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28/12/12 December Photo of the Month Competition
“Lunch stop on the Inner Sound trip.”
Runner up Keith Steer :
Runner up Keith Steer :
Harvey on the River
Not found your photograph ? – see all the entries for this month………..
28/12/12 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
28/12/12 Club Expedition
clubs` expedition to
(Sunday) – Applegate Island to
Well lets be honest after that amazing experience with the whales I struggled to recall day 3, that’s my excuse for being forgetful and laughing in the voice over as Keith gave me a few hints by pointing to spots on the map. (Now you are going to have to listen to the MP3)
Our neighbours on the campsite soon got over the invasion of kayakers and were very sociable when just about everyone had gone to bed.
The following morning we were up and on the water in good time, after a few days practice packing the boat becomes much easier as you know just where everything is going to fit and the food takes up a bit less space.
So we set out on what was to be a mostly murky day paddling, some low cloud and some rain, but the effect of the whales stayed with me and I really didn’t mind the weather too much. Surprised my neck didn’t ache with the constant scanning looking for whales now not bears. Today the whales didn’t come as close but every now then we spotted the tell tale spouts of water which now recognized as due to whales not geological features in the rock.
We crossed from
I arrived at the waterfall
just in time to spot the bear running off, we sat quietly for a while waiting
to see if it would reappear, but we were out of luck. Falls bay was off course full of waterfalls so we filled up all
the water bottles before heading off to find a campsite for the night. It
didn’t take too long to reach the tip of
Space for the tarp and the cooking area looked to be an issue, but along the beach there was the perfect spot, outside a historical cabin. Once the tarp was up and tents positioned to everyone’s’ satisfaction, time to cook. Bison mince was quickly turned into bolognaise sauce and served with pasta. Ian and Steph never once complained about my cooking – I am sure they were being nice. Before the weather worsened overnight, Debbie decided to take advantage of the tide dropping and went exploring the smaller island off the tip of Crafton Island, her calls of ‘hey bear’ could be heard by all of us, and disturbed an eagle who flew off to return once Debbie gave up bear hunting and decided to study the fish left swimming in shallow pools left by the dropping tide.
That was quite enough excitement for one day; we know the forecast wasn’t great for the next morning so with the prospect of a lie in, I crawled into the tent to grab some precious sleep………
Day Four (Monday) – Crafton Island to Point Nowell
The night had been very windy and wet and it was clear that we were going nowhere. Most of the party slept in listening to the weather beating down on our tents. As the tide started to drop we were able to make our way to the porch of the old miners cabin where we had set up our tarp to give some shelter. A morning of brews and reading as we all wondered what was going to happen with the weather.
The forecast hinted that
the conditions would begin to ease during the afternoon / evening. We set off at around 2pm as the wind
began to decrease. However, as soon
as we left the shelter of
As soon as the tarp was
set up the sun came out, we managed to get a small fire going and our gear was
hung up to dry. As the wind had
dropped off it was time for all the bugs and files to venture out to find
anything to eat. During the
night a fishing trawler came into the inlet and anchored. Refreshed we were ready for a long
paddle down to “dangerous passage” and to head towards
(Tuesday) – Point Nowell to
The next few days were spent paddling towards our next destination - Icy Bay via Dangerous Passage. The weather remained calm and we blissfully paddled our way past floating sea otters and leaping salmon whilst bald eagles soared above our heads.
We stopped briefly for a quick snack and a sunbathe, on a small beach whilst looking at icebergs. From a distance they just looked like white dots on the horizon but as we paddled closer they were huge, glistening structures. As a geographer, I couldn't paddle fast enough in order to see my first iceberg close up. Finally, there I was just five feet away from a real iceberg. We paddled further through a small ice field which floated on aqua blue glacial water. On a sunny day, the scene couldn't get any better-or so I thought.
Around the headland, I was left stunned and completely speechless as I saw Chenga Glacier for the first time. It was a huge, natural river of ice and yet again I sprinted forward to get a closer look at one of nature's wonders. The icebergs became larger and more intimidating. By the time we had reached the ice field; we were reduced to paddling single file because the ice field was that dense. I was smiling from ear to ear. It was geography heaven for me! 'Now this is an expedition', I thought.
