News items or reports on club activities should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have just been told by Gareth Field, Senior
Canoeing Development Officer for Canoe England, that Liverpool Canoe Club has
just been awarded Gold status for the BCU`s Top Club scheme. This is the highest Award in the scheme
and we are now one of the few clubs in the
We have been judged to have achieved the highest standards in:
Congratulations to all of you that have made this Award possible.
01/12/13 Congratualtions to Rhys
Rhys Legget, one of the clubs junior members rolled for the first time at last weeks junior club pool session. Rhys has been an active member for several years now and is the first of the current young juniors to crack his roll. It should be noted that he didn’t only do one, he has able to roll time after time using his favourite junior sized boat.
30/11/13 November Photo of the Month Competition
“Rainbow over the Festival Car Park – Llangollen introductory paddle”
Runner up Sarah Gille :
Gille on the Halloween Paddle at the
Runner up Pete Thomas :
“Open Boat paddle on the River Weaver”
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.
30/11/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….
Club Christmas Meal at the
Christmas Paddle - Mince Pies at Albert Dock, Festive decoration on boats (Juniors & Adults Any blade Any boat) - Coordinator LCC Social Committee. Click to book a place.........
Scottish Easter Paddling holiday. Click to book a place.........
30/11/13 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….
As some of you may know Kayaks North West has recently rebranded under Go Kayaking to Go Kayaking North West.
We are writing to let you know that we now have a new website http://www.go-kayaking.com,
We are now able to offer
brands online, which we are unable to offer in store such as: Kokatat,
GoPro, Dagger, Wavesport, Liquid Logic,
As a thank you for your continuing support over the years, we will be increasing your discount for members online over the festive season from 10 to 15% off until the 31st of January 2014.
To get your online discount, please use this code to get 15% off all items when you spend £100.00 or more on the website* - GKXMAS2013
We are also offering until the end of December 20% off Level Six products, which you can claim by using this code at the checkout - GKL62013 You can find Level Six products by following this link – Level Six
The Go Kayaking Team
*Please note that this code cannot be used against items which have been already reduced and that shipping is free after the total value of the basket is greater than £100.
You must proceed to the checkout to apply the discount codes
28-ish paddlers untangled their cars from the hostel car park and headed off in convoy through the Autumnal lanes and frosty mountain tops. Sea kayakers keen to test their transferable skills, went afloat bursting with enthusiasm as we split into small groups for the first paddle of the weekend. After a variety of drops and slots Tony wondered how murky the water was, so had a quick look and reported back with a slightly larger and more colourful cheek than he woke up with.
A little further on and we arrived at
We had a great time today; making the most of the Autumn sunshine as we paddled from Dove Point to the beach at
Catriona Hare More Photos………
22/11/13 Trip Report, Mile End Mill, 17th Nov
This trip was organised with the intention of building experience and confidence on moving water of the less experienced paddlers among us. Meeting at Mile End Mill, there were about 20 of us out for a day on the water. We started by practicing Ferry Gliding at the put in point before getting out on the opposite bank and walking upstream and splitting into two groups, with those more experienced paddling a little further upstream onto a bit faster moving water, the rest of us staying on the slower stuff with Richard, Dan, Sam, Dom, Peter & John leading by example and giving us the much needed advice and assistance we required.
We worked our way upstream, Ferry Gliding back and forth as far as the railway bridge, where we moved on to Breaking In and Out of the flow under the bridge. Confidence soon built and we were rewarded with words of encouragement from Sam, saying that we were doing particularly well as there wasn't a defined Eddy Line where we were breaking in and we had to feel where the faster flow was before putting on the edge and commencing our turns. I think we were given a bit more confidence after hearing the shouts of "Swimmer" from the other group on more than one occasion whilst we all stayed the right way up.
As lunchtime approached Dan asked if we'd like to work our way downstream to a drop called
After lunch and John updating Facebook, ringing everybody that he knows and telling anyone he saw in the car park about his rolling exploits, we carried on for more of the same. More ferry glides and breaking in & out, things were going quite successfully, even doing break ins with our eyes closed and feeling for the eddy line. We then headed over to a large eddy behind a small island, with me being volunteered to go first, as I was two thirds of the way over I felt the water suddenly pick up it's pace. I just about managed to negotiate it, and shouted back to John to warn him. My warning came at exactly the wrong time, him listening to me, distracted him, (he says), the flow then pushed him sideways and into the trees.
