Volume 16 Issue 2

February 2016

February 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.…

 

30/1/16 Major dates for Club Events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

10th February 2016 at 8pm

“Alternative Film Festival” by Keith Steer Click for more information……

13-20 February 2016

Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Coordinator Pete Thomas

16th March 2016 at 8pm

Norway and the Lofoten Islands” by Andy Garland Click for more information……

24 - 28 April 2016

Easter Bank holiday at the Blackwater Hostel – Scotland  Click here for more info and to book a place…..

2 - 17 April 2016

Nepal White Water Trip Coordinator Keith Steer

9 - 16 April 2016

Croatia Sea Kayaking Trip Coordinator Andy Garland

6 - 8 May 2016

Anglesey Weekend No 1 Click for more…… Coordinator Peter Massey

27 - 30 May 2016

Pembroke Bank Holiday Weekend Click for more…… Coordinator Jenny Brown

10 - 12 June 2016

Anglesey (Juniors) Weekend No 2 Click for more…… Coordinator Keith Steer

3 July 2016

Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race Click for more……

15 – 17 July 2016

Anglesey Weekend No 3 Click for more…… Coordinator Jenny Brown

22 July – 7 August 2016

Alpine Summer Holiday Click for more…… Coordinator Keith Steer

17 Aug – 2 Sept 2016

Alaskan Sea Kayaking Trip Coordinator Keith Steer

16 – 18 Sept 2016

Anglesey Weekend No 4 Click for more…… Coordinator Peter Massey

 

30/1/16 January “Photo of the Month” Competition

 

Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners


Congratulations to Christine Fay for her winning photo:

Julie Brookes "Diagonal take off" on a wave at Crosby

 

Runner up John Fay:

“Alex and Aaron Peacock are 2 x Santa Claus”

 

Runner up John Fay:

“Santa Dash at the Docks Christmas Paddle”

 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.
Please send in your entries for next month now - website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

30/1/16 Docks Session 29/01/16

"Well it seemed like a good idea at the time" were the words of Pete Thomas when we met at the marina at 10.30am with the sound of the wind whistling through the masts of the moored boats.

John, Natalie, Alex, Carol, Julie, Ryan and Andy made up the rest of the group of Friday slackers that set off on the usual tour of the docks.

 

After snacks in the Salthouse Dock the group headed into the Albert Dock. The wind was actually not as bad as it sounded and the group enjoyed a pleasant paddle. Soon it was time for Pete and Carol Thomas to leave so the rest headed for the slope in Dukes Dock.

 

Ryan after suggesting a slide down the slope changed his mind when he decided "he wasn't feeling it today" leaving Alex to demonstrate the manoeuvre.

 

After pushing Alex off John had to hitch a lift on the back of Natalie's boat due to his Flex being blown away. Catching up with the drifting Flex John re-entered the kayak and the group headed to the slipway where Ryan and Natalie had suggested they try wet exits.

 

Ryan went first encouraged by Alex then followed by Natalie after some persuasion. Both finished the paddle today stood dripping wet and a little chilly on the Marina slipway. All that was required now was a nice hot shower and warm drink.

Report by John Fay    More Photos……..

26/1/16 Saturday 23rd January Sea kayak skills course

 

Five of us turned out for today’s course run by Helen and Mark at the Liverpool Marina.  We mainly focused on tight and carved turns, edging support and bracing strokes. 

 

Near the end of the session we all braved the frigid water to practise a T rescue drill.  The small class meant we all received plenty of first class coaching which was fantastic.

 

Many thanks to Helen and Mark

 

Anthony Vaccaro

 

24/1/16 Llangollen canal paddle 23/01/16

 

As the weekend temperature was forecast to be in double figures seven LCC members decided to paddle the Llangollen canal from Trevor up to Llangollen and back.

 

Irene Jackson, Nat Glover, Phil and Nathan Edwards, Julie Brookes and John and Chris Fay met at Gate Road where boats were launched for the trip to Llangollen.

