News items or reports on club activities should be sent to email@example.com
30/06/13 June Photo of the Month Competition
Runner up Peter Thomas:
Point – 2013
Runner up Paul Harwood :
“Sam Preston – Freestyle at 4 Mile Bridge“
Not found your photograph ? – see all the entries for this month………..
30/06/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….
Open Boat Expedition (
Sea touring -
Reel Paddling Film Festival 2013 hosted by Liverpool Canoe Club
30/06/13 Are you
getting all the information on club trips and activities – club messaging
As well as the website the club uses a number of different media to circulate details of club activities to all its members. You can add (and remove) your own email address to a number of googlegroups to receive information and posts from members on events, courses and activities. (You do NOT need a google account or email) The main group can be accessed here….
30/06/13 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.
25/06/13 Friday Slackers – “The Dee Estuary – Hitching a ride”
I don't normally do trip reports about the Friday Slackers.
But on a deserted beach, some domestic wildlife came running up.
It checked out all the boats.
And chose one.
Stealing aboard so silently and stealthily, that Geoff seemed unaware until our barks of laughter alerted him to the pirate.
Cute or what?
To watch John`s video click here……
Downstream, waves take you under a road bridge and past the Chain Bridge Hotel towards the famous Serpent's Tail. In high water the approach to this is impressive, with 'play' stoppers and big surf waves all over the place. The Serpent's Tail itself is perfectly named, with all the water disappearing into a narrow channel on river right which will scare the bejesus out of those new to Grade 4 rapids. A few breakouts are possible, and the rapid ends by squeezing through a stopper inconveniently lurking next to an undercut...the sting in the Tail. It is at the easier end of the Grade, but still deserves a Grade 4 rating as it seems to unseat a remarkable number of paddlers! Inspection, portage and protection are all available from the ledges on river left. In high water, these begin to cover up and produce their own rapid...
Flat boily water follows directly afterwards, giving swimmers a chance to be fished out. A rocky weir follows, with opportunities to play. The railway passes overhead, and another broken weir offers a chute on river left.
John Allerton, Jenny Brown, Chris Thompson and Jonathon Walker
Both kayaking and canoeing are very accessible and great fun – we’re always pleased to see people enjoying their leisure time at the coast and we want to help ensure they can take part in their chosen watersports safely.
A new research project being run by the RNLI in conjunction with the
The research will cover people’s
reasons for participating in kayaking and canoeing, how often they go, types of
craft used, preferred locations, experience and training, awareness of
potential hazards and use of safety measures.
The findings will be used to help the RNLI and BCU develop tailored and relevant safety messages for the kayaking and canoeing communities.
An online survey will be launched today (Wednesday 19 June) and will run for five weeks, during which time anyone who participates in either canoeing or kayaking – no matter how often or what level of experience – is invited to visit http://www.mruk.co.uk/canoekayaksurvey and complete the short survey.
For the first time in a long time, I left work on time on a Friday, and was able to set off down the road to Trearddur at a decent hour. Preparing a marinade for chicken kebab for the BBQ before I left did neatly coincide my arrival with a heavy downpour. After spotting the tents & cars of LCC members and saying a quick hello to the Harwood’s’ and Tatum’s’ I raced to get my tent up in the shelter of Dave Blake’s van. Soaked I made my way up to the pub which was where I figured I would find the rest of the Friday night campers- hopefully all drier than I was. Sure enough sat around a couple of tables were a group of much drier looking LCC paddlers. I was quick to declare that the weather was not what the coordinator had booked,
A couple of hours later happily the rain had stopped, we tramped back to the campsite to ‘sleep’ through a rather windy night. The reward for the hardy was a very lazy and sunny start to Saturday, after much tea and coffee drinking, map gazing and assessment of the wind, 3 plans were formed. Surfing, the straits and the inland sea. More Photos……….
Sea kayak trip down the Cymyran Straits
Arriving at 4 mile bridge, the inland sea plan became the Cymyran strait with some encouragement from the supervisors standing on the bridge shouting paddle through the tunnel, Keith, Brian and Dave hadn’t found much surf at Trearddur Bay so they had come to ‘supervise’ for a while. Having opted for an easy day out at some points quite a bit of effort was required paddling into the wind. The loosely formed plan being to paddle down the straits until the tide turned and come back on the flood.
It turned out to be a very pretty short trip almost reaching
Back at the campsite a few people left, Chris & Sam had to head off home, and Elle and Steve also departed but others arrived, Jim Krawiecki ‘fresh’ from the Conwy Ascent joined us with giant game of Jenga before retiring to bed.
Frankie Annan More Photos……
I’d like to thank Frankie for organising a great weekend and everyone who
attended who helped to make our first
I arrived on the island with sons Bradley and Keenan who refused the several offers to stay in a hotel rather than camp in the first nights wind. We drove past every hotel on the island.
"Now come on kids . Are you sure you don't want to stay in a warm hotel?" I said.
As we crossed four mile bridge Paul rang screaming over the wind "Help us Karl ....we can’t get our tent up".
Ok then camping it is and when we
arrived at the site Paul was flying his tent like a kite with
On Saturday we ventured to
In the evening games of
Three weeks to go to the next camp and we are starting to pack our car already.
See you there.
P.S. We tried our best to keep Pauls van out of our camera shots….. but Paul bribed me with a tenner
Liverpool Canoe Club
15th - 16th June 2013
With some excitement, and not a little trepidation, our small but plucky group of four paddlers surveyed the waters that were being chivvied by the strong south westerly winds as they raced along the channel at noon on a fine and sunny but blustery day-one of this year's first Anglesey weekend.