Having remembered a warning earlier from Sam, to avoid trees at all costs he had no option but to grab on to a branch, as his boat was pulled off him by the flow of water, just at that point he was crashed in to, by Gary, who had followed John across and had a similar outcome.
Once again we regrouped, and decided to run the drop again, a couple of the leaders went first with me to follow, I knew before I got to the edge I was on the wrong line, I then got turned sideways and ended up leaning on my paddle just to remain upright, before going over the drop. I was then very conscious of being pinned in my boat by the oncoming water, so, opted to take a swim, and was soon rescued by Dan and deposited on shore.
Yet again everyone else ran the drop with varying degrees of success; John capsized again and almost rolled back up, managing it with a helping hand from Dan.
All in all it was a great day, Thank you to the organisers, coaches and leaders for your help and encouragement.
I for one will certainly look forward to the next outing. Nick Mackin
19/11/13 Carrog to Festival Site via
Seeing as we have
heard about the epic, awe inspiring trip on the canal with the humungous bivi
and the thunderous run down through Serpents Tail and over
Pulling into Llangollen with about 5min to spare, perfectly timed, the phone rang. It was Keith, my initial thought was that I was late and in trouble, but no, difficulties en-route had led to delays. Message understood I pulled into the car park, let the eager waiting masses know the change of plans, and then headed off to check the get in as the river was quite high for this kind of trip. Got to the get in, lovely SUNNY weather, and thought good for more confident beginners, scary as fireworks to a pet cat for others.
Back to car park, everyone had just arrived, pass message to whole group and attend leaders meeting to sort plan. All to paddle, options of canal or river and meet back here afterwards – great! It then decided to rain, hail and blow a cold wind just as everyone was getting changed, it had been sunny when we arrived!
Shuttle sorted, many thanks to the non-paddling parents for taking the drivers who moved their cars back to the put in, we popped onto the fast flowing river. With the river being high on the rainchaser level, the river had lost some of its more technical aspects and became a powerful, fast moving conveyor of brown. My group did really well, superbly negotiating the rapids and waves, with only those tricky flat water eddies causing any problems – lol!
We ticked off
the miles, breaking in and out along the way and eventually caught the other
groups just as we were approaching
At Horseshoe, those not running the rapids got onto the canal for the paddle to the Festival site and the waiting cars. A great day, now just to wait for Keith, Dom and the Canal Crewe as we had said that we would all meet back here at the end of the day.
“Thumbs up” 4 Returns
from Dove Point to (nearly)
It had been a long week, needed a paddle on the sea but didn’t want to get up too early or travel too far. So where to go?
The answer was easy, with a 10am HT it meant that we could launch from Dove Point and paddle to New Brighton and shuttle, or paddle out and back – must be quick as Dove Point only has water 2hrs either side of HT. So the plan was set for a 9am launch, with several people wanting to join me, especially after they had seen the “Thumbs up” photo from the last time we had done this trip.
I arrived to find the others already waiting and eager, so eager that they had already posed for their “Thumbs up” photo, with the water well up the slipway. Apparently it had been there for a while, but hey, I had enjoyed that extra roll over in the morning and I hadn’t wanted to launch too early as the tide at Dove Point runs opposite to the main flow.
Eagerly we set off into the lumpy sea, it had been a while for me and I am sure that for Caz, Pete & John it was nowt, but I could feel the swell as I waited for my senses to get used to being on the sea again. We powered along the coast under claggy skies, amazed that it could feel so remote, yet be so close to home. As we passed the first of the groynes, a mass of birds took to the air, their synchronised dance mesmerising us to the point that we were stopped in our tracks. Suddenly their graceful movements turned towards us, oo err it was like a scene from the Birds, but they spun away at wave height and we paddled on, leaving them to their dance.
Reaching Derby Pool beach (Harrison Drive?) at 10am
high tide we had a conundrum, paddle on to New Brighton through the crashing
cloptis, and risk not getting back, or head back with a stop somewhere? We
decided on the latter, heading in towards the
With the tide ebbing away we could not stay long, and all too soon we were on our way back to Dove Point, being distracted only by the New Brighton lifeboat zooming past on its way to rescue a stricken speedboat. Pete was keen to roll, but everytime we stopped we were being washed backwards – so onwards we went.
Approaching the groyne we had first passed two and a half hours ago, the tide was ripping past its outer edge and we had to paddle hard all the way back to the slip, finally landing just before the water left the slip.
