Race (4km) and 2 laps for the Hilbre Race (8km).

 

It was interesting to see washing hanging (surfing the bow wave of a competitor) in sea kayaks.  The event proved very successful and some even talked of a similar event in the docks for everyone perhaps next year.

 

 

This year, club member Mike Bell, made 5 fantastic trophies for the winners of each category.  He also makes fantastic carbon paddles including the Formby Finger (a Greenland style paddle).  Mike has also repaired many club members’ kayaks.  More information from Mikes website…….

 Sunday 30th September 2012 Run in Liverpool Docks because of Gale force winds
Full list of all results and times......

Hilbre Race (8km in Docks)

 

Little Eye Race (4km in Docks)

 

1st Kayak

Neil Evans

1st Kayak

Sarah Gille

2nd Kayak

Dave Blake

2nd Kayak

Matthew Pegram

3rd Kayak

Alastair Randall

1st Double

Paul and Harvey Harwood

1st Lady Kayak

Carole Thomas

2nd Double

Stephen & Regan Bond

Next Race is Sunday 22nd September 2013 (HW Liverpool 1:31pm BST 9.3m)
Race Start time 1:00 pm

More Photos……..

 

01/10/12 September Photo of the Month Competition

 

Liverpool Canoe Club September Photo Competition Winners


Congratulations to Paul Harwood for his winning photo

from the Outdoor Alternative – Anglesey Weekend No 3. 

“Harvey and Friends swimming through the rapids at Four Mile Bridge.”

 

 

Runner up Jon Maddock:

“Nathan playing on the Café Wave – Pyranha Paddlefest”

 

Runner up Jon Maddock : “Camping under the stars” at

Outdoor Alternative – Anglesey Weekend No 3

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

 

 

 

30/09/12 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.

 

30/09/12 White Water Kayak Expedition to the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, Russia August 2012 (AKA Fat Camp)  Part 1 (Part 2 in next months newsletter)

The reception I received from most people when I first mentioned back in mid 2011 that I fancied going all the way to Siberia http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_wR_M3i3qKSY/TTmm1mbuZvI/AAAAAAAADoE/JyA02MR5Jrc/s400/russia_map.gifto take part in a kayaking expedition down two remote rivers wasn’t really on the positive side. There was a lot of “Mick” taking.   “You’re going to die”, “it’s too difficult” and “the rivers are too pushy” were common responses I even had money transferred into my bank account under the heading of “Siberian Funeral Fund” but to be fair, most of the comments were said light heartedly and I could understand why they were said.  When I first mentioned the trip I hadn’t been kayaking that long and in all honestly I knew I wasn’t good enough at that time to undertake such a trip.  Siberia has a reputation of being a hardcore place to go kayaking and I knew I’d have to improve my abilities a lot if I was in with a chance of surviving the trip. So for the last year I’ve kayaked as much as possible and with help from friends at the club I have pushed myself hard in order to improve my Text Box:   
Outside Heathrow Terminal 4

kayaking skills and get myself ready for what turned out to be an amazing adventure.

The expedition itself consisted of a 10 day self-supported kayaking trip down two of the remotest rivers in Siberia’s Eastern Sayan Mountain’s. “Self-supported” meant that you had to carry all of your equipment, clothing and food inside your kayak for the full 10 day’s.  There was no raft support or shops along the way to supply you.  The first river to be kayaked was the Kitoy which is one of the major rivers in the area.  It is a large volume river and it runs between 80 & 120 Cumecs depending on rainfall.  To put this volume into perspective, when it’s releasing the Upper Tryweryn runs usually at around 9 Cumecs. 

The second river was the Biluti which is a tributary of the Kitoy. The Biluti is a low volume creek Text Box:  
Check in
that is revered by Kayakers in Russia, not only for its immense beauty, but also for how difficult it is to get to the put in of the river, especially if you want to kayak the upper canyon.  To get to the put in of the upper canyon involces a 2 day walk-in with fully loaded boats strapped to your back.  The route is through virgin Russian pine forest that has no proper tracks or trails.

During the expedition I kept a dairy to remind me of the exploits that we got up to.  The following is exerts from the dairy describing the trip and how I was feeling at the time. So if any of you are vaguely interested in garlic, fish, tinned beef, vodka or even a bit of white water kayaking, if might be worth a read. I hope you enjoy the account and the photos, Roy McHale.

 

 

Friday 10th August.

The eve of the trip sees me frantically running around getting together the last bits of kit I need and packing them away ready for the journey. I get to bed late and oversleep but still manage to get down to Heathrow Airport for 10am. This should have given me plenty of time to spare as my flight to Moscow was not until 13.30.  However, the hassle of getting my kayak through customs only gives me a few minutes to relax before my flight. I am flying with the Russian airline Aeroflot; the route I’m taking is London to Moscow then Moscow to Irkutsk. I flew with Aeroflot because they were the only airline that would fly a kayak out of the UK.  I had heard a lot of bad stories about them but I have to say I found them very good and I’d recommend them to anyone thinking of flying to Russia.

 

Text Box:  
Accommodation in Irkutsk

Saturday 11th August 2012.

After around a ten hour flight plus a two hour wait in Moscow airport I finally land in Irkutsk.. This isn’t the remote outpost I’d expected but a bustling modern Text Box:  
Lake Baikal Fish stalls
city of over 500,000 people.  I am met at the airport by Adidas Sickline team member and Team Pyranha paddler Tomass Marnics who is the organiser and leader of the expedition. Tomass then takes me to meet up with the three other English people who are taking part in the expedition. The English guys, who I’ve never met before are called Alex, Peter and Andrew.  They’re all from the Cambridge area. Tomass shows us to the Hostel where we are staying for the night and then leaves us to our own devices.  We decided to explore Irkutsk and end up in an Irish Bar preparing for tomorrows trip by drinking Guinness.  A Russian guy called Max who knows the Cambridge lot from back in the UK and who is going on the expedition with us had caught up with us earlier.   Max then invites us to his Parents summer home which is a traditionally built timber building called a “Datcha” for some food and drinks and we are treated to a lovely home cooked meal which has been prepared by his mother.

