News items or reports on club activities should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
30/09/13 Club AGM on Wednesday 16th October
7:30 – 8:00pm – (Automated slide-show of club photographs and activities over the year.
8:00 – 8:30pm - AGM (Election of Club Officials, Paddler of the Year, Members Motions)
Welcome from the chair & review of the year
1. Apologies for Absence.
3. Treasurers report Online Year End Accounts – Click here
4. Brief reports from each discipline (2 minutes each)
5. Members motions - None received to date
6. Election of Officers – Proposed list of those willing to stand for 2013-14
7. Paddler of the Year / Young paddler of the Year / Volunteer of the Year / Swimmer of the Year Award – Presented by Fiona Barry.
8:30 – 8:45pm – Buffet food – provided free – please help yourselves
8:45 to 9:30pm - Club expedition to Briancon – French Alps (World Premiere of the Alps Video 2013 by “Never again Productions”
9:30pm onwards – Socialise in the bar.
Paddler of the year Awards
Each year the club asks for nominations for our four Awards. Members can vote for each category by sending an email to email@example.com with their vote. Awards are then presented at the clubs AGM on Wednesday 16th October 2013
30/09/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….
AGM and Presentation of this years Alps Trip
Lakes White Water Weekend - Coordinator Fiona Barry
30/09/13 Are you getting all the information on club trips and
activities – club messaging system
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….
30/09/13 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.
30/09/13 September Photo of the Month Competition
“Foggy morning on the River Dee”
“Source Messing about in boats” – 4 mile bridge
Outdoor Alternative weekend
Runner up Adrian Mould :
“Toasting crumpets - Summer Slackers Aug 2013
- Campbeltown to Rothesay ”
Not found your photograph ? – see all the entries for this month………..
Criteria for the photo of the month competition…. 25% Quirkiness and framing of the subject, 25% Quality and sharpness of the photograph, 25% Diversity of the subject material (ie not all one discipline), 25% has LCC logo or clothing in the shot.
29/09/13 Farndon to
We had an
excellent day on the
We set off
about 11:00 am, and ended at
speaker, Erik Boomer, who is giving a talk at the
I rushed after school straight to
Saturday morning -
was to get up at 6am and pull down Pete and Jedwards tent. But
Quick Breakfast and them off to
Even the kids were pulling each other in and loved to sink the big canoe I had brought along. It's amazing how much joy a canoe brings to the kids. Even the less boisterous kids were having fun with Karl's roughians at the helm. My little angel was very well behaved and did not sink the canoe once. He didn't even successfully capsize me and pull my spray deck off!
Pete and I were trying to paddle up the tunnel at one point in separate boats. There is a picture from Tony Doyle, and you can just see the paddle coming up into my ribs, just like Thursday night, trying to tip me over. Somehow Tony Doyle had managed to keep dry and stay in his boat. He must be getting quick!
Saturday afternoon -
Lana turned up at 2pm for lunch. He blamed Lana, but we all know he's a lazy
git. He didn't even bring a boat for Lana, so I lent them my canoe for our trip
Even though it was flat calm, coming back to the beach is always dangerous if you paddle with Karl, Steve, Pete, me or Kids. Have you ever been rugby tackled out of a boat? Come paddling with us next time. It's a regular occurrence. The snorkels came out but the water was quite cold on our foreheads.
Sunday morning. Boat emptying at
started making noises at 3am from the wind. By nine it was leaning at 45 degree
angle because of the wind. We had a quick breakfast, looked at the monster
waves from distance and were excited to go surfing. Back to
Harvey and Brad decided to play on the rocks and try and catch some fish. Keenan decides to get his body board out. Kev and Jed were a little apprehensive, never having been surfing before. But the realised it was just like Saturday, except this time it's the water was pushing them out of their boats. I had brought my usual C1 and found I was going backwards more than forwards. When I eventually got to the gargantuan waves the power was amazing. The surf boarders were standing up and the waves were much higher than them. The feeling was amazing, but my god, It was tiring. I think that was the most tiring paddling I have ever done. I was completely spent and after an hour I was ready to go home. I got a few pictures and hopefully there are more out there as there were some club members on the beach.