A great trip with great company, very local, very enjoyable and very variable from big surf to easy paddling. Worth doing, and very worth the “Thumbs up”.
Mike, John, Caz & Pete More Photos…………….
Halloween Paddle at the docks
There was a good turn out this year for the annual Halloween paddle with the number of adults (a.k.a. Big kids) exceeding the number of actual kids.
Boats were decorated, scary costumes were worn then
paddlers set off on their mini tour of
However, as we all know, on Halloween where there are treats there are also tricks. For those brave enough to put their hands in gruesome gunge in the hope of retrieving a toy did so. Surprisingly, the "big kids" didn't seem so keen on this part...although when the balloons with lights inside of them (yes...lights inside of them....amazing) made an appearance....the "big kids" suddenly all piped up and wanted one or two to light up their boats before paddling their way back to marina.
Back at base
It was a good night and thank you to everybody who joined us.
We are also planning a festive dock paddle on Sunday 22nd December .....so if you would like to join us, there is plenty of time to venture into the loft get your Santa hats and tinsel. Please check the club website for more details.
Jo, Jeanette & Steve(s) More Photos……..
17/11/13 National League Division 4
We had two teams playing in last
nights tournament, one reasonably well established (Liverpool Salthouse) while
the second was relatively new to canoe polo (Liverpool Coburg). Indeed, for three of the team it was
there first ever refereed experience of the game. Scott Gibson (Gibbo) had
worked hard to organise both the tournament and our teams. We met at the docks to pick up boats and
helmets and to car share for the two hour journey to
Salthouse went on to win most of
their games losing only to White Rose who were easily the best team on the
15/11/13 Halloween Paddle at the docks.
At around 6:30pm members started gathering at the top of the ramp to the pontoons. There were many decorated boats, opens with flashing lights, glow sticks and pumpkins were all around. We took to the water a short while later and made our way up past all the moored sailing boats to the dock gates and down the far side where Joanne and Jeanette met us with refreshments. Hot Chocolate, treats, cake and special pumpkin pie J
After scaring a few locals and friendly waves we paddled back round to the marina, narrowly missing a rowing boat on the way. How they didn’t see us until the last minute as we were all lit up like a Christmas tree, they must have been facing the wrong way. After tidying up Steve, Jeanette and Joanne had decorated the coffee bar area with all manner of Halloween items. It was great to see many juniors and adults enjoying the event together. A big thank you to all involved.
14/11/13 The River Lune and the River
With rain falling most of Saturday
and the Tryweryn in the middle of its shutdown period the plan was to the head
for the Lakes and try to get two rivers in. We opted for the Lune and
After a initial cold start, the sun was beginning to warm us up slightly and it was turning into a glorious autumn morning. The quality of the water is superb and we could see straight through the shallows to the river bed. The levels were better than we expected and I for one, had forgotten how good this river was as we negotiated three bouncy rapids on the run before nailing surprise drop. The River was testing John, who had been out of his boat a couple of times already and it wasn't long before Fiona unselfishly joined him to make him feel better but despite the odd swim everyone was thoroughly enjoying the river. (I think!)
With Roy and myself taking it in turns to lead we pressed on through a gorge section before the river opened out again and we headed for The Strid. This is where the river narrows and flushes through a section that is about 5 or 6 feet wide, and can cause problems in low levels, when a triangular rock protrudes out of the centre of the channel. We didn't have these worries today as the water was high enough to cover the rock, and we all managed to surf the right and left wave cushions and exited into the pool at the bottom. Then it was on through the last gorge section to finish with a quick shuttle before the next river.
We arrived at the put in for the
With the debutants gaining in
confidence and grins beginning to replace the apprehensive looks, we next came
to Gun Barrel. This really isn't as bad as it sounds (who name these things?)
and everyone ran perfect lines. Almost immediately we approached L Shape Weir
where I have come a cropper in bigger levels in the past. Today though it was a
lot friendlier and one by one we took turns to boof off the lip at right
angles, drop 4ft, bounce into the flow and edge quickly left to avoid getting
flipped. By now everyone was positively buzzing and we only had one last
obstacle to overcome to complete a brilliant run. Unfortunately this was
Now if I am honest, myself and Roy were expecting a bit of carnage here as despite the successful run we were enjoying, as it is a lot bigger than anything we had ran so far. How wrong we were! Apart from myself a who had to pull off a roll, Roy, Fiona and Sarah all styled it completely with the two girls getting a massive cheer. It would be a good half hour before they stopped smiling. John wasn't so lucky as he finished off with a swim but there is no shame in that when you are attempting a feature of this size for the first time.