From our launching point, just north of the old Mermaid Inn on the northern bank of the Menai Strait, the plan was to take advantage of the last two hours of predicted 2-4kn flood, and strong following winds, that would take us at top speed to the Swellies and slack water, and returning when the current changed direction to give us some assistance against what would then be an oncoming wind on the paddle home.
The two questions in everyone's minds were, how fast are we going to go when we get out into that frothy channel and, would we make it back?
Making full use of tide and wind we placed ourselves in the centre of the strait and took off, surfing our way past Plas Menai and Y Felinheli on a roller coaster ride that had us all grinning ear to ear, but still asking, will we make it back?
Rounding Moel-y-don we gained some shelter from the wind and the current slackened and, as we passed the Conway Centre and saw our first view of the Pont Britannia, we began to feel more confident that our paddle home might just be manageable, at least from the bridge to this point if not beyond.
After tipping our hats to Nelson we sped under Pont Britannia and landed on the northern shore for a break and some lunch. It was just before two o'clock and the tide was about to turn.
Our strategy for the return was to make use of the shelter provided by the southern shore and, after ferry-gliding and eddy-hopping our way under the bridge, we headed downstream hugging the shore and working our way steadily back along the Strait taking breaks at the Marina at Plas Dinorwic and the shore at Llanfair Wood. Good progress was made in all but the final two miles of this shoreline paddle back, but those last miles, exposed to the strong headwinds that had given us such so much help earlier, were plain hard work!
Once level with our launch site our final hurdle was the crossing of the still rough and windy channel from the southern to the northern shore. Each plotted their course and headed out into the maelstrom, trying to stay in contact with each other whilst maintaining a course across almost a mile of strong wind and chop. But the second question had its answer, yes, we would make it back!
Sunday – Sea trip
of us set off from
We paddled at a leisurely pace and chatted along the way, often receiving some useless information from Jim about some random matter of no significance!! As soon as Martin spied some waves he was off for a play, usually Dave’s trick, but he was too busy crying about a fight he’d just had with a barnacle.
As we reached Porth Wen, a few kayakers were just leaving so
we had the bay to ourselves and as we all got our butties out, the sun came out
and it was “El Scorchio”. I have never paddled this north section
On the way back, Dave and Frankie saw a porpoise and it’s baby (technical term for a young porpoise) only a few feet from their boats, and Dave ended up crying again about his camera being ‘dead’ and causing him to miss an amazing photo!!!
We arrived back at
A very pleasant day, surprisingly good weather, with pleasant company – as always.
Sunday Surfing at Porth Dafarch
decided McDonalds was what he wanted for breakfast on Sunday morning. He has a
lot of breakfasts does Karl. But he
decided to check out the surf at
Harvey, Brad and Keenan were excited by the prospect of spending their Dad’s money at the burger van, digging holes and looking for crabs. The rest of us got changed and got ready for the waves. The sea kayakers were out in force, planning to go to the Stacks, Fully dressed for winter expedition. Spare paddles, drysuits, compasses, maps, and even the kitchen sink. That was no match for me. I had brought a bathtub - the Spanish Fly.
One sea kayaker said that I wasn’t allowed to take bathtubs in to the sea. I’ll show him I thought and was first on the water, first upside down and first to swim. See that showed him!
Karl and Keith were next on followed by another seven of us. I felt a bit like a bowling ball heading for the skittles as I came down the waves, narrowly avoiding people as I was full to the gunwales in water. I had to empty so often that I really made an art of it.
There were a few more swimmers and lots of smiles all round. The kids had spent all the money, and it was time to go home. I could see Karl lurking by the water’s edge waiting to attack me and dump me in the water. A common occurrence this trip. Looking for evidence for Swimmer of the Year.
Paul Harwood More photos…..
18/06/13 UKCC L2 Transfer day – 16/6/2013
“Flippin BCU!” was the scream that I bellowed at the computer when I opened the paperwork they had sent me to guide my journey from the old coaching system to the new coaching system. The reason for my annoyance was that the (lots of) paperwork received was dated 2008, however since February the paperwork had been simplified and revised to the 2013 edition. Not to worry, email to HQ but not likely to receive it ahead of the course.
Anyway, I arrive eager to learn new fangled techniques and identify the numerous hoops to be jumped through at the marina where I met our coach guru for the day – Alastair. Soon followed by Mark, who had also received the 2008 paperwork, and Mike. Mike used to have hair, but his dealings with the BCU had been even more protracted than mine and he had pulled it all out in exasperation!*
Alastair soon put us at ease as he explained the transfer mechanism to the new scheme. Not too bad, a days training (with action points), a certain amount of logged coaching that is observed by an appropriately qualified coach, up to date CRB, First Aid, Child Protection course, online test in Long Term Paddler Development and the production of a portfolio recording all of this stuff. This would then be followed by a 1 day assessment. Easy!
Quickly changed, we hopped onto the water in a variety of craft to enable Alastair to assess our current techniques and signpost our path forwards. Coaching other coaches in skills that they already have is never easy, but Alastair put us at ease as we went through sessions on Connectivity, Posture, Power transfer and Feel with much hilarity along the way. At all the time he was answering questions we had about the assessment process in a positive and detailed manner.
Somehow staying dry, we adjourned to the terrace for luncheon and time to review the morning’s session and look to the future. Given that we had differing versions of paperwork, Alastair coped remarkably well as he guided us through the transfer process and provided top tips from his previous candidates. As part of this process we had to review our previously gained awards, it was at this time that I noticed one of my very first river trips had been as a guinea pig on Mikes original moving water coach assessment –small world.
Enthused and enlightened about the path forward, we all departed after a great day both on the water and on the very sunny terrace at the marina. Cheers to Alastair for organising.