As we paddled through the concrete like icebergs, the noise of the ice scrapping the side my sea kayak made me realize why the huge pieces of ice sealed Titanic's fate. In the distance, seals lazily used the icebergs as sun loungers and looked on as we carved our way through the ice. After an hour of kayaking through ice cubes we eventually reached a beach, just around corner from the glacier. Tents were hastily put up, as the beach was covered in flies -with a big bite! Going to the toilet that night was pretty spectacular to say the least. It is not often you have a glacier to watch whilst going to the loo!
That night we fell asleep whilst listening to the glacier carving. The sound resembled a severe thunder clap and it echoed eerily throughout the valley. What a perfect day! Steph Long
We left the campsite at the mouth of river from the Princeton Glacier and paddled around the corner to take a closer look at the Chenega glacier. It stretched for several kilometres across the ice front with a large shear face, in places up to 100m high. We took care not to get too close in case a large slab broke off creating a large impulse wave which could have spread out in all directions and may have been large enough to endanger us. After staying as long as we dared we headed off through the broken ice field towards the mouth of Nassau Fjord. A large waterfall cascaded down a smooth slab of granite and gave several opportunities for photos. We landed on a small rocky beach for elevenses.
After an hour or so we
paddled off around the point and back into
MSR stoves were soon fired-up and brews put on while we admired the view before us. There was a strong breeze blowing off the glacier. This was caused as the air was cooled by contact with the ice field that fed the glacier and now heavier than the surrounding air, descended rapidly down the face of glacier and away down the fjord. We gained what shelter we could by sitting behind the glacial boulders strewn around the beach. Suddenly there was a thunderous crack as an enormous lump fell off the front of the glacier. We watched for about a minute to see if it would have any effect. Bergy bits bobbed a little and seemed to absorb most of the energy. About 30 seconds later the sea started to be sucked out just like a little tsunami. Then waves started breaking as the water rushed in again. It started to break around some of the kayaks which had been carried what we thought was a safe distance up the beach. Ian Bells kayak and those nearest to it stated to be washed out to sea. We all ran down the beach to grab hold of any kayak we could. Fortunately the waves stopped after about a minute and we had managed to save everything by grabbing hold and moving it all up the beach.
After elevenses we climbed back into our boats and paddled over too some magnificent waterfalls that descended from the numerous snow patches on the shaded north side of the Fjord. We decided to fill our water bottles as we did not know where we were going to make camp that night. As we paddled out of the Fjord we kept happening upon floating, occasionally sleeping and often feeding sea otters. The breeze died off as we moved further and further from Tiger Glacier and the water went mirror calm.
The plan was to paddle the 12 or so miles out of
(Thursday) – Icy Point to
I awoke at our sheltered
campsite at Icy Point with the steady sound of rain battering the outside of
the tent and immediately thought perhaps we would be allowed a short lie in to
see if the rain abated. Of course not! “This was an expedition not a
holiday” as Keith reminded us every so often. On the water by 9 so
everything was packed up in the rain and both the inner and fly of the tent was
soaking wet. We set off into
It was not long before
Keith put both his hands on head in the bear’s ears mimic pose to let us
know he had sighted a Black Bear on the beach ahead, we approached as silently
as possible hoping to sneak as close as possible before he noticed or scented
us. The American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) is a medium sized bear native to
We carried on paddling in the rain hoping for another viewing and Pete and Keith spotted another bear some distance off which disappeared by the time they paddled over for a better view. After a while we rounded an island in the bay, and headed across to the other side towards a beach with a overhanging cliff that Keith had spotted that would give us some shelter for our elevenses. Stoves were set up and various beverages were brewed, and as the biting flying insects were held at bay by the rain, a fairly short but relaxed break was had.
Following this we hugged the coast around
to head out of the bay, and towards
The rain continued to fall and on erecting our very wet tent from the morning, we discovered that it was now leaking badly. The thought of a long wet night was in prospect with the worry that the rain could continue for days, my only solution was to open up one of the aluminium foil emergency space blankets and drape it over the top of us. Unfortunately it wasn’t big enough for two so we were still getting our sleeping bags wet. Luckily Kirk came to the rescue with a bivi bag for Pete and I slept wrapped in tin foil like a turkey waiting for the oven. With waterproofs over our heads we had a not too unpleasant night and although damp in the morning, to my relief the rain had eased.