We finally pulled away from the
get out as the light began to fade. We had managed to get both rivers in with
time to spare and although everyone loved the
Chris Murphy, Roy McHale,
13/11/13 The 7th
With a degree of trepidation I set off on Friday for my second storm
gathering experience. The UKSGS was taking in place in Oban for 3 days, and
after the storms I experienced a few years ago on
I arrived with Zoe at Kilbowie Activity centre on Friday night after
a reasonably uneventful journey via
Saturday started with a 9am briefing and then the groups met up with their coaches to set out the plans for the day. I had opted for 3-4* leadership skills and was with Ken Lacey from Sea Kayak Scotland, as well as brilliant coaching Kenny shared a wealth of local knowledge with the group (he lives on Seil Island) as we paddled around Easdale.
The weather co-operated for most of the day, there was a brief rain shower at lunch, and just enough wind for the conditions to be in remit for the session. After a great day on the water making new friends, I caught up with Pete and Caz for food and then we headed to Eric Boomers talk, awesome, amazing, brilliant are just a few of the words to describe one of the best talks I have ever been too (I’m looking forward to listening again in 2 weeks). The day ended with more socialising at the centre but as they say what goes on tour stays on tour.
Sunday’s session was moderate water boat handling with Matt Giblin, as well as being half of Kayak Essentials, an LCC member; Matt was also a member of the UKSGS organising team alongside Mark Tozer, Helen Wilson and Nick Cunliffe. The weather was so good on Sunday we were missing moderate water conditions for most of the day, but it was a great days paddle again from Easdale, we paddled to Belnahua for lunch and on the return enjoyed a following sea and a few opportunities to surf into the harbour. Sunday evening saw more socialising taking place at the centre, a few games of Jenga, and several whiskey based cocktails thanks to Jim Krawiecki
Monday I’d opted for a journey, I chose the level 2-3 journey and it turned out to be day with the most sea state. The coach for the day was Steve Miles whom I’d had the opportunity to meet on Saturday night, Steve’s approach was very relaxed as it was a strong group and our trip which departed from a slip on the east side of Seil took us under the Bridge over the Atlantic and around the North end of Seil to a lovely lunch spot on one of the small islands. The paddle back was fabulous, a much bigger following sea, great waves to surf and a strengthening wind behind us, the smile on Zoe’s face summed up how good it was, but I never managed to get my camera out to get a picture, for me it was the biggest sea of the weekend, and the most rewarding day on the water.
After meeting up with Kirk, so that Zoe could get her lift back to
her car in
What a difference driving home today compared to my first storm gathering, I can’t wait to go out paddling again, and would encourage anyone thinking about going to a symposium to give the UKSGS a go, all the sessions have a clear guide as to the level of paddling skill and content, there is something for everyone from relative beginner to gnarly old sea dogs, the coaches are fun, friendly and enthusiastic and you’ll get to make a whole load of new friends to go paddling with in the future.
Frankie Annan More Photos…….
Twelve intrepid paddlers eventually met at Machell`s Coppice. For a brief moment I thought I had packed too much but thankfully Keith and Pete had turned up with big boats to take the surplus. When we finally arrived it was quite dark and there was a quick scramble to get the best spots on the island. Reece appeared to have found a great spot: high up, away from the rest of the camp, with fantastic views over the lake. As the night progressed it became more apparent that Tony had put him there to keep him, and the other boys, out of the way.
William, Jake, Reece and Regan went off to explore the island.
Occasionally they appeared with whittled sticks and stories of
Despite the cold it stayed dry. Occasionally we could hear distant
fireworks. The BBQ was impressive; the first I have been to where goulash was
on the menu! Keith gave us all a geography lesson, testing our knowledge of
capital cities and the ‘
Keith and Tony were clearly hardened campers and braved the cold night in their bivvi bags. Keith could be heard making a bed of leaves, or so he claims. We woke to a beautiful, sunny morning and set off in search of proper toilets only to find them locked. William was particularly excited at the prospect of paddling several extra miles to find more! There was a welcome stop at the Bluebird Cafe for some delicious cakes.