 

Text Box:  
Dried Ommul the species of fish unique to Lake Baikal

Sunday 12th August 2012

The following morning we were picked up from the hostel at 9am and go to the lock up where our kayaks had been stored. There we load our kayaks with the equipment and clothing we are taking with us and we are also introduced for the first time to the other members of the expedition. The crew is 10 strong and consists of Tomass Marnics (Latvia), Xavier (Belgium), Andre (Czech Republic), Vasiliy, Gresha, Max (Russia) and Myself, Alex, Peter and Andrew from the UK.  We load the boats onto a truck Text Box:    Mongolian Dumplings

which heads off to the put in while we get some last food supplies and also quite a number of bottles of Russian Vodka for the trip. Then we set off on a six hour drive to the put in on the Kitoy River the journey take us past the bottom tip of Lake Baikal which is the oldest, deepest & most volumous freshwater lake in the world.  We stop at a row of market stalls very near to the lake and sample some of the local hot smoked fish which is very nice there is also a lot of dried fish being sold I didn’t think that this is as nice as the smoked fish but it’s a local delicacy and the Russians love it. The type of fish is a species that is unique to Lake Baikal it is called Ommul. We continue our journey and for a while we drive on fairly decent made roads until the tarmac runs out and we continue along dirt roads. The route to the river takes us very close to the northern border of Mongolia and the facial features of the local population become more Mongolian looking as we go. We stop at a Mongolian road side restaurant and have a meal of Mongolian dumplings and chilli sauce before another two hour drive gets us to the river. Once there we roughly divide the food between each of us and we paddle down river for around an hour until we get to the first campsite where we make a fire and while Tomass cooks the evening meal the rest of the group puts up the tarps and collect fire wood.

Text Box:  
Wild horses near the Mongolian border

Monday 13th August 2012.

The following morning the rations were split out equally between each paddler.  Breakfast and evening meals on the trip were Text Box:  
The staple ingredient of most meals tinned beef

cooked on an open fire but all you got for Lunch was one Snickers bar per day. After breakfast we began the long first full day paddle with loaded boats.  At the start of the trip the Kitoy River is slow moving and quite shallow and getting grounded on the sharp submerged rocks became quite a regular occurrence. The pace set by Tomass was very fast and you had to really get stuck in and paddle hard to make sure you weren’t left behind. I learnt an important lesson that first day which was keep the snickers bar you were going to have for lunch in your BA pocket rather than pack it away in the back of your boat because lunch is eaten on the go and we didn’t stop paddling for around eight hours. We finally reached the campsite for the night and as we are setting up camp we are joined by another Russian paddler called Sava who had paddled solo from the put in to catch us up.  Due to the lack of lunch I devoured the evening meal like I’d not eaten for a month, the meal was also supplemented by fresh fish which some of the Russians caught these were washed down by quite a lot of Vodka as it was Max’s birthday. Sava had also brought along some fresh sausages which we grilled and ate. While all this was going on Vasiliy repaired a crack in the bottom of his boat with a piece of plastic that I had taken with me in my repair kit he melted the plastic into the crack with two spoons that Text Box:  At the put onhad been heated in the fire.

 

Tuesday 14th August. The Upper Canyon

Text Box:  
1st Campsite

The following day the river was joined by a number of tributaries which made it deeper, faster and more interesting and after an hour of paddling we entered the upper canyon and came across the first major rapid of the trip. This was the first rapid we had scouted Tomass explained the line and then ran the rapid successfully. The rapid looked scary but the portage wasn’t nice either so I decided to go for it I capsized quite near the top rolled up somewhere near the middle then capsized again before rolling up at the bottom Alex from Cambridge ran the rapid too and did the same after seeing both Alex and I mess it up Max, Sava and Andrew decided the portage was the better option.

The rest of the canyon had some excellent grade 4 white water rapids which certainly kept you on your toes as we left the upper canyon behind the rapids were mainly large wave trains all the way down to the campsite for the night which was located not far above the upper canyon of the Motkin gorge which is one of the test pieces of the trip. The campsite this night was probably the best we stayed at both for the Text Box:  
Fish head anyone?
beautiful scenery and for the fishing. I went down river a few hundred meters to fish and ended up catching 10 fish my tally was added to the rest of the fish which had been caught mainly by the Russians Vasiliy, Gresha and Max and after our main evening meal which was a dish of pasta, garlic and tinned beef we all got stuck in and cleaned and gutted the fish. The larger fish were seasoned with garlic, mayonnaise and pepper and then wrapped in tin foil and roasted in the embers of the fire, the smaller fish were either boiled and made into a Text Box:  
Upper Canyon Rapids
soup or salted and left for a few hours before being eaten raw because we had caught quite a substantial amount of fish.  Even the livers, stomachs and any fish eggs that were found while gutting the fish were saved cleaned and fried up and served with a sort of homemade coleslaw made from cabbage, mayonnaise and garlic. I know that this fish offal starter sounds disgusting but I must say it was quite nice, much nicer than the fish head delicacy I tried later in the evening. During the whole evening neat Vodka was being passed around freely I think Max was still celebrating his birthday. At one point I’m handed the cup of vodka and some of the raw salted fish I eat the fish then drink the Vodka I suppose it was a bit like a tequila slammer but more fishy.

 

Wednesday 15th August the Upper Canyon of the Motkin Gorge

A fantastic day paddling on amazing white water.  I started feeling nervous, probably due to the amount of vodka/fish slammers I’d drank the night before but ended up really enjoying the run and paddling really well. The river here was fast and high and we were running the pretty continuous grade 4 rapids through the canyon for most of the day. Paddling a loaded boat in that type of water is tiring though and by the end of the run Text Box:  
One of the many rapids in the Motkin Gorge

my arms and shoulders were really feeling it also because a loaded boat is much heavier you need to make technical decisions about what line you’re going to take a lot earlier than you would with an empty boat so it’s mentally taxing too. All the rapids on this section of river we read and run from our kayaks apart from the last which we got out and inspected as Tomass said it was more difficult than the rest but to be honest it didn’t look much different than anything we’d been running all day. There was a definite line that needed taking though and we watched as Tomass ran it. I ran the rapid smoothly the last drop had a sticky hole beneath it that I managed to punch through with no major problems apart from being fishtailed slightly. The next section of river was “Rapid 47 ” which is a  grade 6 section and a mandatory 2 kilometre portage it was our first experience of carrying fully loaded boats on our backs through the forest and it was hard especially going up the steep hills but I made it ok. That night we camped in between the upper and lower canyons of the Motkin gorge the setting of the camp was beautiful and without any light pollution the amount of stars in the clear night sky was unreal. The vodka had run out so we drank black tea before getting a reasonably early night. The lack of Vodka and early night was probably a good thing as the Lower Canyon of the Motkin Gorge the section of river we are to paddle tomorrow is the most difficult stretch of white water on the river.