Packing up the next morning we set off and as the sun came out and we gradually warmed up and dried off. All was well again.
To read more about the expedition and see the whole write-up please go to the major trip reports page at the top of this newsletter or click here……..
Part 3 will appear in next months Newsletter.
24/12/12 Surfing at
Arriving in the darkness at the unearthly hour of 07:30hrs at Crosby Coastguard Station I could just see the white tops of the waves amongst the gloom. Excitement was building as the dawn approached. As the light brightened, the best waves I have ever seen at
These really were
Karl was spotted flying backwards and upside down, down the biggest wave I saw. I only managed to get a picture of him on his knees after he had swam from his boat. He looked like he was praying, and crying at the same time. He said he had sand in his eyes and he was rinsing it out. Yeah! Whatever Karl! Paul Harwood More Photos…….
A 9.9m tide at 1pm and a superb weather window – it doesn’t get much better than this!
With the conditions spot on,
eight Liverpool Canoe Club members met at
Given the time of year we had
decided to give the
Excitement over, we landed on the rather small beach to empty the boats of their loads, and were soon joined by Brian who had decided to head out as well. Pete’s mulled wine smelled divine.
Lunch over, we headed back around
the island. Unfortunately the overfalls had gone by this time, but we got to
play with the spray from the blow hole before heading back to
Another great LCC day on the sea.
Mike A More Photos…….
16/12/12 River Mersey Canoe Trail – December open boat trip “No Cag Required”
I’d not been in a boat for about 3 months, and if I’m honest wasn’t totally convinced I wanted to go out to play. Earlier in the week there’d been thick frost, freezing fog and plenty of ice. It was looking like it would be another wintry run down the Mersey Trail. I don’t think I’ve ever done it in the summer or with temperatures anywhere near double-figures. I think it was the thought of digging out all the paddling kit that was putting me off but on Saturday night I decided to get the boat out and onto the roof. I’d started so I’ll finish and all the remaining gear quickly followed suit.
I arrived at Burnage Rugby Club just before 10am on a bright, crisp, fresh and very sunny Sunday morning to find the others already there and just coming back from a quick reccy. “Water level’s up” said Keith. Hmmm, should be a quick run so we had a quick look at the map and decided on a slightly longer trip than normal. Whenever we’d done this before I think everyone had got off around Metrovik’s Rugby Club. This time we chose a get-out at Flixton another few miles downstream.
The first mile or so passed very quickly as we flew down to Northenden Weir where we stopped for a drink and snack. We had a quick look but the levels were about 15” up compared to normal so we all decided to portage. Refreshed, it was time to get back on the water. This section of river is canalised so the view is pretty limited. The wild-life consisted of plenty of geese, ducks and the most common of creatures Mancus-Dogus-Walkera, to give it its full title.
It’s arguably a boring trip, is the Mersey Trail, but you make of it what you can by enjoying the conversation and banter. We had a brief game of bat and ball with one of the numerous floating dog balls to be found along the way. I thought Lee might be getting a little too enthusiastic when he started standing-up to take swings at the ball but everything stayed upright.
In no time at all we were approaching Metroviks and discussions started as to exactly where the famous Ashton Killer Weir was as it doesn’t appear to be marked on the map. A couple of lumpy bits – Was that it? Had we missed it? - Then we saw the portage sign and pulled in on the left to have a sticky-beak. It was a very quick decision: We’d run it. Well, maybe not run; more of a walk – Around the portage path! It’s about a 2m drop with a fierce tow-back below, and at this kind of flow it was definitely not to be tackled. As we man-handled the boats round the pathway, it was noticeable how high the water had been recently with debris in the trees some 3m+ above the get-in.
The next section down to Flixton is not canalised like the higher sections but it is in a fairly deep gorge so visibility is still extremely limited and we spent the next few miles getting glimpses of the odd house and street-light as we meandered every direction known to man, (and probably some more as well) seemingly without getting any closer to our final destination. Eventually we got a couple of sightings of a church which I knew was in Flixton, but still the river twisted and bent like a plate of spaghetti.