On the journey back to the car park a few adventurous paddlers attempted to limbo under one of the jetties. Unsurprisingly this was instigated by Steve Bond. Regan just about squeezed under but Pete and Jake chickened out; apparently their boat was ‘too big’ – a lame excuse.
William had a fantastic time and can’t wait for the next
camping trip. His final comment before we left Coniston ‘Mum, can I get a
knife?’ In other circumstances I’d be horrified but after spending
the weekend on
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend with great company - thanks to Jeanette and Keith for organising it.
11/11/13 Please help support a funding bid to support Wild Water Racing for a local canoeing youth club - Oakwood
We have put a bid in for some funding from Galaxyhotcholate for the outdoor pursuits to help found Oakwood's Youth Clubs 2013/14 Wild Water Racing.
We need you all to go on their site to get as many votes as possible.
Can you get friends and family to visit the site and please vote for us.
In anticipation thank you from all at Oakwood Youth Club
Stephen (Watersports Coach)
11/11/13 Sunday Surfing
Paul had bought a new
Surf Kayak which he was desperate to try out, so he persuade a small group of
us to join him at
Karl Winrow was the first to run me down as he was thrust from the waves right into my path and chest. I knew it would be ugly so I braced myself for impact and caught his boat from the air like the best rugby fullback and carried him back to shore whilst riding backwards down the wave until we both fell from our kayaks into the drink. Quickly we composed ourselves and began our self rescues by first emptying my boat across the bow of Karl's and then his over mine whilst submerged in the water then Karl leapt into his boat with a 'roly poly' secured his deck and assisted with my entry all in less than sixty seconds.
"Wow, lets do that again" he said
I have never paddled so fast in my life as I tried to escape.
Peter was the second kayaker to launch his boat into my path but managed to turn away at the last moment whist swearing politely on his way past. I decide to move away from the fast lane of oncoming traffic and found the biggest wave of the day but then landed my kayak with precision onto the deck of Steve Rose's boat who not so politely began to swear.
Paul was struggling with the new surf boat as it was a tad too small in the cockpit as he had to fold his legs in three places to fit in.
"Its yours for £295" he shouted as he surfed past.
"I'll take £275 if you take it today" he said as he past the second time.
Great I thought. Three more waves and it looks like I'm gonna get a bargain. Ten more waves and I may even get cash back!
For over two hours we enjoyed the afternoon sun and surf as the water bubbled like the best champagne and as the sun went down we shared stories of rescues, rides, carving waves and 360's. None of which was seen today.
Karl Tattum More Photos…….
05/11/13 River Dee Carrog to Horseshoe Falls Grade 2
introductory river trip-
Saturday night’s relentless rain, the water levels on the river
Despite a soggy start to the trip the persistent rain didn’t stop us from enjoying the beautiful Denbighshire countryside, as through the clouds we had great views across the Dee basin, spotting local wildlife including; squirrels, cows and even a few rainbows! As we stopped to enjoy the views, have a leg stretch and refuel with some lunch, Keith came to the rescue of some of the shivering group, with a magical bivvy tent keeping us toasty warm.
The sun graced us
for the next section of the journey which was not for the faint hearted as we
ventured across the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at
Our return included; the promise of an; “extreme seal launch” off the river bed when manoeuvring past a canal lock, which unfortunately didn’t materialise but gave us all a laugh. Plus the sight of our fleet returning across the Aqueduct attracted the attention of some local tourists- we hope they snapped our best sides!
Although we had an alternative trip than expected, a very enjoyable time was had by all- plus we had considerably less swims than we may have had on the river!
05/11/13 Voyageurs Down The Weaver
It was way back
in September that Rosie got us fired up with enthusiasm during our open boat
paddle from Farndon to Eccleston on the
A lot had
happened since our last trip with Rosie. I was already inspired by the
multi-day open boat River Tay trip that Keith, Ian and Simon had done and also by the
It’s a far
cry from the River Weaver I know but, as we paddled down past the mountains of
rock salt heaped up from the nearby salt mines, the picture I had in my mind
was of the French Canadian Voyageurs whose epic explorations, using birch bark
canoes, had opened up
But I digress ....
The trip down the River Weaver was never going to be a white knuckle ride but Rosie’s sense of fun makes this sort of trip a pleasure. They’re ideal for open boat beginners to cut their teeth on and even white water adrenalin junkies might enjoy the chilled out pace that gives some great opportunities to see river wildlife as we creep up on them in our boats.