 

Thursday 16th August - Lower Canyon Motkin Gorge.

We awoke to rain I got straight into my dry suit so my clothes didn’t get wet.  After a breakfast of beans, tinned meat and garlic we put on the river and within 50 meters of the campsite we’re straight into class 4/4+ rapids with no chance of a warm up after 30 minutes or so of this we eddie out and inspect a major rapid there’s a drop that you need to run then about 10 meters downstream there is a large stopper that you need to avoid I’m feeling tired after yesterday’s paddle and portage and don’t really fancy running it but the portage over the large slippery rocks would be horrible so I decide to give it ago. I break out of the eddie and approach the drop I miss time my boof stroke which results in me capsizing in the churning water below. The powerful water doesn’t make setting up for the roll easy and the approaching stopper is in my mind so I pull my deck and swim luckily both me and the boat miss the stopper and end up in a eddie at the bottom of the rapid where I can empty my boat and sort myself out. Alex runs the rapid after me and does the same after watching both me and Alex swim Max, Sava and Andrew again decided that the portage looks the better option. The rest of my day consists of surviving the big volume rapids with hole dodging being the name of the game, as I tire, avoiding the holes and stoppers becomes increasingly harder than the day before and I’m back looped at least 3 times and have to roll about 5 times but no more swims I’m relieved when we get to the end of the gorge. We then spend around an hour or so paddling class 2/3 rapids until we make the campsite which is at the confluence of the Biluti. We say goodbye to Sava and Andrew who have decided they don’t want to do the big walk in and they carry on down the Kitoy to stay at a hunters lodge for a few days until we catch up. There is a lot of mozzies at this campsite so I decide to go fishing to get away from them when I return the temperature has dropped and the mozzies have gone. I eat the evening meal then get an early night tomorrow is the big walk in and I need all the rest I can get.

Since I’ve been home loads of people have asked me did I enjoy the trip and the answer is always a big “YES”. It was an overall amazing experience that someday I would love to be able to do again.   If anyone is interested in hearing more about the trip I’ll be doing a talk about it on Monday 10th December at The Liverpool Marina Bar.   You can also watch a short film that was made by Tomass called Siberian Summer which shows the rivers that we we’re running click here http://vimeo.com/48600923   

Cheers Roy       More Photos………….      Part Two in next Months Newsletter…………

 

25/09/12 Anglesey Weekend Number 3 Outdoor Alternative, Rhoscolyn

Friday night

I finished work early and got home for 3:30pm. A quick trip to the local Co-op to get our food for the weekend. Bombed home to throw all our gear in a bag. Ten pairs of underpants, one pair of socks, no deodorant, 4 towels,
leaky bottle of shower gel, 14 T-shirts, no trousers, and no coat. Load up van with only two boats this weekend, nearly no paddles, but all our wet gear. One tent, 2 sleeping bags, remembered pillows and duvet this time and we were packed. No. Forgot cooker, gas, pans, and Oh no. I've forgotten to get Harvey some new wet shoes. The sole is hanging off his and his toes are poking out the end. Oh well, they will have to do.

As you can tell, this is a boys trip with no help from Kate.

We left home at 4:30pm and set off over the Runcorn Bridge. So slow. after an hours drive we've only gone 30 miles. Stress? I've got to be there before dark and pitch a tent that’s the size of a house.  I've never pitched it before and Harvey's got Jungle Classics on full blast in the van singing Super Sharp Shooter. Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

We got to Outdoor Alternative for 7pm and Daz and Paul W are there to help Harvey and I get our tent up. Phew. Tents up and we need to eat. A few of us set off to go to the White Eagle (5 minutes walk away Karl said). Anyway this pub was packed to the rafters and could not even seat us at the bar never mind feed us, so Harvey and I set off back to the campsite for beans on toast. Only it was now full dark, we had no torch but the sky was clear and the moon was out. 2 miles or so later we found Peter, just as we were going to make a wrong turn by the campsite and were guided back to safety. We had our dinner and went to bed as it was now freezing.

At 10pm Karl Tattum, Brad, Keenan, Hong Kong Dave and John arrived back at the campsite and they had seen some shooting stars. Everybody on both fields knew they had seen shooting stars, they were so loud. The noise they made was unbelievable, the noises from Hong kong Dave were even louder.  They shouted more and more. We got out of our tent and we also saw some shooting stars. It was amazing, the Milky way was there and so many stars. The kids started drinking Coke at 11pm. I’ll dunk Karl for that in the morning I thought to myself as I tried to get some kip. There were some strange gastric noises coming from that tent followed by shouts of "Dave, What have you been eating?" followed by "Nothin'"  Paul Harwood    More Photos…….

Saturday

We were woken at 5:30am by Karl, Brad, and Keenan. It was cold. Only 2 degrees Celsius but a cooked breakfast and a shower soon sorted that out. We all decided that we were going to Four Mile Bridge in the morning, then the cafe for lunch and on to Treaddur Bay for the afternoon.

Four Mile Bridge

Four Mile bridge is a great spot for learning how to break in and out of moving water. A great place for practicing your rolls and just a good safe place for messing about in boats. A jet of water is forced through a narrow bridge when the tide comes in and when the tide goes out the jet goes the other way creating an almost endless stream of moving water. There are two large lakes each side of the bridge.

Sam, Sam, Mike, John, Kieran, Karl, Brad, Phil, Harvey and I met up and quickly got in our boats and through the shoot of water. It wasn't long until the body boards came out and we were going through the bridge on those. This was followed by swimming through the bridge and just having fun.

 

It was here that I had my first accident. I was messing around in my C1 canoe when I capsized. No big deal I'll just roll up. I must have flexed more than my spray deck allowed and it peeled off me leaving me hanging out of my boat. Karl was on me fast with his camera to remind everyone to vote for me for swimmer of the year. Genuinely, I did not pull my deck but Karl didn't care.

Later, Karl was just coming to the side and he just seemed to fall in. (I dived on his boat, flipped him and held him upside down.) My camera was ready and now I had a picture to remind everyone to vote for Karl.

More swims through the shoot and more messing about with the kids and it was time for lunch.

Keenan, John and Hong Kong Dave were a little scared and decided to go fishing instead. 