Mike A, Mike B & Mark G - * Only joking, Mike still does have his hair and luckily a sense of humour about it all
Marina Swipe cards need to be reprogrammed by the office at the
may know that swipe cards used for access to the
Alternatively you could post them back to the office with a covering letter with your name and address (make sure you say you are from the canoe club) and they will post them back out to you. There is a letterbox under the desk by the front office if you want to post by hand.
If you need access to the changing rooms or pontoons in the meantime the bar staff will swipe you through.
Don’t have a swipe card but wish to order a new one:
Having not had the boat out since last September and still being a bit of a novice I had planned on heading over to the marina on Sunday morning for a gentle paddle around the docks just to get back into the swing if it. But then I noticed the email from Pete about a trip to Hilbre. Well this was not to be missed, being at the top of my to do list. I arrived in time at the slipway with the rest of the group for a pep talk which strangely, as well as the obvious safety concerns, also included advice on how not to run aground! I looked out at the ocean of glistening water in front of us and then down at my little Robson Waikiki. Well it’s not exactly the Titanic I thought! But Pete assured us, that with the low tide, it was possible to get stuck on a sand bank if we went the wrong way. I later discovered that it was surprisingly easy to touch the bottom with a paddle for most of the way.
We set off around 11:00am; the weather perfect and the sea calm which I was glad of for a fist time trip to the island. The sun was shining and it really couldn’t have been a better day. As we headed straight out I wondered if I would be able to keep up with the sea kayaks but everyone kindly kept the pace to just the right side of my pain threshold. With a little welcomed advice on improving my paddling technique I don’t think I held them up too much. As we moved behind the back of the islands we where soon joined by several seals who watched us inquisitively. Most observed from a distance, except one who suddenly appeared right between two of our boats and a little too close for comfort. He then disappearing with a splash almost causing an upset. It was amazing to see them so close. (However you can smell their breath from a distance!!)
We landed on Hilbre for a bite to eat. It was the first time I had been there with the sea in and it really was very pleasant and the views stunning.
All too soon we had to head back to avoid a walk through the mud. Surprisingly the return journey seemed a little bit easier for me and passed very quickly. Some of our group decided to practice rolling where the water was deep enough. I decided to leave that till next time. We were soon back on the slipway after a very enjoyable, and for me at least, first trip to Hilbre. I am looking forward to the next one when my arms have recovered.
Phil Dawson More photos…….
Every Thursday, all year round, sunshine, rain, or snow, a group of us paddle round to the bay in Queens Dock and play a game of Polo. We play in any boat, including 16ft open canoes, and generally have a laugh, burn some aggression and improve our rolls and skills. For some reason, some people in the club call this MURDER BALL and scare people away. It’s not like that at all. It’s fun. We have kids, ladies, old men like Jim, Baldies like Karl and Pete, Welsh, Polish, and handsome brutes like myself all playing a great fun game. Afterwards, we usually end up in the Marina or Coburg Pub, have a couple of drinks, some fishy fries and tell daft stories.
The Dream Team
It was here that we decided to
enter a Polo Team in the competition. A proper competition with rules and
stuff. The team needed a name. Ah,
we are in The Coburg. Let’s call it The Coburg. Keith thought this a wonderful idea to
call the teams after the docks instead of A,B, C. No. It’s the pub, not
the docks. Undeterred, the three teams that entered were called Liverpool
Coburg. Liverpool Salthouse, and
More importantly, we needed a day out in the sun with a tent, cooker, sausages, burgers, Beer, bread from Sam’s Bakery, Earl Grey, and sun cream. So here we were. The hottest weekend of the year, totally organised. 7 players paid up, fully kitted out, fully stocked, with a fantastic referee and absolutely no idea of the rules.
No Memory of the results
The matches are a bit of a blur, with a few moments that stand out. Michal`s First ever game. Clothes lined Gibbo with a paddle after 20 seconds and got sent off. Pete getting really angry with FOA. Richie, our Ref, arguing with Karl. Gibbo from the Salthouse team crying like a big baby bunting to the referee. Steve missing an empty goal. Jim looking like he was a rabbit caught in the headlights. Me having a really ridiculous swim. Me pushing the big cry baby in after the match.
Obviously, we were great. We scored loads of goals, let in a few more, and generally had a fun time. The results weren’t important apart from we had to beat FOA or Pete would batter us next Thursday. Fortunately we did so we’ve got a weeks reprieve from the psycho.
Thursday nights at the docks
I can’t wait till Thursday, when I can get in a boat that fits me a little more comfortably and I can dunk my team mates in the water. Hopefully we’ll get a few more round for a game this week as 10 a side just isn’t chaotic enough.
See you on the water.
Paul Harwood More Photos….
Customer Safety is of paramount importance to us and we have identified a potential safety issue with a small number of our THROW LINES sold between May 2009 and September 2009.
This applies to the following Yak Throw lines sold Between May 2009 - September 2009
What the fault is:
The safety issue is caused by the joining of rope used within the line. This means when weight is applied to the line, it may separate. The Line should NOT have any joins in it.
Nothing matters more to us than the safety of our customers, so if you have bought this item please inspect the rope.
How to identify a fault:
Feed the throw line through your hands slowly looking for a join, this can be easily felt as a rough bur. Take care not to burn your hands during this process, if the rope is gripped too tightly or pulled to quickly.
Picture of fault
If you are unsure, or require
more information please contact our Customer Service team on 023 9252 8621,
Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm.
What you should do if you find a fault
Stop using it, and return it to YAK Paddling, Mumby Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1QA. We will of course replace your throw line and cover the cost of return.