The first lock
system we met downstream was at the end of a canalised section of the river
that had been built to aid the passage of freighters that came up the river in
order to load up with rock salt. We hauled our boats out of the water before
the locks and portaged them down onto a meadow on the banks of the old river
course. Putting in here, after lunch break number one, we continued to paddle
downstream on the meandering river. Reaching a boat yard where quite big yachts
can haul out for the winter, Carole and I spotted a boat called Gin Fizz.
Seemingly abandoned now, it belonged to a friend of ours from Liverpool Yacht
Club who had sailed around
The next set of locks were passed easily by another short portage which called for lunch break number two, this time in bright and warming sunshine as the winds began to subside.
All too soon we were at the Anderton Boat Lift and all ideas of using it to gain height to the next level where our shuttle car was parked, were dashed as the lift “attendant” shewed us off as he was just about to open the doors to allow a narrow boat to come out.
Our final portage
was uphill but, after sorting cars and packing up, this was rewarded by a trip
to The Stanley, a nearby pub where we found out a bit more about Don’s
old buddy who he had invited on Rosie’s trip. Now, Don is a self made toy boy whose
favourite phrase is “boys toys” – if he sees anything that
blings, he just has to add it to his burgeoning collection. It’s not hard
to see where he picked up this personality trait since his old mate Jeff
Marshall is truly the new bling meister. Not only did Jeff turn up dressed in a
brand new hat, he also had a brand new
I hope to see him, and others, on Rosie’s next trip which should be on the calendar for sometime in January.
The Voyageurs were - Rosie, Pete, Carole, Andy, Linda, Don, Jeff More Photos………
05/11/13 River Dee Carrog to Horseshoe Weir Grade 2 introductory river trip Sunday 3rd November
We woke early on Sunday morning to the sound of torrential rain, hail and an email from Keith informing us that the river levels on the
We met the rest of the group in Festival car park and whilst we all admired the sight of a double rainbow, the coaches got together to discuss our options. The decision was made to split into two groups. One group of more competent paddlers headed out onto the river and the novice group took a more scenic route along the Llangollen canal and over the aqueduct.
Overall, we paddled 8 miles along the canal, over the aqueduct twice and finished at Trevor basin where we had left the cars. Having completed the first introductory river trip to Trevor Rocks, it was great to look down on the river from the aqueduct. What an amazing view! Keith tried to instil fear in us by telling us the aqueduct wall was only 2 inches thick and questioned what would happen if it gave way whilst we paddled across … luckily we were all made of stronger stuff and peered over the edge to admire the view. Breathtaking.
As scenic as the canal trip was, it didn’t come without its challenges. Dominic went for a swim after having some difficulties with his boat, and the girls made the most of the male chivalry in the group and accepted help getting in and out of their boats. Keith’s 12 person bivvy also made a suitable appearance at the half-way point when we stopped for lunch … it worked a treat warming us all up. The fun continued with Stuart and Nick seal launching from the bank on the way back; not even a wobble between them, impressive!
The trip ended with a well deserved stop off at
the local pub. We debriefed over a
pint / hot chocolate and
05/11/13 River Dee Horseshoe Falls to Town falls. Sunday 3rd November
We struggled to hear as we discussed the best line around the seething mass of boiling water that was Horseshoe Falls, I had spoken with a group from Imperial collage who were taking their lucky fresher’s down and we agreed to let their group and raft get on first.
Our chosen line given the high water was to put on next to the fall and then negotiate a few branches, a small island and then into the main flow, we stopped at the next available eddy all smiling.
After breaking back in to the fast moving current, we all made progress choosing our own lines, looking around often to check on the others. Everyone was zigzagging like crazy to avoid the huge holes. We broke out just above Serpents tail only to find that it was washed out, so progressed on through still dodging the holes.
Imperial collage were not faring well, we stopped to check they were ok. They were looking for a number of boats and paddles having recovered their swimmers.
We negotiated a few more interesting drops and waves as we paddled through the slalom site, on the last wave Mike must have got cramp as he decided he needed to get out of his boat to stretch his legs, it must have been painful as he did not manage to get to bank before getting out of his boat!!!
Shortly after we approached Town falls, we stopped above the rapid and
Stu Toulson, Roy
McHale, Mike Alexander and
05/11/13 Llangollen Branch of the
Some of us
met at our base at the
had a brief discussion about options for the day and after taking into account
the river and paddler experience levels offered an alternative trip along the
Llangollen Branch of the
We split into two groups , shuttled the cars to the take out point further down the canal and 14 of us got onto the water, Oh, it was still raining.