Treaddur Bay

After lunch we headed down to Treaddur Bay for a spot of rock hopping. Sam, Sam and Mike stayed in the bay to practice rescues and Karl, Brad, John, Kieran, Phil, Harvey and I went for a trip to the Monster House and the cave below it and around the bays and little beaches. Its great paddling around the rocks and when you're with kids you seem to see so much more. Harvey even found a rock to seal launch off. He is the seal launch king. He wants to go off the wall in Dukes Dock like his Dad in the video for swimmer of the Year.  I’ve said when he gets his spray deck on he can. I just know he will be spray-decked next week!

It was here that Karl had a little accident of his own. He was just climbing back in his boat after seal launching Harvey when he fell out of his boat before he'd even got his bum in it. I was on hand with a camera again – lucky eh! After a couple of hours we headed back to the beach and went fishing with Hong Kong Dave, John and Brad. John and Dave had caught nothing all day. Keenan had caught eight fish. Harvey abandoned his boat and joined them. 10 seconds later he caught a fish. The kids were now showing the adults how to do it.

The weather was fantastic all day. Sunny, blue sky and no wind at all. The sea was still warm and calm. Frankie and picked a good weekend.   We arrived back at the campsite just as the barbeques were being lit. We showered and plonked ourselves 3 inches from the fire.  We had a dinner of 8 sausage butties and a 15 portion cake and went to bed.

Paul Harwood       More Photos…….


Sea kayak paddle on Saturday  Fun In The Sun

 

After Friday nights socialising I woke on Saturday morning with a banging hangover.

At least the sun was shining and after a Bacon butty and a couple of coffee’s it was time to go paddling. We made a quick pit stop at Summit to Sea before heading for cable bay where we were greeted by a flat calm sea.

 

 

 

The plan was to paddle from Cable bay to Llanddwyn Island, stop for lunch then head back. With 19 paddlers turning up, we split into 3 groups and set off along the coast. My group rock hoped for the first 3 miles or so before we got our heads down and started the slog (it was against the tide) to Llanddwyn Island.

 

 

 

 

We all landed on a small sandy beach and enjoyed lunch in the glorious sunshine.

 

 

 

It was hard to believe it was September. There haven’t been too many days like that this year. I’ve since found out that the word Llanddwyn means Church of St Dwynwen; who is the Welsh patron saint of lovers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch we set off back with a few of us heading to the near by beach where a decent swell driven surf had been spotted earlier. I arrived there first along with Brian Green who promptly caught a wave and sped rapidly towards the shore. Not to be outdone, I followed suit and was soon charging towards the shore and whooping like a 10 year old. Others soon joined us and the next half hour was just pure fun and a couple of swims LOL.

 

All too soon we had to head back to Cable Bay. 27 Km`s covered and I think we were all ready for the Barby and a few drinks. A great day in fantastic company. Roll on the next Anglesey weekend!

 

Dave Blake

 

 



Sunday

It was going to be climbing on the rocks and crabbing for us today. Harvey knew the technique. Post Office for string. Grocery store for bacon, souvenir shop for bucket and the beach for a pebble. We spent a few hours on the rocks and nearly caught a few crabs.  However we found lots of Hermit crabs which I thought was amazing. Then the long drive home to Liverpool.

It had been another fantastic weekend. We did all three Anglesey weekends this year and Harvey absolutely loves them. For weeks all he wanted to talk about was going camping again.   We can't wait for some more next year when it warms up again.

Paul Harwood

 

Sea Kayak Rescues - Sunday

The sun rose on Sunday morning to another dry day.  People crawled out of their tents looking a little blurry eyed; was this effect of the paddle from Cable Bay to Llanddwyn Island and back again or was it just another excellent Barbeque and a few beers !!!!!

There was a good turnout at the meet, some went to Treaddur Bay and some to 5 Mile Bridge.  This left about 14 of us who headed to the local beach, Borth Wen.  We carried the boats down to the beach, the conditions were much calmer than last year when it was like being in a washing machine!!!!

Keith and the others started with an equipment talk about waist, deck and snatch tows and the pro and cons of all these.  Much discussion centred around whether to be with or without a float at the clip end of the line.  The best conclusion was to take them out of the packet and try them on the sea!!!  After a little more discussion we decided we would divide up into 3’s and practice tandem tows.  We headed out to the old life boat station and this turned out to be a race!!

For the second leg we headed out to Rhoscolyn Beacon finding out all the pros and cons of all the different tows. It was quite lumpy going towards the Beacon so we sheltered behind the outcrops for a little while to regroup.  In no time at all the wind had picked up, possibly the top end of a force 4, and the tide was heading to Holyhead at some rate of knots.  This proved quite a challenge for some of us and the third leg around the Beacon was cut short – time to get back to the beach through the small overfalls for some lunch.

After some hot tea and coffee and some excellent homemade cake Keith demonstrated an excellent “X” rescue; the only thing was that this was on the sand and not on that wobbly water stuff.  We therefore got back onto the water to practice “X” rescues; first in the lee of the island and then in the much rougher water off the bay.  Later the group experimented with sling or stirrup rescues, a ladder self rescue, all in capsize with two people in the water rescuing each other and trying out paddle float self-rescues.  Everybody had a go at everything !!!

After all this hard work but great fun we all paddled back to the beach with big grins on our faces.  A pretty good day by all.  Don Brooks  More photos………..

 

27/09/12 Chester Weir – Wednesday Evening Paddle 
Five paddlers arrived on a sunny but not so warm Wednesday evening at Chester Weir. Keith was there, as he always is, and was joined by Gavin, John, Ben and Paul. The water levels weren't too high and all four steps were visible. Last time I was here there were no steps and just two large waves. I had come in my C1 canoe again and was hoping to have a bit more fun. The water felt cold, but decided to have a practice roll to get my bare arms and T-shirt clad body used to the temperature. a large group of about 20 were there from the Scouts so we let them pass and then we descended on to the steps. Gosh my boat is very edgy and the boily water made me feel quite vulnerable on my off side but what am I here for? Some fun. I plopped down the steps and saw that the bottom one was a small hole. I'm going to side surf that one.

I went back up to the top to find Gavin and John had gone down the steps on their heads, but were safely at the bottom practicing ferry gliding with the scouts. Keith was trying to cartwheel and ender his boat. I actually saw Keith capsize. Were my eyes deceiving me? I tried a little messing about in the top pour-over which saw me flipped. Keith T-rescued me, and then I went down to the bottom step and dropped in over the edge sideways for some side surf action. I was happy for a few seconds thinking "Look at me, look how cool and stylish I am in my canoe!" when I let my back end turn into the pour-over and I think I backward looped into oblivion with rocks scraping round my head, my spraydeck peeled off my boat (on its own!) and I swam with style to the side.

