Volume 15 Issue 4

April 2015

April Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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News items or reports on club activities should be sent to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


Archived Newsletters… 
Major Trip Reports.…


30/03/15 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

2-6 April 2015

7-17 April 2015

24-26 April 2015

26 April 2015

1-4 May 2015

5 May 2015

15-17 May  2015

16  May  2015

6 -7 June 2015

14  June  2015

19-21 June 2015

26 June – 6th July 2015

5 July 2015

10-12 July 2015

26 July 2015

17 July–2 August 2015

25-27 September 2015
13-20 February 2016

Scottish Easter paddling weekend Based in the Blackwater Hostel – limited places so book early.  Click to book a place.........

Costa Brava paddling trip Sea Kayaking trip on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast.  Coordinator Peter Thomas

River Wye Camping Trip Easy Grade I river Coordinator Carl Leungsangnam

Open Boat Trip - River Weaver (Anderton Boat Lift to Runcorn) - Coordinator Rosie Diver

Pembroke Weekend (First Bank Holiday)    Coordinator Jenny Brown
Junior Club starts outside for the season at the Docks (Tuesday Junior Club)  
Coordinator Chris Murphy

Anglesey Weekend 1 (Tyn Rhos Trearddur Bay)    Coordinator Peter Massey

Sea Kayak 3 Star Assessment  Please read the syllabus – must be able to roll Coordinator Keith Steer

Liverpool International Canoe Polo Tournament (We will be entering Ladies, Junior and fun teams) Contact website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk if interested

BCU Lifeguards Swim Event Safety Award (SESA) - Tutor Ian Bell & Keith S

Anglesey Weekend 2 (Pen-y-Bont Farm, 4 Mile Bridge)    Coordinator Keith S

Lofoten Island Sea Kayak trip (Norway)    Coordinator Andrew Garland

Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race & Club BBQ Clubs major annual Sea Kayaking Event.  Click for more.........

Anglesey Weekend 3 (Bodfan Farm, Rhosneigr)    Coordinator Jenny Brown

Liverpool Triathlon Volunteers for Safety Kayakers and bank team required

Alpine Paddling Holiday Week 1 Bovec, Slovenia, Week 2 Briancon, France.  Coordinator Keith S

Anglesey Weekend 4 (Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn)    Coordinator Peter Massey

Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Coordinator Pete Thomas


30/03/15 “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Pete Thomas for his winning photo:

Conway CastleImprovers Sea Kayak Trip in March”


Runner up John Fay:

“Irene and Bob on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal

Runner up  Carole thomas:

“Alpe d'Huez Lunch stop on the LCC Ski Trip”

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

Criteria for the photo of the month competition…. 25 % Quality and sharpness of the photograph, 25% Quirkiness and framing of the subject,
25% Diversity of the subject material (ie not all one discipline), 25% has LCC logo or clothing in the shot.


29/03/15 Junior Club Easter Egg Hunt is at Broadgreen on Tuesday 7th April 2015

This years Junior Club Easter Egg Hunt will be at Broadgreen pool on the Tuesday after Easter.  There will be a number of team fun events and races culminating in the grand final.  The team with the most points will be able to search for the Easter Egg(s).  All junior members are welcome to attend but you will need to book a place online to participate in the water activities.  Parents are encouraged to watch from the poolside.  More information from the Venues Pages on the website………

The Junior club will move from the pool to the Liverpool Marina to paddle outside on the first Tuesday in May (5/5/15).   These sessions are open to all juniors.  Parents are welcome to paddle with the group which is always supervised by club coaches.  All the equipment is provided and the sessions are free to club members.

You do not need to book club sessions at the docks – members just turn up and sign their name(s) on the white board in the equipment shed by the rack of canoes and kayaks.   More information about sessions at the docks………

28/03/15 Paddling in New Zealand – Mike Bell

Hi all just finished a trip on Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, NZ


Brilliant place and about as far away from Liverpool as you can possibly get.


Full report on return in 3 weeks









24/03/15  River Dee at JJs / Nomads / Mile End Mile

Good day out at Dee - thanks Richard - didn't know the centre was still open.


We will be arranging a few Saturdays soon running down from Chain Bridge.

See Sam showing the JJ's chicken how to Surf. He is getting really good - however don't tell him. By the way the chicken likes his bread soaked in Tea.


John Allerton.


See the video on Facebook (Log in required)





24/03/15  Position working at Kayaks North West in the shop – Interested?


24/03/15  Leeds-Liverpool canal paddle – Sunday 22nd March

The weather report on Saturday evening forecast a dry and Sunny day for Sunday and true to their word we awoke to a beautiful morning for a gentle paddle on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Six club members arrived at Morris Lane and after greetings boats were unloaded and taken to the canals edge.

The plan was to paddle past the Scarisbrick Marina and head towards the Wharf at Burscough. On route we would have to "limbo" under three low road bridges and it was interesting to watch the various methods used by the group.


We had not paddled for very long before we encountered a very large fishing match. Fishermen where spread from one bridge to another and beyond. The group paddled onward being courteous and following the route preferred by the anglers. Eventually we were through and free to group together and chat.