Another fantastic weekend. Really looking forward to next years.
The 3rd weekend in our spring/summer series of club
camping and paddling weekends was a great success, the organiser had lost count
of the numbers of people who had signed up, ,and would like to claim credit for
guessing who was going to come along! Arriving at the campsite in the dark made
spotting the LCC crew momentarily difficult, there was another canoe club on
the campsite (Matlock Canoe Club), but the laughter from round the fire pit
revealed several of the 'usual suspects' enjoying the heat of the fire and a
beverage. Others were reported to be contributing to the local economy in the
White Eagle pub.
After a lovely meal provided by my sister ( smart move inviting sister with van and pre prepared food) I slunk off to my tent.
Next morning after camping fees were collected, everyone organises themselves into a variety of groups for surfing, playing at four mile bridge and sea kayaking.
I headed off to Borthwen for a trip to Treaddur and back. 12 of us, ably led by Brian Green had a sunny paddle via Rhoscolyn beacon and lots of cave exploring round to Treaddur, despite the slight head wind the paddling seemed easy, and it felt like a bonus summers day. Dave had some rolling mentoring at the start of the trip and Kathy enjoyed paddling Mark's Nordkapp. Arriving on the beach we met Vicky and Debbie who had come to join us for the return journey, they had a paddle,round the bay whilst we sat in the sunshine at Treaddur ate our lunches and watched the RNLI launch, and all managed to get our toes out of the way, cake of the day was ginger and fruit flapjack, and moment of the lunch break was Pete sitting on Carole's boat and not noticing his own floating away on the tide.
After more boat swapping, we headed back to Borthwen via the beacon and a bit of a play in the overfalls.
A great days paddle, next it was time to BBQ............
Frankie A More photos......
The Thrillseekers Adventure Film Festival Plaza Cinema in
The Thrillseekers Adventure Film Festival
features the best in extreme sports and adventure films, come and experience an evening of adrenaline-pumping action through a selection of films that celebrate pushing mind and body to the limits. From mountain biking to skiing, kayaking to BASE-jumping, arduous expeditions and world-firsts, each of our three exciting film programmes includes something for everyone.
Featuring the latest instalment from
Posing Productions, which sees
The full line up is:
For more information on the films and programmes, please visit www.adventurefest.co.uk.
Film Festival at Plaza Cinema,
Adventure Film Festival: Programme 1 -
Black Diamond Events
Monday, 14 October 2013 from 19:45 to 21:45 (BST)
Enter Promotional code: PADDLE13 for 10% off for Liverpool CC members.
NB Liverpool Canoe Clubs` Paddling Film Festival is on
Monday 11th November at Liverpool
17/09/13 Coniston End to End Swim, 14th September 2013
Coniston end to end is a new swim event by Chill Swim, director Colin Hill. The idea is simply to swim all 5.25 miles from one end to the other. Competitors have a choice to swim with or without a wetsuit but having to have a tow float attached in order to provide buoyancy and to help safety kayakers to identify swimmers in trouble.
The swim organisers were Colin Hill of Chill Swim and Martin Suzan of Swim Safety so organisation of the event couldn’t be bettered. The first involvement for kayak team leaders was the safety meeting on the Friday evening at 7pm. This is when important details were discussed and the opportunity to ask questions regarding expectations and duties of the safety teams.
Myself and John Worswick set off for the event at about 3:30pm on Friday as we had to drop off our boats and sort out our accommodation prior to attending the meeting, unfortunately there was a chippy just around the corner from the meeting and we succumb to hunger and temptation. The meeting was very informative however I think some of the other attendees were slightly distracted by our food, not surprisingly after the meeting the chippy carried out some storming business. Then back to the house, a few beers and up at 5am in preparation for the day.
The full Kayak safety meeting took place at 7:30am outside the Bluebird Café which has now been completely refurbished after the devastating floods of 2009. There were roughly 57 kayakers looking after about 250 swimmers, probably overkill in terms of kayakers v swimmers but being the first time for the event the safety of swimmers was of upmost concern. There were seven kayaking teams headed up by myself (Blue), John Worswick (Purple), Dave Reynolds (Yellow), Bruce Carter (Red), Mike Harrison (Pink), Frances Watkins (White) and finally the orange team leader who’s name escapes me - sorry.