We practiced breaking out into the current, and trying to catch the waves, and I practiced my rolling and you know what? It was FUN.

 

Paul Harwood         More Photos………………………

 

 

 

 

Text Box:
25/09/12 North West Canoe Polo League Division 2

 

Our new `C` team headed down to Trentham Canoe Club at the weekend to play their first tournament.  After many training sessions at the docks using our pitch the team managed to win their first game 4-2 against Pendle Paddlers, lost the next two against Birmingham and Loughbrough and drew their final game 3-3 after a spirited fight back from 3-0 down.

 

We are always looking for new players with plenty of boats, paddles and helmets to use.  Just check out the calendar for polo sessions and come and join us.

 

Roy McHale

Paul Flaherty

Lucy Stuart

Liam Wong

Scott Gibson

 

More Photos………………………

 

The “C Team at their First Tournament

4 on 2 Marking!

Overlooking Trentham Lake and polo pitches

 

 

 

17/09/12 BCU 4* sea leader training

 

After thinking and talking about 4* training for months on Saturday I met up with 5 other LCC paddlers and Nick Cunliffe at 9am at Summit to Sea in Valley.  The day started with a discussion in the back room of the shop about what we each wanted to gain from weekend.

Following some discussion about the syllabus, the weather and planning we all headed to Treaddur bay to get on the water. No one bought anything in the shop. (I felt a bit bad about that) 

Once we had the boats organized and the dry suits on, a short carry from the car park to the slip way saw us on the water. The theme of the day was a journey with lots of role-play and some skills work. Communication was key and Nick facilitated the day in a way that made everyone feel comfortable contributing.

 

The mornings forecast had been for a westerly 3-4, that was due to swing south westerly and pick up to 5-6, as we made our way around the coast it certainly felt like it was picking up, and conditions were interesting enough to keep you on your toes and induce some feelings of sea sickness (good job I took those travel sickness pills in the morning). 

 

As we moved along the coastline we are all asked to take turns leading in groups of 3 and think about what leadership skills and decisions you may need to make. Porth Diana, Raven’s Point, and Porth-y-garan were well used throughout the day. Over lunch we discussed what we had learnt that morning and quizzed Nick about his swim round Anglesey, completed at the beginning of the month.  We all got to do some towing after a really good session about towlines on the beach. I think we all got to see and experience the positive and negative aspects of the different towlines we each possess. Throughout the day lots of reflective discussion, and review and feedback was used.

 

We landed back at Treaddur amazed that it was close to 5pm as the day had flown by.  We camped overnight and after a meal at the Paddlers Return, I got to see Jim K’s photos from East Greenland. Put the 11th March 2013 in your diary, Jim is doing a club talk about the trip.

 

Next morning after a huddled chat in the back of Nick’s van looking at the conditions in Treaddur Bay, we moved to the Menai Straits to think about rescues and incident management (have to confess I resolved my guilt from Saturday and popped into the shop and bought something on my way). We all took turns in being casualty and rescuers.  At one point, as Brian and I were ‘rescuing’ Jim under the Britannia bridge, a couple of sea kayakers paddled over to offer assistance. We were obviously very good actors! Another day flew by and even the heavy rain didn’t dampen the groups’ spirits.  More discussion and reflection in the Liverpool Arms over a cup of coffee and suddenly 2 days of training were over. We all agreed that we’d had a great weekend on the water and learnt loads.

 

Thanks to Brian G, Steve B, Jim K, Pete and Caz for joining me and to Nick for an excellent weekend.  If you are interested in any of the courses that Kayak Essentials have offered to LCC drop me an email.

 

Frankie Annan

 

17/09/12 Rhos to the Ormes Head

 

Perhaps the fact that the golf was cancelled should have been enough to tell me that the wind was strong. Then again, perhaps the gale warnings should have got passed the "I want to paddle!" filter. But regardless of how strong the wind was, there was no way I should have ended up being stopped by the New York Police Department when I was only planning on going around the Ormes - my navigation Little Ormeisn't THAT bad!

 

The day dawned, bright and breezy as I made my way to Rhos to meet Fiona for a trip around the Ormes. Plan was to go with the ebb, into the wind, around both Ormes and finish at West Shore. We had never met before, so it was going to be nice to meet someone new to paddle with.

 

Cars shuttled, we launched on what was a nice day, with a bit of breeze. We made excellent headway to the Little Orme, here we met two SUP boarders who I must admit had me a bit worried as they were so far of shore without PFD's, and then carried on into the first tide race. Wind against tide let to some interesting conditions, but Fiona just powered straight into and through them as if they were not even there! I think she was enjoying herself in the lumpy stuff, and we provided good entertainment for the local cruise boat who brought the tourist thrill seekers over to come and take some photos.

 

Across Llandudno bay the wind didn't let up, so with there just being the two us we decided to give the Great Orme a miss and landed for lunch close to the pier. No problems, a short walk to West Shore would soon have the car collected. Unfortunately, Llandudno was very busy that day and I got some strange looks as I wandered through the crowds and Alice in Wonderland statues wearing my Reeds!

Car collected, there was time for a quick brew before heading home. It was then that the trip became more and more curious.

 

Driving home, I knew that a bridge was closed for repairs. So, being unsure of the diversion route I carefully followed the diversion signs - and ran slap bang into New York Police Department road block! Ehhh? Whats going on? Did I follow Alice down her rabbit hole? Had I carried on too far West when I should have returned East? Nope, it turns out that Hollywood is in town again.

A great day in the lumpy stuff. It's always fun to push the adventure zone when is safe to do so, it makes the comfort zone that bit bigger.

 

Mike & Fiona + Seamus the driver

 

16/09/12 Nominations for Paddler of the year, Junior paddler of the year, Volunteer of the year and swimmer of the year have just been posted on the website.

Each year the club asks for nominations for our four Awards. Members can vote for each category by sending an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk with their vote for each. Awards are then presented at the clubs AGM on second Monday of October – 8th Oct 2012.

Click to see the nominations……….. Please send your votes in NOW

16/09/12 Agenda for AGM 8th October 2012                           

2011 AGM Minutes………

2012 Agenda for 8th Oct 2012………

2012  End of Year Accounts….. Click for More.....    

 

 

 

14/09/12 Wednesday Evening Paddle – Leeds & Liverpool Canal

 

After a day of constant rain and grey skies, the clouds broke up and the rain stopped as we met for a gentle evenings paddle on the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

 

Only four of us braved the wind, Keith and Phil in their Pyranha`s, Ben in his Perception sit on top and me in my brand spanking new, shiny red, North Shore Atlantic RM. We got on the canal at the Scarisbrick Arms (now called “the Gastro Bar and Grill”) around 6.45pm and headed ........ well I don't know what direction we went in, all I know is we had the wind in our faces! This obviously wasn't going to be a problem for me in my super duper 17 foot sea kayak but I feared how the other three would manage.