We’d like to apologise for any problems this may cause and reassure you that no other Yak product is affected.
Should you have any queries or concerns regarding this safety notice, please call our Customer Service team who will be more than happy to help on 023 9252 8621. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm.
10/06/13 River Tryweryn 8th June 2013
Another glorious day greeted the 5 LCC members who met at the Tryweryn for more fun in the sun.
Eager to get on, we quickly changed into paddling gear – its great being in shorty tops again – and negotiated our way through the rafts and onto the river.
A quick warm up on the top section was followed by an eddy hopping session on the upper graveyard. We had so much fun that we decided to get out there and then, carry the boats back up and do it again. Fantastic.
Eddies got on the upper graveyard, it was now time to move onto the main graveyard. Here again it was time to get some Eddies, Ian nailed the top one, and had so much fun that we again decided to get out and run it again. Ian stormed down his line, although I think he spent more time looking at the camera than at his line!
Having a ball, it was now time to run the river all the way to the raft get out. Ski Jump, Mrs Davies Bridge, Fingers, the rapids flew past as we stormed towards lunch. I say stormed, but this short section of river had so far taken us 2 ½ hours!
Unfortunately we had forgotten to move cars, so in order for us all to have another run it was a case of get your boat on your shoulder and walk back to the top. Ow, but hey at least we had a lower body work out as well.
Second run done, a lot quicker this time, it was time to get changed and head off – I had to get the kit washed for the Hilbre trip tomorrow.
Another great LCC paddle, cheers to Ian for organising.
Mike, Ian, Tom, Jack and Andy.
10/06/13 Friday Slackers - Hilbre 7th June 2013
About morning coffee time, we launched.
About elevenses time, we had elevenses.
About lunchtime, we returned to land.
It was hot. It was flat and it was really sunny.
9 slackers out. The seals were inquisitive.
Saturday 25 May 2013 – The Journey to
The day began early for
most with a plan to meet at Keith’s in Formby at 8am. 9 of the group were
travelling from here with Andy and Dave setting off from
Cars were quickly packed
and the designated drivers Ian, Ade and Pete set off in convoy with Ian leading
the charge to
After a planning and strategy discussion at the services, the wind was blowing the wrong way, plans A, B and C were refined to heading to the Ardnamurchan campsite at Kilchoan. A gem of a place. http://ardnamurchanstudycentre.co.uk/
What followed for the rest of journey for Chris & I was a very entertaining, the ‘dads’ (Keith & Ian) in the front had much banter and debate about the merits of travelling via Stirling versus the new bit of tarmac on the M8 and being stuck in traffic at Loch Lomond. A short refreshing stop at the Green Welly Stop, with ice cream for some we continued on our way.
We arrived eventually it seemed at the campsite after a quick trip on the Corran ferry to reduce the driving time. The slope of the campsite provided a slight challenge, sheltering from the rain and sharing homemade sticky ginger cake we agreed a time to get on the water in the morning for out trip around Ardnamurchan point, we must have been on plan D at least by now! More Photos……
Day 2 Sunday 26 May 2013 Kilchoan to Kilmory 26km
We all got up early (6.30am) to get ready and pack our boats but even so it was 10am before we were on the water. I can't speak for everyone else but getting all my stuff in the boat was a bit of a squeeze as it was my first multi-day trip. The beach by the campsite was rocky and slippy so getting the fully-laden boats down to the water's edge was a good way to start getting to know everyone. By the end of the week I had forgotten who I already knew before we set off, it was such an easy going group of people.
Before leaving the campsite we were lucky enough to get some local knowledge of good camping spots from the campsite owner Trevor who seemed to know an awful lot about kayaking! It gradually became clear that there was much more to him than we first expected and I'm sure he will appear again later in the write up, but if you're curious check out: http://www.trevorpotts.com
It was sunny and calm and
we decided to paddle across the glossy sound of Mull and touch the shore, as a
matter of principal, before heading north around the point of
Adnamurchan. After touching
After lunch, leaving the lagoon a gentle breeze had got up and as we paddled around the point there was a lot less chatter as the paddlers became accustomed to the new sea state. The wind and tide were following us so the paddling was quite effortless, which allowed us to fully take in the beautiful scenery as the Small Isles came into view as we passed Adnamurchan lighthouse, positioned on the most Westerly point of the British mainland. In the background were the dramatic Cullins on Skye and, in front, the impressive peaks of Rum. Many photos were taken of the passing cliffs and headlands as we bobbed along.
We paddled 33km in total that day and we were relieved when Keith scouted out an excellent spot to camp next to the beach at Kilmory. The weather turned a bit nasty in the evening and, after eating, we got our heads down, eager to see what the weather had in store for the next day.
Day 3 Monday 27 May 2013 Storm bound in Kilmory
The weather forecast for Monday was 4 gusting 5+ so we knew the location of Sunday’s over-night stop was critical in terms of being out of the direct force of the wind & options for the following days activities. For some it would mean a strenuous day of making a brew and sorting kit, for others an exploration of the beautiful coastline & surrounding area. I fit into the latter category for after a few minutes I generally crave a different view point and a bit of exercise.
The first event of the day was however, around 4.30am Monday morning as the weather conditions lived up to the forecast - Continuous rain had lashed the tent all-night long then Three prolonged guests of increasing magnitude began to compress my tents geodesic structure beyond what the 3 season design tag, intended. The morning came – looking through the partially open fly a grey rain laden sky wrapped it self around the bay pushing row upon row of green waves into the deep U shaped cove until they broke with a roar and the death nail rattle of shoreline rocks tumbling against each other; as if moved by some invisible force. I spent the next hour or so examining the interior design & manufacture of my little dry abode, making a brew, looking over maps and sorting kit – by now it was at least 8am and I was getting bored - time for action.