Swimming start times were split into three times depending on ability, slow swimmers to start off first at 9:00am, medium at 9:35am and the quickest at about 10am. The idea being that at the start swimmers will be spaced out but towards the end of the swim they should all finish close together. The first wave of swimmers had two kayaking teams looking after them, red and pink, the second wave had blue, purple and white, whilst the third wave had orange and yellow teams looking after them.
The course was set out with mile markers and feed stations between each one offering swimmers energy drinks, water, bananas and jelly babies, worth signing up just for them! Water temperature was between 15-16 which isn’t too bad however if you are in the water for a long period of time core temperature loss and symptoms of slight hyperthermia could be a problem, so it was important to understand the signs and to be prepared to take the decision to extract a swimmer if needed.
The weather forecast was for high winds and torrential rain coming in from the North, however good luck prevailed with sunshine for most of the day ensuring a pleasant swim.
Overall, in terms of water safety the event was an outstanding success, my team only having one extraction which was due to severe cramp and coldness, other assistance included, cramp, tight wetsuits and tiredness. Talking to some of the swimmers I learnt about the charities they were supporting, family and friends cheering them on and of one lady swimmer who was paralysed eighteen months ago was helping to raise money for the charity which looks after her condition, if anyone needs any inspiration just talk to the swimmers and find out their story.
Lots of stats were taken in order to improve the event for next year by which time it is expected there will be at least six hundred participants, a challenge to the Great North Swim?
In my view the event was a massive success which has to be down to the experience and organisation of Colin Hill, Martin Suzan and all the water safety teams and support staff.
If you need any more information on this or other events then please visit: -
www.chillswim.com (there is a video of the swim)
Here’s a video link from the Coniston Swim. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ombQaotx-J4&list=UU47syGJAEmfkWCaOQmC7ULA
Peter McComasky More Photos……..
10/09/13 A Dark Little Secret (Open Boating Trips for all)
Skulking around the back of the marina on Thursday evening, looking and handling stuff in the shed and on the racks that I shouldn’t really have been involved with, I had hoped I could get away unnoticed but my dark little secret was out as soon as Paul “half the blade, twice the trouble” Harwood spotted me loading an open boat and canoe paddles onto my car. Rats! It was way too late to turn back.
I admit it; I am tending to the dark side a bit and getting interested in this
“single blade” stuff. I even went home on Thursday and watched a
couple of the classic Bill
Mason canoeing films and thumbed through my autographed copy of “Canoeing”
by Ray Goodwin. There’s
no online privacy these days so it won’t be long before I get an early
morning visit from the “paddle police” for viewing risqué
stuff on various forbidden websites such as Song of the Paddle. But, it’s certainly not all my fault
and I wish to point out that reading the recent trip reports from Keith and
Mike, about their open boat trips down the Tay and the
Saturday morning Caz and I met Rosie Diver in a quiet secluded spot at Eccleston
Ferry on the side of the
River Dee. We had contrived for it to be a low profile assignation but Andy and
Tony showed up at the same time to share in our guilty pleasures. Before we
were noticed by the locals, we furtively sorted our gear out and did a car
shuttle to our put-in at Farndon.
The day before it had
rained heavily in places and we expected to see quite a flow on the river but,
in reality, it was only slight; certainly much less than we had seen on
previous trips on the
Rosie is an open boat coach but her style on Saturday morning was very much a light touch. As long as we didn’t repeatedly bump into the banks out of control, Rosie was happy to let Carole and me paddle off as a double, while the more experienced Andy and Tony paddled solo. The occasional hints from Rosie, as to how we could improve our paddle strokes, had us trying out a variety of new things and I was more than happy to let Carole, who was sitting in the bow, put in about four times as many strokes as I did while I got on with the “manly” job of steering us down the slow moving river, through gracefully hanging willow fronds and around numerous bends.