 

Apart from the odd man walking his dog and a man fishing, we had the canal to ourselves and were soon out of earshot of any traffic noise. It soon became apparent that this paddle was more about 'pub spotting' to Keith and Phil than anything else. Before we knew it, Keith told us it was 8pm and so we turned and headed back (probably because he knew there were no more pubs to see rather than the lateness of the hour!).

 

It was much easier with the wind now behind us, but with another 20 minutes of paddling left, the light went and we were all so well prepared that no-one had a torch and so we ended the paddle in complete darkness. My amazing Atlantic comes equipped with headlights but I refrained from using them as I did not want the group to feel inferior in their 'run of the mill' kayaks.

A lovely quiet and relaxing paddle until a duck calmly glided out of my way and went straight into the nose of Phil's boat and then underneath it! As it flapped about and screeched a bit, it flew off to Phil's 'Are you FLIPPING blind?' shout. I think it must have been deaf as well because it didn't answer him! But I have never seen such kindness and concern shown by a grown man towards a duck, it was truly heart warming to witness.

 

A thoroughly enjoyable evening paddle, with good company, in another beautiful part of the North West I have never seen before.

 

Nicky C, Phil F, Keith S and Ben James      Photos……

 

PS we headed North towards Burscough (past the Ship Inn and Saracens Head)

 

 

14/09/12 Donation to the club from Warrington Dolphins Swimming Club

 

The club has just received a cheque from Warrington Dolphins Long Distance Swimming club in appreciation for the help given by club paddlers to help provide safety cover for their dock swim event on 4th August.  They were invited for buffet at the Blue Bar afterwards.

Club paddlers were:  Chris Turner, Dermot Miller, Peter Massey, Steve Lewtas, Peter Stone and Kirk Williams.

 

Well done and thank you.

 

 

 

 

14/09/12 Monday night talk – “Raasay and Rhona Sunny Skyes”

 

It was great to see so many people interested in sea kayaking there.  Pete Thomas took us through the mechanics of a sea kayak trip with everything from logistics to future trips.  His candid summary of the team was very interesting.  We then viewed many excellent photographs taking us through the journey, campsites and displaying stunning views of the Cuillin of Skye.

 

Ian Bell then went through what equipment to take on a sea kayaking trip to Scotland in June.  The bug nets and attempts to camp near a breeze tell their own story.  This section provided many interesting questions from the floor a good discussion developed.

 

John Pegram then took us on a virtual journey with his short film of the expedition taken with both his waterproof camera and a “GoPro” mounted on the deck.

 

The club holds talks on paddle sport on every second Monday of the Month at the Marina.  These are free to all and ideal to develop your understanding of the sport.  Next month is the AGM where we will have a short meeting with reports from the various disciplines (less than 30mins), present club awards, enjoy a complimentary buffet and watch the world premier of the Alps 2012 video from never again productions.  Click for more talks…………..

 

14/09/12 Surfing Crosby Monday 10th September

 

After an early finish it was a quick dash home to collect Keenan (12) and Bradley (8) to make the short journey to Crosby Coastguard Station to meet other LCC paddlers and enjoy the late afternoons surf at the sea. John H was first to arrive and was dressed for action with his body board under his arm ready to go. We were soon running down the beach and jumping into the surf and I felt a little left out as I was the only kayak on the water at that time but soon noticed that walking up the beach was Wayne L with his boat on his shoulder.

 

"What's the score Karl" he asked.

"See a wave....paddle like crazy....lean back a little...then forward ...and away you go" I said.

"OK mate" and off he went to catch the first monster.

Well his first attempt was a forward 360 loop face first into water followed by a short swim back to the shore as Keenan, Bradley and John couldn't control their laughter as he passed.

In our smaller boats we need to lean back a little as you catch the wave................Wayne knows that now.

 

Soon more boats arrived on the water paddled by Steve Rose and Dave D who both enjoyed a good couple of hours in the surf. Steve and Wayne began splashing the children as they passed so Keenan and Bradley decided to retaliate with a rugby tackle on Steve as he tried to exit the water and Bradley chased Wayne, who ran screaming with his boat on his shoulder, up the beach back to the car park then jumped into his car soaking wet and drove away.

A great evenings paddle right on our doorstep.

 

Karl Tattum Karl, Keenan and Bradley Tattum, Johnny Hornet, Steve Rose, Wayne Littler and Dave D.    More Photos……..


14/09/12
River Tryweryn – Pyranha Fest 2012


Full report to follow…………  Lucy Stuart    More Photos……..


 

Nathan Marsden

Justin Cooper

Roy McHale



09/09/12 Googlegroups Message board and Emails

The club uses googlegroups email system to communicate with its members – are you getting all the information?

We have now introduced an automatic sign-up page for all the message boards and email groups within the club.  If you have changed your email address or want to re-join one of the groups you can now do this yourself by entering your email address.  Go to the message board page for more information……..  You will need to use your username and password to prove you are a member.


09/09/12 Club Expedition to Alaska “Hey Bear” (Whittier to Icy Bay crossing over to Knight Island and return)
Part 1

This clubs` expedition to Prince William Sound is now well established with trips in 2008, 2010 and again in 2012. This time we headed South towards Whale Bay and Icy Bay.  Here we were surrounded by pods of Humpback whales day after day as they circled around us and the islands.  The group made short open crossings, encountered extremely gusty winds (some up to 60 knots keeping us off the water for a couple of days) and enormous tide-water glaciers.  Nearly every day we encountered numerous marine mammals and birds; black bears, sea lions and common harbour seals, sea otters, bald headed eagles seemed to be everywhere.

 

Our friend Tom Pogson (opposite) delivered and collected the kayaks in Whittier, an 8 hour round trip for him from his base in Homer.

 

Pete Thomas, Carole Thomas, Debbie Hughes, Vicky Howell, Steph Long, Frankie Annan, Keith S, Kirk Williams and Ian Bell

“Hey Bear”…….