I ventured around the headland and through a very well maintain deer fenced gate. The rain was only spitting but the wind was still easily a force 4+ and its force could be felt once out of the shelter of the bay. The whole of the Ardnamurchan peninsula is basically an extinct volcano, there where many volcanic vents sticking up out of the ground, left by the erosion of time.
The Chinese always give each passing year an animals name – may I propose this trip to be ‘The Year of the Tick’– with the almost total absence of our little friends the Midge, Chris became our ‘Tick Magnet’. We were always in the vicinity of live stock and their grazing land and so Dave and his tick removing pliers were in demand – I mention this as I am defiantly going to add these to my first aid kit, simple and effective having removed two beasties from my own anatomy myself.
We were becoming big news to the local hamlet, we had doubled the population overnight – they were very engaging and interested in our planed journey and took some of us up to their own water supply so that we could fill up with clean water – apparently the septic tanks from the houses above could overflow into the stream that we were using!!!
A number of us set of at various times to walk and explore with the proviso that we would all be back at 3pm to reassess the weather conditions – indeed by now we had blue skies and bright sunshine – this was to be the only rain all week apart from a bit of drizzle on the last day – Scotland’s, the new Mediterranean.
The remnant of the afternoon was spent sitting around chatting and putting the world to rights, discussing Tide Tables and possible destinations. I appreciated the opportunity to get to know the other 10 members of the team especially Andy, Chris and Dave who had not been on this trip before. By the way Dave is available for public speaking events, you can contact him at (Dave @ its the way you tellum.com.uk) – humour aside one of the add-ons of this type of trip is to see how well the group dynamics work in real positive ways – and while were on this subject we have to thank Keith and Ian for making these sort of trips possible – I know for one, theirs no way I could venture into some of these sea conditions without their input – so thanks from the whole team.
The VHF weather updates gained their reverential silence,
radio held heavenwards - Irish Sea, Malin,
Fortunately the Gods seemed to be smiling and it would be feasible to continue on our journey the following day towards Moidart – the option of heading out to Eigg and Muck, tantalising held in the balance but their was a good chance of being storm bound latter in the week – something our employers might not appreciate.
The evening meal cooked and having washed up in the incoming surf, we settled down to what became a most fantastic light show.
The amber skies danced on the sea, bringing its symmetry to both sea and sky. This ever changing event seemed to last for hours only enhanced by the sound of the waves upon the shore.
John Pegram More photos…….
Day 4 Tuesday 28 May 2013 Kilmory to Eilean Coille (Whitesands) 27.6km
Following an enforced but enjoyable shelter from a storm at Kilmory, where the locals had been curious but friendly, the forecast was good enough for a 9.00am start. We all set off as it neared high water (not so much of a heavy portage to the water) on a nice sunny day and with some small surf entering the bay, Dave took the opportunity to have a little play in the suds. The wind was still fresh so a bit of effort was needed paddling into it.
We headed towards our first reef of the day and although there was a gap we might have got through, Keith and Ian shepherded us to the outside as a swell was still running and much water was crashing and surging onto the rocks. As best we could, we hugged the coast to avoid as much of the head wind as possible and eventually stopped for elevenses in Eilagdale, a bay with a fresh water stream trickling through the very pebbly beach into the sea. There was also a small brackish lagoon close to where we sat and had our break. Following coffee, tea etc, people started drifting towards the stream to top up with fresh water. A couple of water filters appeared and a pumping frenzy began. Keith couldn’t be bothered with all of these gimmicks and said boiling would do the trick. As far as I know, he’s still alive so I suppose he was right!
By the time we set off again, the outgoing stream had dried and the tide had retreated, another heavy carry was necessary. There was a strengthening sun which made me realise I had brought no sun hat and goodness knows where my sun glasses were; on the shelf at home it turned out!
We paddled on around more headlands and entered a large open and windy bay with numerous small bays around the edge We spied enticingly sandy bays in the distance, which looked really appealing, but Keith headed for one which had no surf but was very pebbly. On approaching we realised that a lone house was above the bay and a noisy diesel generator destroyed the atmosphere. We gave this one a miss and the others shot off towards the large sandy beach in the distance and played for a while in the small amount of surf. The other half headed off to yet another sandy beach close by and we eventually all joined up for a sunny and relaxing lunch followed by some surfing activity and involuntary rolling by Ade.
After lunch we paddled on and eventually started to look for our night’s camp site. Looking closely at the map, Keith came up with 3 options, the first proved ok but only rated 3*, so we paddled on. By this time one of us was feeling under the weather and was looking forward to pitching the tent. The second option turned out to be a notch up from the first and would have been good except some other kayakers from Maidstone Canoe Club were there before us. There was plenty of space at low water with a lovely spit of white sand, but high water left a very small area to camp and this was already occupied. Keith‘s conversation with one of them pointed us to another possibility a further 2km along the coast.
We set off again, but our sickie was beginning to feel dire and, Big Ade, having stayed as our rearguard, used this opportunity to flex his muscles. With our sickie in tow he began overtaking everyone to arrive at the final camp in front of the whole group. It was well worth the extra paddle as it turned out to be the best camp site of the trip. Keith described it as a 5* and I can only agree with him. Situated just next to Eilean Coille near Smirisary Hill, there were three white sand bays dived by covering spits and flat grassy knolls to camp on. The view out to the Small Isles and Skye was just fantastic and we all appreciated being there.