almost silently down river, we got close to lots of wildlife (see tick list at
end) and it wasn’t long before we stopped for a lunch break on river
left. After about ten minutes our quiet communing with natures wonderful bounty
was interrupted by a gazillion other paddlers from Ribble Canoe Club. There
were so many of them we gave them their own collective noun ~ “a plastic
of paddlers”. Mostly in sea boats, they soon
reached us and I felt uncontrollably drawn to talk to some of them about, well,
sea kayaking! Sorry
It’s been said many times that paddling a double as a married couple is a sure way to steer a relationship towards the divorce courts but Caz and I are made of steadier stuff and by the time we got back to Eccleston Ferry, we were both keen on doing more; so keen in fact that we practically demanded that Rosie put on another club open boat trip in the coming months (watch the club calendar). We sorted out the cars, packed up and drove our separate ways vowing not to tell anybody about the fun we had getting deeper into this dark and sinful world of one bladed paddling.
Wildlife Tick List:
Eels ~ tick.
Buzzard ~ tick.
House Martins ~ tick.
Swallows ~ tick.
Teal ~ tick.
Mallard ~ tick.
Herons ~ tick.
Cormorants ~ tick.
Fishes ~ tick.
Hippo (might have been a floating log – not sure) ~ tick.
Wales ~ tick.
Kingfishers ~ tick.
Ugly Ducklings ~ tick.
Rosie Diver, Pete and Caz, Andy, Tony ~ Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty More Photos……..
Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody else or they too might be led astray on Rosie’s next trip. – This is on Saturday 2nd November on the River Weaver – More details from the Calendar…..
07/09/13 Summer Slackers Aug
2013 - Campbeltown to Rothesay.
101km in 5 days, Longest day 30km, shortest 5 km. Weather mostly excellent, midges mostly mild to non existent.
for the trip is required due to the gentle re-buffing that had to be done to a
few applicants. As a one way trip, we used a real ferry for the ferry. The
Second World War saw the last regular steamer service to Campbeltown from the
Mac put on an experimental service 3 times a week using the MV Isle of
The only service with a timetable that worked for us was the Sunday
lunchtime sailing from Ardrossan. The route chosen for our trip was the inside
route back to Ardrossan via Loch Fyne and the Kyles of Bute. This is a truly
historical route, based on ancient sea trading routes, and as such it would be
a true back of beyond in the middle of nowhere nightmare if road access or
egress was required. Hence the no joining rule.
This made the first half a proper ‘Mastermind’ trip. We
started, so we finished.
A good number of the campsites we used were tiny and were only found due
to previous forays over several years. Some could accommodate a larger group,
but the comfortable and flexible max for any trip around here would be 4
compact tents. And I do mean compact! And I do mean 4, preferably less! Have I
mentioned compact yet?
The coastline is virtually all rock with nearly every hospitable bay inhabited right to the waters edge and nearly every uninhabited bay brackened or cattled to the waters edge. The tides are fairly slow, but useful.
Anyhow, back to the trip.
Day 1 -
There are no camping sites, bunkhouses or wild camping spots anywhere near Ardrossan. So an early start, or YOGA equipped campervan is required to get up to Ardrossan in time for the ferry. We logged 248 early morning miles. The ferry port has a manned 24 hour car park, for which the fee is £3 per day, or part day. This is on the old harbour wall, quite picturesque and would make a pleasant place for an independent camper van with its own ‘YOGA’ facilities, Your Own Gastric Activities, (copyright Andy Elliot, he’s already got his coat).
We arrived, had a big breakfast in the handy ASDA and proceeded to pack.
The car park began filling up, so it was a good idea to get the boats packed
and ready early, as no sooner had we trolleyed out towards the loading ramp,
than the attendant had installed a car on the boat packing space. Although the
vast majority of people must have been going to
The 3 kayaks shared the car deck with 11 cars, 2 motorbikes, and 3
bicycles. There was a football field of green painted space going spare on the
car deck. There were a number of
senior foot passengers ‘Doon tha’ water’ and enjoying the
return cruise down the Clyde without getting off at Campbeltown. This coupled
with the excellent meal and attentive staff in the restaurant gave a certain
wistful feeling of the years when the
As befits a slacking leader, I let Cal Mac sort the tick list out.