As the sunlight dwindled we finally spotted the small sub-station we’d chosen as our exit point. It was a bit of an awkward climb out and very steep so required the use of a rope to haul the boats up the bank. By the time we were ready to head off to get the cars, the light was fading badly and by the time I was on the motorway for home it was almost gone completely.
The weather gods had smiled on us today. For mid-December it had been a surprisingly mild day with blue skies and many undisturbed plane trails in the sky. Blindingly low sun earlier in the day had now given way to long shadows and a setting sun, but the day had been warm enough to vindicate our earlier decision of No Cag Required. Probably just as well after Paul left all his paddling gear at home.
Thanks to Paul and Harvey, Jim, Lee, and Keith for another enjoyable day.
10/12/12 Whitewater Improvers Trip: River
Saturday’s river trip on the
More than 20 of us met at JJ’s, where we could see that the river level was rather high! The main features were recognisable, although a lot of the rocks and eddies had become washed out. After some faffing, we ended up at a very nice put-in at Carrog. On the riverbank, the disciplined, well organised briefing made for a great start. We split into three groups, each with a leader. The improvers were divided equally between them. Each group had a planning and safety talk, when we got to know each other’s experience levels.
We then did some ferry gliding, getting used to the water flow before moving downstream. Although there was obviously much more water in the river than usual, there were still lots of opportunities to eddy in and out as we moved on downriver. The river was flat in parts, but interspersed with some good bumpy sections with fun wave train and occasional rocks to boof or practice eddying.
All too soon we reached
We all hung around waiting, then Andy Wrigg came down first. Although the whole feature was totally washed out, there was a huge standing wave at the top. He paddled hard and smashed straight through it, the mighty Serpent’s Tail yielding to this show of strength and machismo. Two more heroes ran it behind him, one rolling in spectacular fashion, coming up to a cheer from the spectators on the bank. Then along came Mark Garod, taking a cheeky little line on river left, avoiding the huge wave and paddling effortlessly down the rest. The final paddler followed Mark’s line (can’t say I blamed him!), and the derring-do was all over. It had been a long journey until now, so some chose to get off the water at this stage, while the rest paddled on to JJ’s.
The rest of the trip to JJ’s was a series of bouncy wavetrains and flatter sections. Most of us got out at JJ’s – tired, but after having a challenging, fun day. Everybody appreciated the effort by those who turned up to lead, coach and share their skills. Thanks, of course to Richard for coordinating this – it’s an experience that a lot of us won’t forget. Let’s hope that we can have another trip soon! Jonathan Maddock More Photos….
07/12/12 Brr at the Burrs - 1st December 2012
Hmmmm, ice on the windscreen when getting up to go paddling = time to put the neoprene shorts away and dig out the dry trousers. I must be getting older as I am even starting to think that drysuits look warm and inviting!
Anyway, it was nice and sunny as I pulled up at the Burrs to meet the eight other paddlers who were wisely making ample use of the heated changing rooms (wusses – lol)for which they have bought a key, but the ground was treacherously slippy due to the ice. All changed, and despite the river only being at 0.36 on the gauge (scrape) we decided to do the trip all the way from Ramsbottom to the centre.
Although I had paddled this river several times before, once having to rescue an owl en route and having seen a herd of cows attempt the big weir in style, I had never started from quite so far up – so it was all new to me as we parked in the train station car park and walked to the river.
A quick slide started the day and we were off, warming up in the bright sunlight, and enjoying the view of the backside of Ramsbottom. Soon we were into the wilder part of the river, and despite the low levels causing a few groundings, everyone was styling their way down the remote gorge with ease.
It’s a great run, and the level provided ample waves on which to practice surfing and 360 spins.
All too soon we reached the HUGE weir, the remoteness was ending, but the weir is such a hoot that we had to throw ourselves over it – the inevitable splash in the face / up nose, reminding us all how cold it was. Again we stopped to surf at each possible play wave, but all too soon it was over and time for bacon butties in the cafe.
Thanks to John for organising, a great trip and a venue we should use more often. Mike Alter
03/12/12 Great Orme Christmas Paddle
30 or so people paddled around the Great
Orme on Sunday and then went for our traditional Christmas dinner in the
Full report to follow……. More Photos…….
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