On arriving at what we thought to be a totally deserted bay, we discovered a family playing ball on the far beach, very friendly folks who turned out to be the local landowners. We had a choice of pitch sites, those exposed to the dying wind with great views of Muck, Eigg, Rhum, Skye and the profile of the Black Cuillin Ridge, or a little hollow out of the wind. The hollow was where most of us opted to cook and eat our dinner. Curly decided the hollow was the better option to sleep in and pitched his tent bang in the middle.
Following our meal I decided to go for a walk along the coast to a small settlement (Samalaman) about 3Km away. On the way back I stalked a number of hinds for a while as I was downwind of them, but, as soon as I turned on my camera the small beep had them fleeing away with only a view of fluffy tails.
On arriving back at camp I discovered Pete had started a game of “guess the whisky”. It must have been quite difficult as most was consumed in the pursuit of guessing the label of the dram. Ian had also lit a beach fire which consumed all our waste material (not bodily)from the last few days. Where does it all come from? By this time the sun was setting and had us all enthralled with cameras snapping away every few minutes as the sun got lower and lower in the western sky, finally illuminating a golden path across the sea to our viewing platform.
We drifted off to bed in the twilight, darkness never really fell, midnight to 4.00am being the darkest but it was still not black dark as the longest day was only 3 weeks off. Torches were never needed. We all slept well, except for Dave in his amphitheatre of sound. Sleep evaded him as he thought the breaking surf was high and would engulf him, when in fact it was only a gentle hiss. He admitted he got up to check all was well during the night only to discover that the surf was tiny and in fact was on the opposite beach to where he thought. Serves him right for camping in what was in effect a parabolic sound reflector!
Another grand day on the water with friends. Thanks to Frankie for coordinating the whole trip, Keith and Ian for their invaluable experience in keeping us out of trouble, and to Ade for keeping up the rear guard, giving us all a worry-free and very enjoyable week.
Carole Thomas More photos…….
Day 5 Wednesday 29 May 2013 Eilean Coille (Whitesands) to Eilean Carrach (Bay McNeil) 28.1km
As has become the trend on these trips most people are up and about getting breakfast and packed ready to go about 8:30 to 9:00am. So today started no different to any other with breakfast on the go; weather forecasts where checked and boat packing underway all at the same time. The group where then call together for a discussion on the options for that day and potently the remainder of the trip.
From our campsite we had a number of choices we could make; some more committing than others:
A/ Visiting the Small Isles, and facing a long return crossing in a quartering sea.
B/ Returning around the Ardnamurchan peninsula to our start point if the weather permitted.
C/ Continuing north to Mallaig and then getting a lift back to cars.
In our favour was a good forecast for at least the next two days but then it may `get iffy` again on Friday. So having discussed the various options we opted for plan B. That effectively saw us retracing are route back along the Ardnamurchan peninsula towards the light house and camping somewhere close to end so as we could pass back around the point at slack tide on the Thursday morning and cross to Mull and camp near the shelter of Tobermory.
So once sorted we set off and we made good progress crossing directly to the point at Rubhe Ard Druimnich. Here we had our compulsory elevens stop at the same place we had the day before on a small stony bay. This was also an opportunity to refill our water containers. From here we followed the coast west exploring bays and finding safe passages out around the various skerry that lie off of the coast. These caused some exciting seas at times. Having passed our storm bound camp site we stopped for another break at a sheltered bay called Fascandale. This was a possible camp site but as the field was full of cows and pigs we decided to continue on to find a better place to camp. It was also a point that we could have used to end trip had the weather been too bad to get back around the point. We had left a car there as a contingency.
The next spot we had identified on map as a camp spot turn out not to be that good; as at low tide landing would have mean a long and dangerous carry over some very slippery rocks. So we carried on knowing we still had a couple of options left. We finally landed at a very nice sandy bay just east of the Ardnamurchan light house. This was where a sand dune island separated from the land by a sand spit which gave an ideal camp site and sheltered landing.
Having been quizzed about our boats and kit by some holiday makers we set up for the evening. Some put tents up straight away on top of the sand dune, others felt they would camp on the beach. As we cooked tea various people speculated on the amount of beach that would be left at high tide and exactly who’s tent would be getting wet. We thought about a walk to the light house and viewing point after our evening meal but soon changed our plan as we realised the sand bar was disappearing fast and we may have to swim back to the soon to become island. After the meal boats and kit were moved up to a safe height and the evening was spent still debating where to put remaining tents and watching another super sunset and tasting Malt Whisky.
Ian Bell More photos…….
Day 6 Thursday 30 May 2013 Eilean Carrach (Bay McNeil) to
We woke to another gorgeous sunny day, if a little windy. After breakfast and packing it was decided to wait for the tide to slacken around the point in the hope that the sea would flatten as with wind against tide it looked a little "Interesting" out there. While we waited Chris Limbered up and impressed us all with his head stand!
Waiting over the time came to launch into the calm water’s of the bay. This wasn’t to last and well before we left the bay we were crashing over large swells.
Mike was leading and took us out well clear Ardnamurchan Point. If the sea had settled down by now I’m glad we didn’t set off earlier, we were being pitched forwards by large wave’s coming over our right shoulders. It was a roller coaster out there and the Taran proved to be a real handful wanting to be powered through the waves in order to feel stable. At one point Mike was shouting at me to slow down as I was getting hurled forwards by wave after wave. I think my knuckle’s were white and my Botty was gripping the seat!
We soon cleared the point and could relax just a little as we paddled on looking for the little cove at the entrance to the Sound of Mull were we had stopped on the way out.
After Lunch in the sheltered cove we headed into the sound. With the swell now behind us this made for easy progress and after a couple of K`s we turned out into the sound and headed over towards Mull. The swell and waves were now coming over our right shoulders. Out one point I saw John execute a perfect low brace as a wave threaten to turn him over!