Basking Shark, tick.
A pod of Dolphins or Porpoises, tick.
Sooty shearwaters, tick.
Giant jellyfish, tick.
Launch the high speed rescue boat for a drill, tick.
Lazing on a sunny afternoon, tick.
And from the tent, eagles, tick.
We arrived in Campbeltown, trolleyed off our trolleys, and proceeded to load up to the strains of a Celtic rock band doing Runrig covers on what appeared to be a carnival Sunday. We spent 5 km exploring Campbeltown loch for somewhere to camp, and eventually found a very pleasant pitch at the end of a causeway with its own litter bin. We waited until dusk to put the tents up, because there was just nowhere else to go if we were to get chased. We failed to find the rock art notable on the island, but had a very pleasant night.
Day 2. - Island to Vitrified Fort.18.6km
By morning, the tide had turned in our favour and we were able to exit the loch and head north. We had slept well and by 7 am the forecast mist had gone, leaving the tents dewy and the grass with the cold damp of early autumn. There is a rock called seal rock just outside Campbeltown, and we spent ages playing ‘peek a boo’ with the highly photogenic common seals. These are gorgeous little creatures, smaller and prettier (yes, you should be worried...) than our Hilbre natives.
Lunch was taken at
Anyway this magical site provided us with the spectacle of boiling fish. Shoals of fry would be repeatedly chased into a tiny inlet by larger fish as the tide dropped. Once there was no escape, the shoal would ball up and the water apparently boil as the tiny fish would throw themselves on to the rocks and leap from the water in an attempt to avoid dinner. They repeated this process so many times that Andy was forced to get his tackle out.
This resulted in the old fish hook through the finger trick. But he was very brave about the whole thing and settled for fire toasted crumpets and whisky. I also got an excuse to get a multi tool for future hook cutting!
Day 3. To Skipness Pt. 27.6km
The daily distances were dictated by available camping spots and steadily increasing mileages indicate the non availability of camping spots. We broke a damp camp and with a midge assisted trolley dash and began arm marching northwards. The wild goats of Carradale put in an appearance, balancing on rocks and eating low tide seaweed in an amusingly linear fashion. There were big and gruff Billy goats with impressive tent ripping horns, sure footed Nannies and comical youngsters messing about, kids, eh?
We took on water at Carradale harbour which had a most un picturesque approach, the quayside being where Steptoe and Son must have retired to with all the junk they could acquire and that junk then created a gravity field of it’s own pulling in all the junk of Kintyre. However, the pretty harbour was full of hermit crabs, all wandering about the shallows like a screen saver for a beach. Here was a whole world like a miniature primary school playground, crabs chasing each other, playing tick, choosing a closer crab to chase as the fleeter one got out of range. Causing the new target one to comically scuttle sprint away. Some went chasing round and round the same small rock for ages due in no small way to a lack of perspective that parallels our own occasional inability to step back from living to see the big picture of life. Some were wrestling each other out of their calcium carbonate caravans. Others just aimlessly wandered about until cannoned into or chased by the others.
There were dowdy crabs in algal shells and crustacean fashionistas in the latest ranges of recently vacated colours. Hermit crabs are a bit like puffins, living serious lives, but providing endless amusement for sea kayakers. Unlike puffins, they have to avoid sea kayakers feet. Poor buggers.
Visibility stayed under 5km most of the day under leaden skies.
They gave us a cheery wave as we passed on our way to Skipness Point. As we neared the point, boulders resolved themselves into cows. So we ended up camped at the end of the main beach near a picturesque ruined chapel and in full view of the manor house. One of the colourful cows leaped the fence and joined us on the beach. Pat Brown, as we christened her, contentedly marched up and down taking the choicest plants and leaving the occasional night time trap. She eventually leaped back and we donated some of the stock of firewood to cow proof the fence a little in the hope of a quiet night. Just before dusk I think I spotted a Pine Marten but it could have been an otter in the half light.