 

The group headed off and shortly approached the Aqueduct which spans the River Dee 126ft below. Normally in high season we would have to wait our turn to get over but at this time of year there was no traffic approaching so in single file we set off paddling much to the amazement of walkers crossing on the footpath.

 

Safely over we turned left and settled down for a leisurely 2hr paddle towards Llangollen. As some sections of the canal here are very narrow we hoped we wouldn't encounter any canal barges. As it was we didn't even pass one boat apart from those moored up some of which gave off the lovely smell of burning wood.

 

As we approached the last bridge before the wharf cafe we could here a steady thudding noise and realised that the canal section before us was fenced off. The thudding was in fact a pump removing water from a section of canal that had been drained presumably to repair a section where the wall had been breached. Securing the kayaks to the fence we walked the last few yards and sat to eat our packed lunches.

 

After a welcome break and a quick look at Town Falls we headed back the way we came. As usual, even in January, Phil and John got up to mischief and ended up in the water. Natalie became the main target of several bouts of tomfoolery but managed to stay afloat if not somewhat wet.

 

After 5 hours the group ended where they began and headed off to McDonalds for a warm drink, a snack and a chat. Another great day out.

 

Report by John Fay=          More Photographs……..

 

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Heading towards Britannia Bridge from Carnarvon

24/1/16 Menai straits – Sunday 17th January 2016.

 

A good day out on the water in the Menai Straits.  It started with a full English breakfast at Bangor services and there were chips at Menai Bridge at lunchtime.  An excellent day.  Oh…and we did some paddling as well!

 

Paddlers:  Robin Emley, Ian Bell, Andy Garland

 

The Swellies - Tide race between the two suspension bridges.
Directions: A55 Coast Rd, over the A55 bridge over the Menai Straights, first left (A4080). St Marys church track to car park is 150m on your left. Alternatively go under the A55 into Menai Bridge. At the second roundabout just before the Menai suspension bridge take one of the small side streets down and under the bridge. Alternative get ins at Port Dinorwic, Caernarfon and Gallows point in Beaumaris.

 

More information and maps…….

 

 

 

 

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Robin playing at Swellies Rock

Ian’s turn

Return to Carnarvon in the twilight.

 

 

24/1/16 January Photo of the Month Competition – Please vote for your favourite Click for More.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22/1/16 Manchester Canoes in Warrington are moving

 

I popped in to Manchester Canoes tonight and found out that they have just purchased their own warehouse 500m away in Cranford Court.  The new warehouse is being converted and will have two floors with the kayaks stored on the mezzanine floor above.  The warehouse is larger than before and will have large stocks of paddlesport gear and boats.  Club members are entitled to 15% off any full price items.  The new store is due to open Monday morning and Jim and his team are currently working full out to finish the racking etc. in time for Mondays opening.

 

We wish the new venture well.

 

The picture opposite is from the messaine floor looking towards the cash desk which was moved today.

 

22/1/16 Sea Kayak Skills - RESCUES

 

Don’t get too hung up about it, it’s just one of those things; some of us swim more frequently than others and need rescuing.

No big deal; it’s all part of paddling and, as long as you’re not putting others into a very dangerous situation, most of us would be more than willing to practice our rescue skills.

 

There are many and various reasons why you might be prone to capsize more often than most other paddlers:

·         you may be intimidated more easily by challenging sea conditions that make you tense up

·         you may have a high centre of gravity with an upper body heavier than your lower body

·         you may have a boat that’s too lively for you skill level

·         you just haven’t been paddling often enough in rough conditions

·         your boat is trimmed (loaded) incorrectly

·         and many, many more reasons .....

 

As long as you realise that getting wet is all part of the fun and as long as you don’t push too far outside of your ability, none of will mind rescuing you. It happens to all of us and even the very best of us gets caught out every now and then, even some who claim to have a “bomb-proof roll”.

 

Rescuing each other is something we should be practicing frequently, even in the cold conditions of winter. You never know when it’s going to be your turn and it’s unlikely to happen in the flat calm of a warm summer’s day. Whether you’re the casualty or the rescuer, you need to act very quickly and your actions need to be almost automatic. This will only happen if you practice, practice, practice.