Just over half way across Ade called me over and led me astray. We went to the back of the pack were we could play turning to run with the swell. Ade was interested to see how fast the Taran would go........Game on! Yeeeehaa.....I had no idea I could get it going THAT fast! what a buzz.
We were soon passing Tobermory Lighthouse and heading for the beach in front of this pretty little town. Fish and chips all round and a visit to the local co-op for provisions (Bacon and Beer) Yum Yum. No sign of Great Uncle
After relaxing for an hour in the sunshine we set off in search of a campsite for
the night. We headed out of the Harbour passed
With tent’s erected the whiskey and beers were soon out. After only a couple of shots and a single larger it was time for bed. I was pooped after an amazing day on the water!
Dave Blake More photos…….
Day 7 – Friday 31 May 2013 18 km
We set paddle from the only midgey campsite of the trip to go round Oransay, an ambitious undertaking, given the state of the tide. The loch narrows to a picturesque 5 metres wide and the bottom rises to a channel passable at high water. I had a look at the portage, but we were too lazy and idle to carry the 150 metres necessary. It was Friday and slackers day after all.
We re-traced our steps, an arduous task given the prettiness and increasing visibility of Loch Dramn Buie. The last crossing of the trip was made uneventfully and on time to the headland of Ardslignish and we pootled along the coast against a cool breeze.
Someone got the first (non-messing about) wet bum of the trip on launching after lunch from the bowling ball beach. Then they were a bit sea sick, but eventually recovered well to complete the day.
Mingarry castle was broodingly handsome in a derelict sort of way, and was undergoing a facelift, or underpinning with one of the noisiest drills I have ever heard with builders’ abseiling down its cliff cragged sides. There was also a bonfire set by the locals to choke the wildlife and paddlers into not lingering.
Once past the smoke, the ambitious ones in the group set to rolling practice. Egged on by the seals. It’s quite strange the way rolling seems to have decreased in importance over the years as paddlers can now buy peace of mind from gizmos instead of graft. All the gizmos and snake oil in the world take time and time is never on the side of the swimming paddler. I don’t think it’s elitist to mention the roll. It’s the seas job to drown people, and some just make it easier by exposing all the body to the cold and rocks.
The grumpiness of grounding out by some ambitious gap paddlers was replaced by the joy at seeing a wild otter running down to the water along its own basalt dyke. We saw a white tailed eagle getting chased by Oystercatchers and numerous seals fishing the day away. That’s the joy of coastal pootling with the bonus of staying sheltered from the cool wind.
And thus the trip was ended by the unusual meal out of chips and stuff in a box at the local hotel because the chef has Fridays off. (another slacker) The ribs were very nice though and we had the added bonus of a table for 11, which we swapped for a smaller one to allow a big family to dine once we were onto the drinking, joking, yarning and for some, e-mails.
Now much modern and historical comedy is based upon the sudden swerve away from or towards something inappropriate. From Shakespeare to John Pegram from four candles to fork handles. Young Chris, being a yoga expert was slowly being tackled about the health and spiritual benefits of yoga and its uses to sea paddlers who wish to do head stands, gain inner peace and get the best paddling posture I’ve seen this century.
The swerve towards using yoga inappropriately came out of the blue. It gained momentum from an unintentionally double entendred belly laugh and on into an out of control laughter spiral when the flames were innocently stoked with ‘Yoga, that’s the way to go then… ‘
We wandered back to the campsite in the
gloaming, we did not see the Roman of Billy Connolly’s jokes, but there
was plenty of Hebridean simmer light from the northern horizon, beckoning us
back to the land of light after closing time….
Adrian Mould More photos…….
Day 8 Saturday 1st June 2013 – “the journey home”
Waking to glorious weather with a range of hangovers, the bags and boats were loaded on the cars, leaving behind such a beautiful view on a gorgeous day was difficult, especially as there were some issues getting up the track from the bottom of the campsite, various strategies including pushing, reversing and relaying the track were needed. Trevor we suspect may have had some repairs to do after our departure. Ade demonstrated the how to drive up a steep field with a fully loaded van beautifully.
In convoy we set off again, managing not to hit any sheep we arrived for a busy ferry hop and were approached by a gentleman who reported several sightings of use paddling round the coast across the week.
Once we were back in the
cars the dad’s discussion about travel via Stirling, and yes we went via
After gear was unpacked we said our farewells, some hardy souls discussed joining the stacks trip the following day, we were all homeward bound filled with memories of an excellent trip in great company. More Photos…….
Frankie A, Ian B, Keith S, Chris P, Ade M, John P, Pete ‘n’ Caz, Don B, Andy E and Dave (Curly) B
03/06/13 Flat Surfing with the Harwoods
Firstly, I would like to make everyone aware that I think that Paul Harwood is hijacking the site by getting his latest business advertising campaign off to a flying start this year as he seems to get his sign written van in every shot whilst out on a club trip (see opposite). It’s now apparent that his son Harvey has joined the family business as he will only have his photo taken in front of the company van. Please control his advertising techniques whilst paddling with him although he has offered a generous discount to all members.
the day started with a meet at
we realised that little surf would be with us today the mornings games started
with Paul's attempts to push everyone in but it soon backfired as Bradley and
days best paddler award was shared between the group with
02/06/13 Introduction to White Water Day
Having been given a number of dates to chose from following on from Intro to WW day 1 earlier in the year, it appeared that most candidates opted for this date. This resulted in the coaching team of Mike and Ruth being bolstered by the addition of Dan to look after the bigger group.