 

 

 

Carole Thomas

Debbie Hughes

Frankie Annan

Ian Bell

Keith S

 

Kirk Williams

Pete Thomas

Steph Long

Vicky Howell

 

The flight out and getting to Whittier

Garry, our driver from Go Purple Shuttles


With all the increases in fuel prices the flights seem to have gone up by about £50 each year to around £1100 this year.  5 of us booked flights together leaving from Manchester via Schipol to Minneapolis and then onto Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska.  Vicki had already arrived and checked into our hotel at 11am that morning.  By coincidence Debbie was given the seat next to us on the Anchorage flight.  We found Steph in Minneapolis and Kirks flight from Los Angeles although rescheduled 3 hrs later arrived 10 minutes ahead of ours.  Garry arrived after 20 minutes to shuttle us to the Motel 6 so we could grab 6 hours sleep at 2:00am

Wash and showered we went down for coffee and jumped on the Go Purple bus, now purple after Gary had decided that we needed a bigger van to get the 9 of us and all our gear and food to Whittier.  We just had time to sort some of our gear before being met by Tom Pogson with the boats.  We had plenty of time to pack, re-pack and launch opposite the Ferry in Whittier.

 More Photos……….

 

 

 

 

 

Day Two (Saturday) – Decision Point to Applegate Island

 

After our first night camping in the Alaskan wilderness while trying to get used to the 9 hour difference on UK time, many of us “first timers” awoke bleary eyed and were somewhat surprised that we hadn’t been devoured by bears. It was the beginning of our first full day on the water and the reasonably bright start soon deteriorated into drizzle with slate grey skies and low hanging cloud hiding the majestic snow capped mountain tops that we knew were lurking somewhere above. At least the winds were light and the forecast derived from the recorded loop on VHF sounded reasonable for a longish day. I had spent the previous brighter afternoon scanning the shorelines for bears as we paddled steadily away from Whittier, our starting point for this two week expedition. Keith said that we would definitely see some at some point but what he was hoping to see was perhaps a whale or two, a creature that had eluded them on previous visits.

 

 Soon after departing our campsite on Decision Point, we faced an open passage of about 15 kilometres ESE in the direction of Culross Island, one of a thousand or more islands in the Prince William Sound. The passage was generally uneventful and was so for offshore that, with my poor eyesight, I had no chance of seeing a bear. The only thing that kept us on our toes was the passing of the occasional speeding fishing boat whose wake set us bobbing up and down until it passed by. Whittier has a small boat harbour and many of the craft are used by families who simply head off when they can to their favourite spots for some weekend fishing and solitude. It seemed as if scores of them had decided to speed past us as we made our way across to the island.

 

Stopping briefly at the northern end of Culross Passage to observe the ritual break of “elevenses”, a decision was made that the weather was good enough to head on further and paddle down the exposed eastern side of Culross Island. Refreshed and ready for anything, our little group hugged the shoreline once more and kept eyes wide open in the hope of seeing the first bear. Those with a bit more about them noticed other things of interest out at sea! Steph was the first to comment that perhaps she had seen a whale blowing but Keith thought it was likely to be spray bouncing off rocks. I was convinced that it was probably engine exhaust drifting skyward from a distant fishing craft. After a while it became obvious that Steph was right and what we were all squinting at was indeed whales blowing as they breathed before taking a dive.

 

Instantly the chase was on and led by Keith who was spinning his paddles like a man possessed, the rest of us did our best to keep up and catch the whales. It was as if they knew of our presence early on and as we headed towards them they swam off in the opposite direction. Without noticing it, we had sped out past the north eastern point of the island and into the wide and exposed sound where the wind and swell had picked up significantly. A few of the team dropped out of the chase and stayed closer to the shore while the rest of us were in hot pursuit. The whales had us on a string, as soon as we got close they headed further offshore until we were reluctantly forced to give up. And so the team was split; six of us far out from the shore while three remained hugging the coast.

 

Heading south outside Culross Island, we spotted a fishing vessel that clearly had salmon nets stretching out to the shore. Kirk, Debbie and Vicky, the three inshore, paddled past the inshore end of the net while we six, Keith, Ian, Frankie, Steph, Carole and me, paddled to give the fishing vessel a wide berth. While all of this was going on we spotted yet more whales a few kilometres away and right in front of us. Our offshore party was the first to reach them while the inshore team where some distance away from the initial action. Again, I felt that these humpback whales were perfectly aware of our presence but it was more than that, I distinctly had the feeling that they were comfortable with our closeness and were happy to play with us on their terms. It was a group of about six or seven, some of them were perhaps young while larger adults also circled the group. They surfaced and blew loudly very close to us then disappeared for a minute or two before resurfacing again behind us and closer still. The noise from their breathing was like a jet turbine and their tails hung in the air as they slowly descended into the deep. Maybe it’s because we haven’t hunted them for over a hundred years now or maybe they always have been docile and mean no harm but I defiantly felt a connection and had no fear of them. They were in total control and appeared to have no fear of us but only let us as near as they wanted. Gradually they surfaced closer and closer to us until they were only a few meters away. Keith even got a face full of smelly breath as one of them blew spray right at him.

 

 Our inshore group looked on in amazement from a distance and I commented that it would be funny if one of the whales surfaced close to them and gave them a surprise. No sooner had the words left my mouth than a couple of whales did exactly that, causing Debbie or Vicky to scream in shock. But the whales meant no harm and just showed signs of inquisitiveness.

 

Carole and I have seen probably over a hundred whales while sailing but this was certainly a rare and privileged experience. I had never before had such intimate contact with these powerful animals and I’ll never forget this time spent in their company. The whales would probably have let us watch them play for hours but it was time to leave them and head further south towards our campsite for the night. It was raining but none of really cared.

 

Our destination was a small isthmus close to Applegate Island, a small off-lier from the main island we had been paddling past most of the day. We headed off once more as a close group, smiling and relating what we had each just experienced. Within an hour or so we had reached the southern end of Culross Island and were joined by a single Stellar Sea Lion whose boisterous interest in us gave us the opposite feeling to the whales. This guy would probably liked to have capsized and eaten one of us but we returned snarl with ugly snarl, snort with snotty snort and eventually we saw him off to go and bother some other sources of food.

 

Arriving at our campsite we glided onto the shingle beach to discover we would not be alone that evening. There was a couple of tents and smoking embers in a fire. A chainsaw and a rucksack lay tucked close to a rock. There was no sign of people but it was obvious that they hadn’t gone far. We discussed whether or not to stay but it had been a long and tiring day so we decided to set up our tents and tarp and await the return of the others. While emptying our boats we saw our first bear of the trip who was swimming the short distance across from Applegate Island. Only half an hour after that we also saw an sea otter floating on its back while chewing on its evening meal. Soon after we saw a small water vole that was quietly searching our campsite for scraps to eat. Whatever next??