 

If you’re in the water, unless you’re injured, you need to be pro-active in assisting in the rescue – don’t just act like a wet fish; do something to help.

 

Take a look at these video clips and visualise yourself in the water and in the boat acting as both casualty and rescuer. Next time you go out on the sea, make sure you carry a pump and a tow system and know how to use them.

 

Heel Hook Rescue – this is THE fundamental sea kayak rescue method so practice this one if you practice no other. It’s by far the preferred way of getting someone back into their boat so watch the video over and over until you’ve got the method between your ears and then go out and practice it.

HeelHook.jpg


 

Scoop Rescue  – Useful if a swimmer is too tired to get back in or if there’s been some kind of injury. There are two basic methods, one with the casualty lying face down in their cockpit ....

 

Scoop belly down.jpg

 

.... and one lying face up, as demonstrated below.

 

ScoopFacingUp.jpg

 

Each scoop method has merit but only the circumstances at the time will dictate which to use


 

Self Rescues

To speed things up, it’s worth developing at least one self rescue technique. There are several methods but the following two are certainly worth practicing:

 

Ladder Method

This method requires a great deal of strength and skill.

Ladder.jpg

 


Re-Entry and Roll Method

Preferred way of self rescuing but, with a boat full of water, whatever made you capsize in the first place, may cause it to happen again once you’ve rolled.

 

ReEntry.jpg

 


Emergency Rescues

If things go really wrong, you may have to call the Coast Guard for assistance and they may decide to despatch a helicopter or life boat. Either way, your VHF communication skills will be tested for real so make sure you have a recently updated qualification under your belt as good VHF skills may help to save a life (watch out for VHF Short Range Certificate course on the LCC calendar over the coming months).

 

Helicopter Rescue

This video isn’t the best quality and there’s hardly any sound track but it gives an idea of what might happen. Key points are - form a raft, get the casualty lying down on top of the raft, stow anything that might blow away in the strong down-draft or might clutter up the winch man while he’s doing his difficult job, don’t try and touch the hiLine as it might still be statically charged.

 

Helicopter.jpg

 


 

Life Boat Rescue

Again, your VHF skills will be tested. A lifeboat might be despatched for a variety of reasons from a casualty with a dislocated shoulder to someone who has become sea sick and can’t operate. If conditions are rough you can anticipate a lot of bumping and banging so do what you can to be pro-active during the rescue.

 

LifeBoat.jpg

 


More References - Gordon Brown is arguably the best sea kayak coach in the UK and he features in a number of very informative DVDs that demonstrate everything outlined above but in much better detail. You can order the DVDs here http://www.seakayakwithgordonbrown.com/ and I would recommend that you seriously consider shelling out some cash as the DVDs are excellent.

 

Next Month – we’ll be looking at towing systems and how to use them.

 

 

 

17/1/16 Tees Barrage Yesterday

On the coldest day of the year seven of us set off for the barrage, with temperatures of minus 3 showing on the car it was going to be a cold day. On arrival Dom was waiting for us so after getting changed it was out on the water. 

 

We ran down to the halfway point so those who had not been before could see what was ahead of them. Then the second section which ends with acid drop, hold your breath.

 

All round it was time to start messing about on the different waves and Geoff was “loving it”. Time for a quick coffee before the short course opened and soon back on the water.  Dom decided to sit out the short course but stayed on the side with a camera. 

 

Sam was playing on the top wave so I went past and over the drop, as I turned round Adams boat was coming over upside down closely followed by Leanne's; not long after Sophie's boat appeared minus Sophie. Then the rafts started to appear with one after the other capsizing. 

 

We got a couple of runs of the short course in and then a few more laps of the long course, on the last lap me and Leanne had a coming together on acid drop, Sorry Leanne !