Arriving at Llangollen for 9.30 what a day greeted us, sunny skies and warm temperatures, ideal for getting changed as the facilities at Mile end are out of use. It would have been a different story if there had been the snow and cold experienced during day 1, great organisation Mike!
After a quick briefing we made our way onto the water and headed for the bridge. The morning was spent on either side of the bridge practising ferry gliding and experiencing the effects of the flow in different parts of the river. All of the group continued to improve their technique and had drummed into them; speed, edge, angle along with looking at where you want to go. There were a few swimmers in the faster part of the river though all learnt from the experience.
It was then time to head down the river back to the car park for lunch. Under the instruction of the coaches an attempt was made to safely steer the group down river like a raft of ducklings, if only we could understand come here and go there or was it that we understood the instruction though the execution was somewhat lacking? Needless to say there was the occasional swimmer yet again and the odd rock hugger (myself on both accounts). Lesson learnt from this - once committed go for it and don't change your mind half way through. There was the occasional eddy to break out of on the way down and all felt rather humbled when Mike expressed his disappointment at the majority of slow or late breakouts - well we'll show him after lunch what we are really capable of!
After a brief and pleasant lunch in the sun it was time to go back on the water and spend some time running the faster water. Again we were all in line taking it in turns to run through a stopper which most of the group survived, however there was a swimmer and lost equipment at this point which enabled rest of the group to sit in the sun, in an eddy, observing the effects of a stopper when one of the white water rafts became stuck in it. Mike and Dan had the task of retrieving the swimmer, boat and paddle (which was found later fortunately).
Next on the agenda was to leave our boats and walk the short section of faster flowing water with advice and demonstrations from our coaches on the line we should take, stay left of the V and keep right of the wave train. Most of us, full of apprehension, took our first run and yes you guessed it, went straight down the wave train! This run was repeated three times and I am sure that all improved their lines and certainly started to enjoy themselves more with each run.
I am not sure if it was as a result of the number of swims taken that day but Mike, Ruth and Dan thought it would be a good idea if we improved our white water swimming techniques. The day finished with each of us swimming down the last section, oh how glad I am that I did not go first and was able to find the least painful route down the river, thanks guys! The swimming bug was caught by a number of the group who then tried to body surf, good try though better luck next time.
What a great day we had, superb coaching from the most patient and helpful coaches you could have, great company (Ann, Kathy, Alan, Anthony, Jon, John, Mark and Tony), a good laugh, lovely weather and learnt a lot - perfect day.
Huge thanks to Mike, Ruth and Dan from all of us though we all wish to know how you make kayaking look so easy and graceful.
Last message from the trip, as stressed by Mike who was beginning to feel the effects of retrieving boats, please - airbags in both bow and stern, it will be helpful in recovering the boats and make them less liable to be damaged.
Mick Ripley More Photos……
02/06/13 River Tryweryn. 1-6-2013
A perfect way to spend a Saturday
Five of us met up at the cafe on the Tryweryn on a nice sunny (ish) day. Our plan was to tackle the lower first, finishing at Bala mill falls. Then back up to the top to Practice making eddies on the top of "Grave Yard" then shoot down as far as cafe wave.
Our group was made up of Andy Wrigg, Roy McHale, Chris Murphy, Sarah Gill and myself. It's only the 3rd time I have ever done the Lower section and knowing I was going to finish at the falls I was a little nervous.
However I didn't have to be. With three experienced
paddlers and Sarah who has just starting kayaking the
They showed me the way down on most of the features and rapids I had a fantastic morning session. The river was busy because of a national slalom competition, but that did nothing to hinder our progress. As usual, other paddlers on the river where all friendly and helpful.
We eventually reached Bala falls and after taking instruction Sarah and I waited with Chris until the others where down. Sarah went next, on only her fourth time and made a perfect run. Chris led me off and within seconds I was down safe and sound. It felt fantastic. When you run a big feature for the first time the adrenalin rush is amazing.
Back to the top now and time to practice eddy hopping on the Upper Graveyard. This is a fantastic stretch of water to learn to ferry glide and make those eddies. After and hour of doing this we decided to move down to some faster water. Lower Graveyard has eddies too and the plan was to make a couple of at the start before breaking back in and running he rest of this section. Most of our group made these first two but sadly I couldn't quite make the second one and went over the feature sideways and capsized. I pulled my deck and made for the first eddy I could; helped by the Scottish junior slalom team. All kit recovered I eventually, after some persuasion, got back in and ran Graveyard, upper and lower and Ski Jump lead by Andy and Roy. I eddied out and got out of my boat vey satisfied. The rest continued to eddy hop and show off their skills. Roy and Andy going on down to cafe wave.
A great day and despite my swim I was delighted with my performance. But the star was Sarah who made every eddy and styled everything, even putting in a roll for good measure. So a big thanks to our crew. It was a great day.
In the unusual setting of a sunny bank holiday weekend, 5 Liverpool Canoe Club / BB members met at the Tryweryn for a fantastic days paddling. (Other LCC paddlers were also there doing “Steep Creekin” courses. With it being one paddlers first time at the Tryweryn, which was unusually quiet, we decided to paddle the lower section first before moving to the harder upper section.
The young hot shots kindly moved boats whilst the more mature paddlers performed the shuttle, so that as soon as the drivers were back it was straight onto the river. Despite it being his first time on the river, Phil was soon ripping up the waves as he got stuck into the campsite stopper, and after a quick play he led the way down for us all to follow.
Tom made it all look easy in his play boat
whilst Jack cruised the river, and all too soon we reached
After a quick bite to eat, it was surfing and
looping time above the Chipper before getting onto the gnarl that is the
A fabulous day on the river, cheers to Ian for organising.
Mike A, Ian G, Tom G, Jack & Phil
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