 

As our stoves roared and cooked our own food, the original occupants returned by boat. They were two families and I greeted them saying that I hoped they didn’t mind us sharing their space for the night. One of the women curled her lip and was clearly put out by our invasion. Realising that we had no intention of moving on, she and the rest of her friends and family accepted us and began to chat. Ian was even invited to share their roaring fire in the rainy evening but by then I was already in my sleeping bag dreaming of whales.

 

What a day!! Pete Thomas    More Photos…….       Voice over……..

 

Approximately 38 Kilometres

 

To read more about the expedition and see the write-up develop go to the major trip reports page at the top of this newsletter or click……..

 

4/09/12 Conwy Ascent – 25/08/2012

The plan was to paddle from Llandudno North Shore (1430ish), around the Great Orme, and back again. Unfortunately the wind had decided that we weren’t going to do that, so the four LCC paddlers reverted to their bad weather back up – a trip from Conwy Marina up river.

A quick drive to the get in, luckily the car park had spaces despite the major golf tournament going on, and with the northerly wind blowing the flooding tide rapidly upstream, three LCC paddlers (Mike, Mark and Aid) decided the plan was still good. We launched, a quick stop for a photo and to help a fisherman whose line had been sucked up a jet ski, and then it was off on the incoming flood towards the bright lights of Conwy Castle.

 

We zoomed towards the town at about 12kph without paddling, being careful to give the moored boats a wide birth, only pausing whilst Aid decided to give some entertainment to the crowds at the Conwy quay. Then it was time to practice break outs, break ins and ferry glides on the strong stream that had set up under the bridge. Mark did really well in his pencil like racing machine!

Play over, we carried on up stream for another 11km, dodging the water-skiers and taking time out to investigate the streams that fill the Conwy. We even managed to spy a kingfisher, its azure coat gleaming on the overcast day.

 

All too soon it was time to return, fighting the wind that was now in our faces. The calories were being burned! So we put them back with a quick stop to refuel on golden syrup cake and coffee. Aid even decided to do his eco warrior thing, and collected a discarded fishing net to take back.

 

Back at the bridge we had time for more play in the jet under the bridge, before the final run to the cars.

A great day, and definitely a lot safer than a trip around the Orme. But that will wait for another day.

 

Mike A, Aid M & Mark  More Photos…….

 

4/09/12 Hilbre Island Twice!  – 18 Aug 2012

I had had a thought about going to Hilbre, and then 5 min later an email had arrived from Karl suggesting a trip to Hilbre. Perfect, saved me the effort of organising, so cheers Karl!

The day dawned well as we all met at West Kirkby for the trip, and today it was going to be special as we had two first timers going with us. Both had wisely decided to go in tandems for their first time, well one is only 7, but that meant with only one double sea kayak, Dan and Meg were using the double Spud – which has the hydrodynamics of a brick!

 

We set off, Meg being female was multitasking, she had to paddle, be chief seal spotter and had been designated team photographer. That’s a lot to do as well as enjoying her first trip out to Hilbre.

As always, we were paddling against the tide, and whilst the sea kayaks sliced through the waves with ease, the Spud was like a battering ram. Riding up each wave and then slamming down to create a wall of spray onto the front paddlers face.  I don’t blame her for stopping paddling and looking sideways to catch sight of the numerous seals that were bobbing around.  All too soon, or maybe not for Dan, we reached the Island and decided that rather than head to lunch on the beach we would brave the tidal race on the back of the Island. Whilst most of us gingerly crept in, the flat bottomed Spud caught the first wave and raced past us all. Surfing like an expert, bow wave crashing into her body, I think Meg enjoyed her first surf!

Thoroughly wet, but smiling and still looking for seals, we headed for the beach and lunch.

 

Refuelled, we launched just as the tide was reaching high tide, and so decided to go for another trip around the Island. This time there was no race, but still lots of seal, so after more photographs we headed back against the tide towards West Kirkby.

 

A great trip and a lesson learnt. If you get to Hilbre but are too tired to face the tide race, stop, have lunch, and as long as you are near to high tide then go around.

 

Cheers for organising, I have never been twice around the Island on one trip before.

Mike A                                  More Photos……..

 

3/09/12 Bala Wild Camp – Aug 2012

 

“Shush, we ain’t here, you haven’t seen us, and we are most definitely not camping!” It was time for 7 to go on another adventure.

The plan was set, three adults, three opens and four young kids who had to go on their first wild camp. After much humming and haring, we decided that for the first time, we would play it safe and go somewhere local that had options to bale if things didn’t go quite as planned (ie the weather was nasty) – so Bala lake it was.

Next, how to involve the kids and get them into the mood of wild camping on their own. Simple, we gave them a suggested kit list and a blue barrel. Strict orders, thats all you can have for the overnight, you decide what you take – put the essentials in first and any space left over is for luxuries / soft toys etc.  So, after much more humming and haring, its great watching kids decide what they actually think is important, we were all packed and set off on our adventure.

 

It was a lovely summers evening as we launched from Bala’s sailing school. Not a ripple on the lake as we glided up towards the other end, seeking out a place to quietly spend the night – somewhere the warden would not spot us. No where looked suitable, so we headed up the river that fills Bala until we found the perfect spot. Food cooked and ate, tents up and then bed. Fantastic.

Morning was not so fantastic, heavy rain and wind driving into our faces. But despite the weather the kids managed to be up, packed and ready to go that would go down well on an LCC sea kayaking trip. Even Keith would not have been complaining!

 

Everyone paddled hard, but we got to the put in, dried off and were just putting the last boat on the roof at about 9.30am when the Lake Warden turned up. “Are you launching?” his question, “Nope” my reply. I guess he didn’t believe me when he followed this up by asking if I was sure that I wasn’t going to be launching and informing me that he would come back to check.

Then it was off to the Tryweryn to greet the LCC members who were coming out to play.

 

A great paddle and a great wild camp – but you have to be careful, you never know when the warden will be around to collect.

 

Mike et al  More Photos………

2/09/12 September 2012 Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link September Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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The newsletter has now become so large it is not practical to email it to everyone as it may clog up your inbox.  In addition, it is mostly read online and therefore displays better using your browser as it adjusts to fit your screen size no matter if read on a mobile phone or full TV sized monitor.   (You can still print it if you wish!)