It must be said that our small group of paddlers had taken the trip seriously. All were dressed in appropriate paddling gear and Irene had brought along her new Garmin GPS unit which was mounted on her kayak. This group was in no danger of getting lost if fog was encountered and we could even track back along the line left on the display as we progressed towards our destination. Interest in the unit gave rise to several GPS moments along our route.


After a couple of hours we arrived at the Burscough Wharf. It was time for lunch and the group enjoyed a feast of sandwiches, sausage rolls and jam donuts washed down with coffee or juice.  Feeling refreshed after lunch and a well earned stretch of the legs it was time to head back. It's always amazing how different the canals look when going the other way and there's always something interesting to see.


Our extended lunch break at Burscough meant we had missed the fishing match going back. They were due to Finish at 3pm and sure enough no rods were in the canal by the time we arrived back.


The trip took over 5hrs and was certainly enjoyed by all who attended. These paddles are relaxing but do give an opportunity to develop forward paddling technique and building endurance. Some would say it's "character building."


Paddlers:- John & Chris Fay, Phil & Nathan Edwards, Bob Hamilton and Irene Jackson.


Report by John Fay  More Photos……


23/03/15  Ladies Development League Results 2015 Polo

Congratulations to the Ladies Polo team for coming 3rd in the Ladies Development League this year.  They have played 4 tournaments and managed to win 7 games.  If you would like to try fun polo why not book a session at Halewood pool.  We have all the boats and equipment there.

Halewood Pool……..

Canoe Polo Page and information ……..


15/03/15 RYA VHF Radio GMDSS Short Range Certificate Course 14 March 2015.

The aim of this course is to obtain an official qualification permitting the use of marine VHF radio, in the case of our club the eight of us attendees were specifically wanting the qualification so that we would be able to use hand held vhf radio. The course is held over one full day but before attending we were all provided with an 80 page booklet, the standard RYA VHF handbook, that needed to be read through and sets of questions answered (to be handed in on the day). Some of us (no names mentioned!) hadn't done our homework as thoroughly as we might have liked so there was a bit of PANPAN going on until the able tution from Paul Harrison and his son Scott put everyone into the same boat (or in our case kayaks). Paul has a family history of shrimp fishing in Morecambe Bay as well as working for HM Coastguard for many years - so he certainly knew his stuff and was able to support his in depth knowledge with anecdotes that made for an enjoyable day.

PANPAN we now know is the proword used when sending an URGENCY message. An urgency message being of a lesser category than a DISTRESS message which involves Grave and Imminent Danger - MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY! The course itself costs £65, an additional £60 is paid to the RYA for the exam at the end. Another instructor Eric Thresher provided the input for that section of the course.  The certificate lasts for life so depending on how long you keep paddling it can be a good investment!

Things have moved on apace and there are now handheld VHF sets combined with DSC. DSC is the electronic sending of messages and can be of great assistance particularly given the fact that it is meshes in, on the set, with GPS, so for instance when the distress button is depressed both DISTRESS and POSITION  are sent automatically. DSC also has greater range than voice. Worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of purchasing a VHF radio - the price is now very comparable.

As well as being instructed in radio operation we also looked at other safety devices and learnt how the rescue services co-ordinate in with kayakers and other mariners. EPIRB's (Emergency Position Indicator Rescue Beacon) see here, seem superb. Also the LED Odeoflares MK3  here. Whether you intend to poodle along in inshore waters or brave the deep these devices can provide means of contacting or enabling SAR (Search and Rescue). They would seem to be an essential for kayakers. And the good news - we all passed.

A big thanks needs to go out to the ubiquitous Pete Thomas for organising, arranging and doing all the very considerable liaising for this course. Where will this man turn up next?

Attendees : Steve Lewtas, Jeff Cochrane, John Fay, Catriona Hare, Kevin Devlin, Geoff Widders, Steve Sale,  Nick Erikson

More information

11/03/15 Conway Estuary Improvers Sea Kayaking Trip and Docks Training sessions

I started the Introduction to Sea Kayaking Dock Sessions late due to my timing with joining the club, and to be honest I am gutted I missed the first few.  Although I have paddled White Water for many years, I am new to Sea Kayaking and although basic skills clearly transfer, there are new ones to learn that are specific to the discipline. The sessions I attended were superb, well organised and run.  I learnt new skills such as deep water rescues and towing, but also found that since learning to paddle, I have slipped into some bad habits.  Practicing individual stokes in their own right again, rather than just using them when on a trip, certainly highlighted some shocking inefficiencies and bad practice!

The dock sessions were well spaced, one per month, allowing both to fit them in around other commitments and to give time to get out and practice what was learnt from the last session before the next.  Every session had a good turn out and as well as learning new skills, were a fantastic opportunity to meet other members of the club and forge new friendships.  The last session, rather than being at the docks, was a trip out where our new skills could be put to practice and to give a taste of what sea paddling is really like.

This year the trip was up the Conwy Estuary. 