 

Great day out and will be back soon, if you've never been come and have a great day out.  John Cooke

 

Check out the short video,  https://vimeo.com/152056423

14/1/16 “Paddling in Spain on the Costa Brava club talk” by Pete Thomas

Last night saw the first of our winter series of talks at the Marina. Pete Thomas shared his photographs and experiences of the club expedition to Costa Brava last Easter.  There was a great introduction to planning the trip, costs and things to consider.  We saw an excellent video of paddling the Costa Brava Coast on the Winter Solstice by Marc Martin who made his excellent fleet of sea kayaks available to us and looked after our trip logistics while on the trip.  Pete then gave a day by day account of the 8 day trip which ended up crossing the boarder into France.  I particularly liked his honest and insightful account of the trip which was not all plain sailing.

 

If you missed this talk we have two more in the coming months.  Click for details……..

 

For more information on the trip:
Expedition account……     
Expedition photographs…….


14/1/16 Quick Edit of my paddling Videos.

Finally made a quick edit of how sick this year has been! Every day on the river has been awesome and I'm super stoked for 2016 with even more boating. Thanks to everyone I’ve paddled with this year you've all made it amazing!!!
http://youtu.be/y6cM42Ib_aA

 

14/1/16 Two Ways To Roll A Tandem Kayak

ROLLING A TANDEM KAYAK ISN'T IMPOSSIBLE, BUT TAKES SOME PRACTICE.   I often associate tandem kayaking with dull paddling and poor technique. But where is it written that tandems must be paddled conservatively? In any kayak, we should be safely pushing our limits to improve our skills. Double kayaks are no exception. We should be out there surfing in plastic doubles, doing huge seal launches, practicing lean turns and braces, sculling…and even nailing rolls.

 

The Tandem Roll

Tandem rolling is surprisingly easy. The mechanics are exactly the same as rolling a single kayak, except of course, that you have to coordinate with a partner. The key to success is to have both paddlers roll in unison. Before capsizing, agree which side you’re going to set up on. This seems obvious, but I’ve seen a very experienced team of a right-handed paddler and a leftie combine to almost lift a whole double free of the water—it sure didn’t roll!

Choose the strongest paddler as the lead. It then becomes the other partner’s job to set up for the roll and wait to feel the roll initiated. Some paddlers rely entirely on “feel” from the time of capsize. Or, the lead paddler can tap on the deck as a signal for setup, which will be followed by a predetermined count (a quick “one-chimpanzee, two-chimpanzee,” for instance) and then both paddlers start their rolls. When selecting Rolling a tandem kayak isn't as hard as it seemsa partner, high-grade toward musicians, dancers or synchronized swimmers. (The latter are used to holding their breath underwater and already come with their own nose plugs.)

 

No matter how you time it, the “following” paddler must feel for the progress of the lead roller, waiting for that little lift that signals the initial loading of the lead paddler’s blade. At that point, the following paddler jumps into their roll. It doesn’t matter what style of roll each paddler chooses, C-to-C or sweep, as long as at least one of the paddlers has a really strong roll. Try different rolls and see what works for your team.

Obviously all the usual rolling rules apply— reach for the surface, keep your heads down and drive the knees for a good hip snap. Without that hip snap you are never coming up. And if one paddler is pulling their head up too early, straining to get upright and leading with the noggin, it’s gonna be wet for both boaters.

 

All the little “cheats” apply too, and maybe even more so. If you find yourselves almost up, but not quite, keep those heads down and a quick scull will almost always get you the rest of the way upright. With two paddlers, you have a lot of lift on tap, but only if you can work together cooperatively. If you’ve got the timing down, have strong solo rolls, and are both starting your rolls at the same time (and on the same side!), you are almost guaranteed success.

The tandem roll is also a fun teaching tool. With a strong roller in the boat, the newer paddler can go through the rolling motions, getting the feel of the hip snap, over and over again without the usual hassle of a wet exit after every failed attempt. If the bow person is very inexperienced, it is far easier to have them simply hug the deck while the stern paddler rolls the tandem alone. If this sounds overly macho, try it. You’ll be surprised how easy it is.

 

The Assisted Reenter and Roll

If you do blow your roll, the “reenter and roll” is an alternative self-rescue that works really well with a double. Why? Because you have an extra set of hands and a great big talking paddle float! After a capsize and wet exit, have the stern paddler reenter and roll the boat as the bow paddler, still in the water, helps out by simply grabbing the bow cockpit rim and flipping the boat in sync with the roll, or by acting as a great big paddle float.

