Volume 16 Issue 12

December 2016

December Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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30/11/16 Major dates for Club Events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

10th December 2016

Santa Dash – Leeds Liverpool Canal Click for more information……

17th December 2016

Xmas Docks Paddle – 10:00am Sunday morning paddle – dress up yourself (Santa hat) or canoe - coordinator Julie Brookes

18th December 2016

Christmas Meal – Llandudno – Open to all – you do not need to paddle to join us 3pm Click to book a place…

13 – 17th April 2017

Scottish Easter Paddling Holiday based at Kinlochleven - coordinator Roy McHale. Click to book a place…


30/11/16 November “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Roger Chandler for his winning photo:

“David Southern catching a bow wave in the Menai Straits”


Runner up Mark Pawley:

 Pete Thomas Nellie Juan Glacier Ice Front”

Runner up Kathy Morton:

“Don is attacked by an Alaskan crocodile”

 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


30/11/16 River Ribble Canoe trip


Saturday had been cold, very cold. But luckily we were going open boating on the Sunday and the weather was rather nice for the November open boat Image result for open canoe river ribbletrip.


7 LCC members, none of whom actually reside in Liverpool, met at Clitheroe, sorted the boats, did the shuttle and set off for the 15km grade 1-2 trip down to Ribchester. The water was at a reasonable level, and the group did really well with the initial riffle type rapids. Following a (compulsory) portage and after a brief “chat” with a fisherman we got to the meat of the river. The rapid under the footbridge provided great fun, with the group taking various lines (Running straight through, breaking out, surfing waves) to the amazement of the local walkers. We carried on, passed herons, buzzards, a very inquisitive bat, and an otter, before reaching the second play spot at the Sale Wheel. Here we against stopped to play, with the sole tandem crew working in unison as the practiced break ins, break outs and ferry glides. After all too short a play, this is a reasonable length trip, we carried on down past the old get out to the new get out in Ribchester.


A great day, it was superb to see so many opens (solo and tandem) on a club trip.


LCC paddlers



30/11/16 Santa Splash – Leeds to Liverpool Canal Saturday 10th December at 10:30am


We are again this year putting on our Santa Splash event at Eldonian Village on Saturday 10th December, it would be great if the club would be able to join us for the paddle, we will finish at our hub in Bootle, where there will be hot food and drink for all.


If you could let me know or ask anyone interested to come along that would be great, we have some boats available on the day for those who need them, also prizes are available for the best dressed boat and paddler on the day. Email me on coastto.coast@canalrivertrust.org.uk


30/11/16 Hilbre Island Paddle - 30/11/16


It was zero degrees centigrade when I scraped the car windscreen at 7am on Wednesday morning. The ground was white with frost and there was a cold chill in the air. I began to think I'd made a mistake suggesting a paddle to Hilbre. However, arrangements had been made with Julie Brookes and there was no turning back now.

We had planned to meet at the West Kirby Sailing Club at 08:45 but the busy traffic up the A580 towards the tunnel meant I only arrived at 09:00. It didn't matter. We actually had enough time to unload our kayaks and be ready to launch on the slipway when the water hit at just before 09:30.


It was a cloudy day which meant the temperature was a little higher than it had been through the night and when we got paddling it was actually quite warm. As usual we headed out into the estuary until we saw a gap between the islands and then turned right and headed towards our destination.


People say a paddle to Hilbre is never the same twice and this proved true today. There was quite a swell and although it was almost a 9m tide we could see in the distance hundreds of birds streaming out from the island on a large sandbank. The tips of rocks could be seen as we passed Little Eye and Middle Eye. At one point, I became lodged on the shallow sea bed and after rocking my kayak to move the sand from beneath and break free Julie and I headed further out to reach deeper water. This was totally different from all the other paddles we had done to Hilbre before.


What wasn't different was the usual colony of seals that followed our kayaks seemingly glad to have some entertainment on this quiet, cloudy, chilly day. Another thing that wasn't different was the overfalls at the far end of the Island. Once again, we had to paddle through that confused stretch of water. But unlike the last time we paddled when the water was hitting us from all sides this time we were being pushed from behind until we reached the far side of the island and calmer water.  From there we headed to the little beach area for a short break before launching again for the return leg of the trip.


We half paddled and half surfed our way back to the slipway. The hundreds of birds that welcomed us to Hilbre had now relocated to Middle Eye organising themselves on the varying levels of rock ledges. At 12:45 we arrived back at our start point. Another fifteen minutes and the approach would have been through mud. All we had to do now was load our boats and get changed.

The temperature had dropped now as the wind got up and our hands were cold from tying the straps around our kayaks. So we decided a visit to the Ring O'Bells pub for a coffee was in order. And so ended another trip. Sitting next to a hot radiator next to the festively decorated fireplace drinking nice hot Americano coffees with mini Jammy dodger biscuits. What another great day.


Report by John Fay                 More photos……..