Despite the promise of glorious sunshine, we all met on a cold, grey, wet welsh morning at the Conwy Estuary.  However, as soon as we arrived, the weather instantly became irrelevant as everyone met up and the warm banter and tomfoolery began.  All were soon changed, cars and kit faffed with and briefing of what to expect on the trip and obstacles to be aware of given.

The very impressive turn out of around 40 were then split into smaller manageable groups.


As we set off, the warning of "watch out, the moored boats move really quickly" became apparent as the incoming tide raced us up between them, even the small sailing boats suddenly seemed massive as we thundered towards them.  Nevertheless, as long as plenty of room was given, they were easily avoided, as were the mooring buoys that were now starting to become submerged by the force of the tide.


As we made our way up river past Conwy Castle and enjoying the views of the sea front, bridges and beautiful Welsh mountains, the chatting resumed further friendships forged.  Those of us that had been on the BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course a few weeks before were able to put some of our new skills to use by seeing the theory for real.  This both in terms of how the tides behave, and also for things to look out for along the coast line to aid navigation, such as types of markers and buoys.


Eventually we reached our lunch spot, a nice grassy bank which, unlike large stretches of the river so far, made its way nicely down to the waters edge.   The banter and shenanigans continued as people found out just how slippery the bank was while trying to exit their boats and many cameras suddenly appeared to capture the inevitable.  Having tucked into lunch, Julie Brookes produced an impressive 4lb of barabrith from her boat to share round, which was of course welcomed by all and was superb - I have never seen so much cake disappear so quickly in all my life!


During lunch it very quickly became apparent that the bank we were on had become an island, and was very quickly becoming a very small island at that, highlighting the need to always be aware of the tide and surroundings.  As we were enjoying the last of the cake we started to climb back into our boats as we were getting wet feet, and were soon lifted by the tide and returned to the middle of the river, our lovely grassy bank now long gone beneath us.


We started to make our return journey back down river as the tide turned, there was very little if any slack water, the change from flood to ebb seemed immediate.  We were treated to an aerial display from both kites and buzzards along the way, as well as seeing some of the usual sea birds, as we made our way back down stream.  The flow on the return being much faster than on the flood as the fresh water that had been backed up during the flood also forced its way down.


More lessons were taught by mother nature as we rounded a corner, the lovely, near mill pond, surface turned into a rather fun, rough, wave filled playground where the effect of wind against tide was perfectly demonstrated.  As well as just how quickly conditions can change we were given a fantastic opportunity to find out the effect of the waves on our boats, and how to effectively paddle through them without letting the waves have their way.  We all managed to make our way without incident, crisscrossing the river as it meandered through the valley to try and shelter from the head wind and therefore allow for easier progress.


As we got down to the castle, the river constricts to make its way through the bridges.  Here the river flow increases making larger waves, pour-overs and eddies.  Providing more opportunities to play and enjoy the water features.  As on the upstream leg of the trip, we picked our way between the moored boats and buoys which raced past us more quickly than earlier on, finally making it to the beach at the car park. 


Once changed, the trip ended with drinks and a carvery at the Mulberry over at the marina, where tales of our adventures were told and plans of future trips discussed.


I would like to thank all the guides, instructors and assistants for all their time, patience and efforts throughout the dock sessions and on the Conwy trip, as well as a special thanks to Pete Thomas for organising it all.  The sessions and trip were fantastic, entertaining and very informative.  I learnt a great deal, made many friends and can't wait to get back out on the water again.  To anyone looking to get into Sea Kayaking, or to just get a taste of what it's about, I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone.

Steve Sale   More Photos…..

Pete Thomas sporting his new hat (Tea Cosy).  Beacons Car park and launching at the mouth of the Estuary

The tide runs at 4-5 knots in the channel.  You need to keep well clear of the moored boats and pontoons.

Gillian paddling through the swirling water in front of Conway Castle.

10/03/15 River Leaders Trip on the Seiont

A small group of experienced paddlers had booked onto Saturday's trip to the Seiont, intended as familiarisation for a future intermediate trip. Unfortunately, Roy had forgotten to book the rain so we turned instead to that classic River Dee run from Serpent's Tail to Town Falls. And a good choice it was; the Dee was at a perfect medium level for all features to be well-defined without being washed out, and the weather made for a glorious spring day. The Tail's sting was in good form and the boily, powerful current caught a couple of us out; no names mentioned. Frequent passes of various steam trains gave extra entertainment as we made our way down river.

All too soon, Llangollen Bridge came into view and, with a good crowd looking on, we took on Town Falls. With no mishaps, we were soon on the canal and back up river to do it all again. After the grand finale of a second successful run down Town Falls, drivers walked back collect cars and, on packing up, we retired to the Sun Inn for refreshment. I had such a good time, I forgot to take any photos - so please imagine a crisp, sunny day, bright fast flowing water and smiley faced kayakers.  Thanks to Roy for organising, to Andy and Ian for helping me find my way down Town Falls, Helen for showing me the harder route I didn't want to take (well done with that roll, that would have been me swimming the rest!) and to all the group for good company on and off the river.

Mark Benson

28/02/15 March 2015 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link March Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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