With the stern paddler ready in the overturned tandem, the bow paddler moves in behind their partner, guides the sweeping paddle onto their shoulder and holds it at the surface. The bow paddler wearing a PFD represents a lot of flotation—the stern paddler now has an almost guaranteed roll.

The stern paddler, now happily upright in the boat, stabilizes as the bow partner scrambles aboard. As inelegant as this self-rescue may seem, it is fast and effective with a well-practiced team,

and eliminates fumbling around with a standard paddle float.

At least once (if not always) practice pumping out the fully swamped double. In many rescue practices, people fail to actually fully empty their kayak with a pump. It is a daunting task, and enough to inspire you to start working on a tandem roll.

Once you get comfortable doing rescues and rolls in a tandem, you’ll also be putting the boat on edge for lean turns, sprinting to catch wind waves, seeking out currents to play in and generally having more fun than you ever thought possible in a double sea kayak. You’ll be paddling just as playfully as you would paddle solo and enjoying the double’s extra power and speed. You may even be more daring, what with a partner in crime right there in the same boat to egg you on. Even if you do happen to wet exit, you’ve got two people working together to get yourselves back in the boat and ready for more. After all, two heads are better than one!    

Written By Alex Matthews

 

12/1/16 Paddling on the Menai Straits - Saturday 9th Jan

A great day playing in the Swellies yesterday with Brian, John, Becka, Andy, Kris and Jules (eventually lol) Rained all the down then dried up and only started raining when we left the pub after well deserved refreshments:-)  Dave Blake   More photos……

 

 


9/1/16 Docks paddle - Friday 8th Jan

This was one for the Friday slackers. Julie Brookes had put this paddle out and eight other paddlers responded to the invitation including Natalie Glover and Ryan Draughton two new members to the club.

 

We got on the water just before 11am and headed down to the Albert Dock. The weather was brilliant and certainly lifted the spirits of the group.

 

After refreshments the group headed to Dukes dock were Bex, John and new member Ryan slid down the slope into the water. Natalie decided to save this for another day instead choosing to observe the proceedings from a safe distance whilst eating Ryan's strawberry laces.

 

A trip to the other end via the Watersports Centre and around the moored boats completed a 3.5hr paddle. After changing the group enjoyed a warm drink and snacks in the comfort and warmth of the Marina before heading home.

 

Report by John Fay             More Photos…..

 

 

7/1/16 Playboys first trip 2016

This is "Playboys first trip 2016" First outing of the year for the Lcc Playboy's, New member recruited !!!  https://vimeo.com/150549480

 

 

7/1/16 FED UP WITH THE WILD WEATHER?

 

Why not come along to our series of winter presentations? They provide a great opportunity to meet up with new and existing members, make plans and get inspired - and they're FREE!

We hold a mini-lecture or informal talk on some aspect of paddlesport on the Second Wednesday of winter months - starts 7:45pm for 8:00pm. You can find us in either the main conference room or occasionally the upstairs lecture room. 

Wednesday 13th January 2016 (8:00pm - 9:30pm)  “Paddling in Spain on the Costa Brava” by Pete Thomas 

Wednesday 10th February 2016 (8:00pm - 9:30pm) “Alternative Film Festival” by Keith Steer

Wednesday 16th March 2016 (8:00pm - 9:30pm)  Norway and the Lofoten Islands” by Andy Garland

Free and secure parking, good bar and good food. See you there.

7/1/16 New Year's Day docks paddle

Would anyone turn up today after the festivities of New Year's Eve we thought as we turned into sight of the Marina?

Well yes Julie of course was there with Simon, Andy, Ged, John and his son who made up the group of eight including myself and Chris.

We paddled the usual route down and into the Albert Dock which was unusually quite. And as usual Julie passed around the sausage rolls, biscuits and cake. We didn't hang about for long because it was pretty cold and the wind had a biting chill.

 

Up to the other end we went and time for more snacks. Penny (the Jug) went for a call of nature (outside the canoe this time) and then we were off again.