Day 4 Skipness Pt to Postage Stamp camp 30 km
The cow defences withheld any nocturnal bovine siege and all I got was a very dirty look from Pat as she passed by the Chapel en route to breakfast parade. A distinct improvement on her dirty deeds of the previous day.
We ‘slacked’ our way north, passing a couple of good camping spots early on.
The day was sunny and warm. There was even some noteworthy flesh
sunbathing on the foredeck of the sole yacht passing out of Loch Fyne. We took
lunch at the beach of abandoned
The fish at the
We took the short crossing of just over 3km to the
As we passed towards the West Kyle of Bute, what should pop out but the
As we entered the Kyle of Bute, Sylvia declared a strike and set to sleep on the boulders of the afternoon tea break beach. We had to wake her when the tide began to endanger her feet. After shovelling banana malt loaf down the good lady, along with restorative tea we set to the West Kyle of Bute.
Carry Point was crossed with merely a walk and a scrape. The closest campsite on the map, at Carry had turned into a static and log cabin site. I guess the wild camping legislation has taken its toll of commercial tent camping sites.
It’s an ill wind blows no good, as they say and the wind blew us to
the Kames Hotel in
Suitably pied, gammoned and Sweet potato curried, we proceeded to the postage stamp of a wild camp for the night.
Day 5. Postage stamp camp to Backpackers Hostel Rothesay 20km
We left with damp tents but good spirits. As we wandered up the West Kyle
with a following tide we were greeted by the Maids of Bute. We slacked around
The Admiralty chart for the Burnt Islands BA1906 – 1, has one tidal diamond which states. ‘The flow varies greatly with meteorological conditions and may attain 3 knots in either direction’. Helpful. Not.
So tidal planning can be more of an art than a science. We got a
‘Banksy’ as the tide pushed us around even as it dropped. The turn southwards was made and
after catching the Friday forecast it was decided to take a night in the
Backpackers Hostel and the Cal Mac ferry back to
We had another lovely meal, this time in a bistro, yes, me. In a bistro! Rothesay is a faded Edwardian grand village, with some very fine architecture and the attitude of the outer island towns. It’s well worth looking upwards and past the faded shop fronts as well as outwards to the magnificent views. If you go there that is.
Day 6 Cal Slacking - Rothesay to Wirral (It was Friday!)
A leisurely stroll to a big fried breakfast in town saw us fit for action as we portaged 300m from the Hostel to the ferry ramp.
The boats were
free, once again. Passenger fare was £4.90. Any doubt about ‘
The weekend invasion of the
In all, over 530 miles driven, 102 km paddled, £15 spent on ferries and £20 each in a bunkhouse, £30 for the taxi and a bit more voluntarily on Black Water and proper meals. It was pretty good value for a late summer adventure.
We were a team of 3 in 2 tents, with a trolley each. The paddlers were Sylvia Mould, Adrian Mould and Andy Elliott. Thanks to one and all for your company and good humour. Thanks to Curly Dave for the loaned trolley, it had a good time.
Adrian Mould. (Ade) More Photos………..
03/09/13 Y Felinheli to
August 2013;bit of a mad day for me, but one that ended with the start of a great
weekend of sea paddling. The plan was to get out for an overnight trip with
some of the
A night spent at Anglesey Outdoors meant a visit to the Paddlers Return followed by a race to see who could put their tent up the fastest I think I won!
saw myself; Chris and Jim head off to pick Nicky’s boat up from
First mistake of the trip was not saying Port Dinorwic to Don, never mind he found us! Sadly Pete and Caz weren’t able to join us, so 5 paddlers launched almost on time at 11.30 to paddle with the ebb down to Abermenai point. Nicky found packing her boat for the first time pretty easy; she was ready before the rest of us.
We made our way into a breeze up the mainland side of the Menai Straits,
making a brief stop at Caernarfon for a quick bite and a drink and a longer
After collecting driftwood for a campfire we settled down to cook and discuss the finer points of stoves, listen to more jokes, and look at the stars. Mark Tozer, who was out with the other group wandered over to join us for banana cake, spookily arriving just as the knife cut the first slice of cake.