We paddled along splitting into smaller groups, chatting looking at the wildlife, getting rained on. At one stage there was a herd of cows right down at the canal side, somehow Louise manage to paddle right past and not even see them.
At about the 3 1/2 mile mark we stopped for lunch on the towpath, Keith pulled out the biggest, brightest bivvi I've ever seen which was quickly occupied by the girls, Ciaran and Dominic as Dom needed warming up after a bit of a swim earlier. Lots of passing ramblers exchanged pleasantries, then, surprisingly, the rain stopped and the Sun came out. Just a small patch of sunshine was quickly filled by the rest of us to get a bit of a warm.
We continued along the canal for another couple of miles and came to what was quite literally the
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, 1000ft long, 126 ft high and no railing on our side. The edge was about 12 inches above the waterline, then nothing to the
Carrying on were touched lucky as a barge had just passed through a very low bridge and a young lad waited to allow us all to pass before lowering it again. We continued on our next quest, the long tunnel, which sadly alluded us, asking passing walkers and boaters, the distance to the tunnel varied between less than a mile to 2 1/2 miles. We did about a mile before deciding that we would save it for another day, and turned round.
The drawbridge this time, was sadly down and we had to portage around it.
I saw an opportunity to make a dramatic water entry, a seal launch down a grassy bank and onto the water.
I failed completely; I made an entry with all the grace of a bull Elephant Seal, having to shuffle all the way down as my boat wouldn't slide. Worst still, I even got Keith to video it.
The take out point was just the other side of the aqueduct, meaning we got to enjoy the views once more, and have our photo's taken by the many camera laden Japanese tourists.
If this link works it should the route and distance we covered. http://goo.gl/maps/fkmw6
The day finished off in the pub, and most welcome it was too.
All in all, a great day, Thank you one and all.
Nick Mackin More Photos………..
03/11/13 Surfing at
Well it all started Saturday when Paul rang in tears and admitted that Surfing is a much better option than Canoeing as nobody had signed up to his trip on the Dee, even though the previous weekend had seen the success of the "Never Full" drain holes which Paul had added to his rare Spanish Fly Canoe he cried that he much preferred Kayaking to that single blade stuff.
"Please Karl , Kayaking is much more fun than Canoeing, can I please join you Surfing?" he said.
"yes mate, no problem" I said "as long as you put it in writing then come along"
Now the "Never Full" drain holes work by allowing the water to exit the boat quickly after being submerged and this with the added foam buoyancy keeps the boat afloat and avoids it becoming swamped.
"Its such a great idea Karl , you want to try it" said Paul.
So I did. 10cm holes were drilled into my favourite surf kayak at 30cm intervals just as Paul had described and I was sure that todays surf would be the best ever because as soon as the water entered my boat then it would soon be bailing itself back out and allowing more surf fun to be had.
Geoff Widders and I, along with Bradley aged nine, were the first to arrive at 0745hrs to gale winds and extreme hale with the biggest range of surf ever to be seen at Crosby. Paul and Harvey aged eight arrived soon after with Steve Rose who was dressed all ready for action and impressed by the Expert work aligning the "Never Full" drain holes to the side of my surf boat.
Soon we were all in the water but only Geoff could pierce through the oncoming monster waves in his sea kayak as Steve, Paul and I struggled to get out as the winds were blowing 35mph with gusts of up to 60mph. Geoff was soon carving up and down the waves and displayed great technique as he turned at the top of the waves and returned to shore upside down and a new way which we had never seen before of surfing from the back of the boat whilst immersed in the water.
Harvey and Brad enjoyed the surfboarding but soon became cold and retired to the comfort of the van for hot chocolate and dry clothes. As I paddled out to the surf I was sure the boat would be emptying itself on route but soon I realised that the holes only allowed the water to access the inside of the kayak quicker than ever before. Such a great idea the "Never Full" drain holes are for the Spanish Fly Canoe but please be aware that in a kayak NO holes should be allowed whatsoever as paddling submerged whilst being thrust back to shore is not fun.
Soon the water was at the rocky shore and after watching Paul get trashed out of his boat we regrouped for Coffee and biscuits supplied by Harvey and Brad. A great mornings paddle with great friends but has anyone got any duck tape to cover three 10 cm holes please ?
Karl Tattum More Photos…….
YouTube Videos from Geoff Widders
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