 

Around the moored boats we went before heading back to the Marina where Chris, Simon, Ged and John and his son got out. Julie, myself and Andy continued down to the eye and returned around the Watersports Centre to Finnish off a great New Years Day paddle.

 

Happy New Year everyone.

Report by John Fay=          More Photos…….

6/1/16 Clearing the decks

One of the minor niggles about my Easky 15LV from Venture Kayaks is with the design of the front deck.  Immediately in front of the cockpit is an odd-shaped recess for a removable deck-mounted pod.  I have never found this pod to be of much use; it is too small and fiddly for my liking.  A permanent day-hatch, as fitted to the PH Scorpio, would seem a much better use of this space.

Although well suited for the shape, carrying my Lomo pump here has always seemed a poor use for this prime location.  Maybe the pump could go somewhere else ...

… and indeed it can, just a couple of inches below where it was before.  When supported centrally from the “ceiling” of the front deck, the pump is occupying space that was not previously being used.  In this new location, it does not cause me any difficulty when entering, leaving or rolling the boat.  

To improve the contact area, I've added some packing so that the profile of the pump more closely matches the surface that it will be attached to.  An off cut of closed-cell foam and some 2”wide Velcro was all that was needed.  Three cable-ties and some insulating tape should help to keep everything in place.

The key ingredient for such modifications is “River Bond”.  This is a seriously effective contact adhesive that works on surfaces that most glues won't touch, including plastic kayaks.  By roughening any hard surfaces and following the guidance, a sound joint is assured within 24 hours (28 hours if you follow the instructions literally).  For this job, a 30ml tube (£3) would probably have been sufficient.  For a larger job, such as when fitting knee-rests for this boat, a 250ml tin (£15) would be needed.

With the pump safely in its new home, the space that has been vacated can now be put to better use :)

Cheers!

Robin Emley 

29/12/15 Surfing at Crosby

Craig Ellingham called this one perfectly.  After a windy night, conditions had settled nicely by 10am when Graham Devaney and I met up with him.   Blue sky, several miles of viz and a gentle Southerly breeze.  The sea was very churned up, which was rather disconcerting when flipped over.  Having rolled this surf boat in the pool OK, my success rate proved to be somewhat less in real conditions, but the bottom is generally available at Crosby to prod oneself back upright again. 

 

Graham had to depart early but Julie Brookes and John Fay then appeared for a slice of the action.  Once safely through the surf zone, Julie was happy to stay out in the gentle area while the other three of us tried our hand in the rough stuff.  Needless to say, sausage rolls and Christmas cake came into the conversation, all for later.

 

After around 90 minutes, I'd had enough and landed just below where the bricks start.  Before departing, I paused to take in the scene over a coffee: long evenly-spaced waves, minimal wind, and pleasant sunshine.  With a full car-park, several people were watching the three small boats who were still taking advantage of these ideal conditions.  I trust that the well-deserved festive fayre was enjoyed by all who stayed until closing time!

 

Robin Emley

29/12/15 Surfing at Crosby

 

5 kayakers turned out at Crosby this morning for a little surf session, Robin Emily, Graham Devaney, John Fay, Julie Brookes and myself.  The surf was nice with not much wind at 10 when we started, but as we approached high water the waves were noticeably bigger!  As coordinator of today's session, I quickly decided to capsize and wet exit (on purpose, promise)  just so robin and graham could see how it was done!

With that done, we got on with the surf, were I demonstrated another wet exit just to make sure everyone was clear on what to do as the others had not gone in yet! John fay and Julie turned up at 11ish,  and John was quick to practise his wet exit to make sure he was up to speed. He then demonstrated it on numerous occasions to show all the passers by!! Jules was having fun just bobbing round in the swell at the back of the surf zone, and it would be rude to mention a ladies 2 wet exits so I won't!  Well done Jules!!

After a good few hours of catching waves and bobbing for crabs we retreated to the cars for hot chocolate, biccies and cakes just after 1.30.
An enjoyable session had by everyone.

Craig Ellingham                 More Photos…..