The tide meant we either had a very early start or a very leisurely start
the next day, we opted for leisurely, paddling onto
A really lovely weekend in great company, and a fabulous way to celebrate handing in my dissertation on Friday, Cheers guys!
Frankie A, Nicky C, Don B, Jim K, Chris P
03/09/13 Trip Report,
Introduction to moving water, 1st Sept
Not long back from our "Intro to moving water
day" on the
There were 5 paddlers out, John Cooke, Dave Barnes, Tony Doyle, my Son John & myself.
I certainly pushed myself, both mentally and physically, I rode water I never thought I'd be capable of, although it was probably easy for you more experienced paddlers, it was a bit scary for me.
We started further upstream from Serpent's Tail and worked our way down, getting out to look at the Tail and watched a few others running it, Dave, John C & Tony opted to run it too, whilst John M & I bravely declined and decided to carry our boats down stream to await them. Dave & John C ran it smoothly, with Tony opting to swim the lower half.
We bumped into another couple of LCC members under the rail bridge who were getting some input from a professional kayak coach, who then very kindly offered to spend a little of his time with us, running through Ferry Glides and Breaking in and out of the flow.
These are definitely skills I need to practice, judging by the number of times my boat & I parted company.
After continuing down and covering a couple of small drops we broke for lunch near JJ's.
Once back on the water we practised bracing strokes in a large eddy above the first drop, then rode top 2 drops again, before getting out prior to the 3rd for Tony to show us the line and watch paddlers doing it.
Running this 3rd one I got slightly offline and to the shouts of "Paddle, Paddle ,Paddle" from Dave managed to get back to where I should have been and ran it successfully,
All in all, it was a fantastic day, many thanks to John C, Dave & Tony for your help, guidance and most of all patience. Nick Mackin
31/08/13 The Alternative
Canoe Expedition – The Welsh Dee - Llangollen to
The plan had been set, holidays arranged and we were all set to head to
After leaving a car near
Day 1 – Launch Llangollen at 11am and head downstream, marvelling at how come all of us had only paddled the first bit of this beautiful section once before. The nice easy rapids would make a great intro plus river, but it could also just be a nice run for more experienced boaters. All too soon we reached Trevor rapids, site of the first Wild Water slalom in the UK, where I decided to check the line ahead of Dan`s precious boatload and as such pointed out the rock that couldn’t be seen from above. Yep, I capsized. Nice, only another 36 hours to stay in this wet kit!
Back in my boat, after recovering another swimmer, we headed down, gliding under the Aqueduct, rail viaduct and then the massive road bridge. It truly is a lovely remote section, almost gorge like.
We carried on,
portaging the two weirs and passing the two rather nice looking pubs. Marvelling
at the herd of standing / balanced stones and catching site of several bright
blue Kingfishers. Eventually we reached
Day 2 - Up early to avoid conflict and because we knew we had a long day without much flow assistance. So up at 6am it was. Unfortunately, our covert exit was foiled by the local hunt passing us by about 20mins later whilst we still doing breakfast. Doh! But they didn’t mind and we launched into the fog about 7.30am Now for the unending meanders!
There was surprisingly more flow than we anticipated, and the fog eased our passage – although we did surprise some early morning fisher folk – as we cruised along. To pass the time, the kids “mooed” to every cow we passed, and the kids were impressed with how the cows even responded to Dan’s full blooded “Moooo!” He had to do it at every cow we saw from then on.
As we reached Farndon, the sun burnt off the cloud and it became hot – and hard work! We cruised along between the shanty town holiday homes, wondering why we hadn’t stopped at Farndon, and eventually we came across some more cows – playing leap frog. The kids wanted Dan to “Moo”, but for some reason he declined. I don’t know why?*
After more cruising, we estimated about 60,000 J strokes in total, we reached the journeys end at 4pm. 80km done, hot and tired, but VERY glad we had done it, and still wondering why we had never paddled from Llangollen to Overton before? Must do it again some time!
(*It later turned out that the cows weren’t playing leap frog, they were doing the Conga)
Mike, Ruth, Dan, Megan & Jack More Photos………
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