28/12/15 River Weaver paddle

At a little past 4pm eight paddlers arrived back to the Runcorn Rowing Club from where this trip had started some six hours ago. Andy Garland was first to haul his Atlantic sea kayak out of the water of the Weaver Navigation followed by Terry in his distinctive green Eskey and the rest of the group close after. Actually nine had initially set off just after 10am that morning but Tony Robinson had had to return after a couple of hours due to a shoulder problem.

We knew the wind was going to be a problem today and although it wasn't as strong as expected it did take its toll on the group. It took 2hrs 20mins to get to the Dutton locks and the small landing spot just before was a welcome sight.

 

One by one boats and paddlers landed and headed up to the picnic area adjacent to the locks. As usual with LCC trips cake and sausage rolls were distributed throughout the group. At this festive time of year however we also had the addition of sandwiches made from left over turkey and boxes of mince pies.

 

After a call of nature it was time to move and the group decided they couldn't head back without first exploring the branch that led to the sluices. It was evident from the flow heading towards us that plenty of water was spilling over. As the sluices came into sight the group also noticed that the snow like foam which usually covered the surface of the water here was today missing having been taken away by the current. After playing for a while the group headed back expecting a easier return trip.

 

Terry took the lead back having the advantage of a sea kayak over the open canoe and cross over kayaks behind. He did report later that he could hear the squeals of laughter from the following group as the usual suspect (Phil Edwards) started a splashing war. Natalie expressed her concerns that we were going to get wet from other sources basing her theory on the fact that the cows on the bank were lying down because of expected rain.

 

Six hours from the start of this trip the group arrived back at the start..... in dry weather.

 

Paddlers:- Terry, Andy G, Julie, Phil & Nathan, Natalie, Tony R and John and Chris (with Penny the Jug).

 

Report by John Fay     More Photographs……..

 

28/12/15 Running the River Kent

Getting in a bit of practice for Nepal, Running the river Kent on a HUGE level. Whoop Whoop  https://vimeo.com/150153263



26/12/15 Be careful on next trip to the Irwell! 200-year-old pub collapses as River Irwell floods

 

The former pub and restaurant has collapsed due to the River Irwell flooding

The former pub and restaurant has collapsed due to the River Irwell flooding Credit: Jim Metcalf/Twitter

A former pub on the River Irwell in Summerseat near Bury has collapsed due to the River Irwell flooding.

The 200-year-old building that was the Waterside pub and restaurant sits on a bridge crossing the River Irwell and locals are now concerned the bridge may not hold.

 

The Afon Seiont Caernarfon 197025/12/15 Afon Seiont on Christmas Eve

We had a great paddle on the Afon Seiont yesterday.  The river was at a great level, high but still with enough room to get under all the bridges.  This river is one of the best in the region providing continuous interest at grade III with a drop of IV. It holds it water well, and once Llyn Padarn is full will be runnable for a couple of days after rain.


soon after the start is a low bridge with metal hooks in the middle of each gap.  Joe carefully led us through and soon after the only grade iv rapid which swings round left and steeps greatly with a few large drops to avoid (and overhanging trees on the outside of the bend).  After the second stone bridge is a river fisheries with cameras and several fun weirs and chutes.  The river was pretty continuous with many grade 2-3 rapids with friendly bouncy waves.  We had one tree blocking the  river which required a short drag round.  Later a small weir leads into a section with a campsite and later holiday caravans on the right and left bank. 

A few more low bridges a few more weirs led to the last sections with a slanting weir with a bungalow on river right (often has a barking Alsatian to keep guard).  This is best shot river right but had a difficult tree in the middle of the river about 10m below the weir.  Soon after you pass under the last three bridges with main road high above and then on to salty water at the estuary.  This is one of the best get outs of any river trip.  You climb up rickety iron ladders on the quayside and drag up your kayak using your karabiner and throw line watched by tourists and passers by in front of the majestic Caernarfon Castle.

Many thanks for organising Joe.

Paddlers Joe Sheppard, Tom and Ian Gornall, Jack A and Keith S.

25/12/15 January 2016 Newsletter Published 
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