29/11/16 Club member Michael Alexander and Alan Creedon will give a talk on Wednesday 30th November about paddling across the Irish Sea

"Talk the Walk"
A talk / presentation by Alan Creedon (with Michael Alexander)
Click for more talks.......

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Wednesday 30th November 2016 (7:45pm for 8:00pm)
at the Conference Suite - Liverpool Marina Click for directions and map.... Our talks are open to all 

To reserve a place click here.....


The talk is free to attend but we will have an opportunity to give a donation at the end of the talk to go to MapAlan`s chosen Cerebral Palsy Charity.

I have a talk which I've given a few times which is about the whole journey I made, 400 miles from Manchester to Dingle. As I did this walk in memory of my sister who had severe cerebral palsy it outlines what drove me to do the walk, including a bit about my childhood, idea for the walk, fundraising, preparation (or lack of), the Irish sea problem, the walk, kayaking, walking in Ireland and then the insights and other things I learned from the experience.

We kayaked for 22 hours over the Irish Sea despite only having been in a sea kayak just twice before.

The incredible 410-mile challenge was in memory of his sister, Aoife, who had severe cerebral palsy. She could not walk or talk, and spent most of her life in care. She sadly passed away in 2011.

Alan felt the need to commemorate her life in a meaningful way and the trek was his ‘pilgrimage’ - from his adopted home of Manchester, to Dingle, where he grew up.





Alan Creedon and Mike Alexander on the kayak leg of their epic trip


19/11/16 Phase one – building the compound at the Marina

Unbelievable team effort today from everyone involved in building the compound at the Marina.  We managed to put up ¾ of the fence panels and all of the 5 gate posts.  Hopefully phase one will be complete tomorrow morning and we can start on phase two (the secure roof).   A really big thank you to those who are working nights and still turned up to help during the day.  We have key people down again tomorrow so there will be no Sunday morning paddle this week.  If anyone has really good step ladder(s) they would be very useful or if anyone has fencing or good heavy manual labour skills or scaffolding skills, it would be great to have you along.


Team Mesh Fencing

Team Lunch and coffee

Team Grinder!

Team Night Owl


5/11/16 LCC festive Paddle and Christmas Lunch is taking place on Sunday 18th December 2016

LCC festive Paddle and Christmas Lunch is taking place on Sunday 18th December 2016 . . . and not only is it going to be even bigger and better than ever, the price for the lovely three course festive lunch has been reduced to just £20.00!

Following on from the very positive feedback on the last two year’s post paddle Christmas lunches at St Georges Hotel in Llandudno I have made a booking for Sunday 18th December for 3.00pm in our own private function room, which will be the Menai Suite again.

For a three course, festive lunch including coffee/tea and mince pie the price this year has been reduced to just £20.00 (Booking and payment to be made via the club website booking page)

The tides on this day are very favourable with HW Liverpool at 1400 HRS on a 9.2m spring, which will work well for most trip options in the area.

In order to work up a good appetite the plan is as usual, weather permitting, to paddle from the north end of West Shore around the Great Orme and land beside the pier at Llandudno for a break before heading back to West Shore. Those of us wanting a shorter paddle could start a little later, meet us at Llandudno and join us just for the paddle back.

Providing the conditions are suitable there are lots of interesting sea caves to explore all around this stretch of coastline, with huge cliffs towering high above them.

I have booked us in for 3.00pm which will give us plenty of time to sort out boats, kit and cars. We will meet at the northern end of West Shore at 9.00am, this is the opposite end of the promenade to the car park and café.

There are plenty of alternative options for smaller boats and those preferring an easier day, including surfing and playing in the bay if the weather lets us down – so no excuses for not joining us. 

Brian Green    07971 539915            Click here to book (Scroll down to the 18th December and book your place)


http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/john.m.hughes/LiverpoolBay.jpg12/11/16 Paddling in the Shipping Channels in Liverpool Bay

When surfing at Crosby, ships can often be seen going past in the distance.  The channel that they follow lies somewhere between the beach and the off-shore windfarm, but its nature and markings have always seemed rather mysterious to me.

The diagram opposite shows most of the buoys in the Mersey Approach.  The main passage has two sections, namely the Crosby and Queens channels.  Incoming craft stay close to the green buoys at the starboard (SW) side of each channel and refer to these buoy's names when talking to "Mersey VTS" Port Control.   Outgoing craft stay close to the red buoys at the port (NE) side of these channels and refer to their names for location purposes.  Points Q1 and Q2, which mark the outer ends of the main incoming and outgoing channels, lie somewhere out beyond Burbo windfarm.  These locations are often mentioned on VHF Channel 12.

When heading to/from North Wales, the Rock Channel provides a more direct route along the top of the Wirral.  For many types of craft, this channel is only usable during periods of relatively high water.  The graphic found here shows the water depths in the Liverpool Bay area.   Information has been collated by many boats which have been fitted with depth sounding equipment and GPS.  From this graphic, the location of the main channels can be clearly seen.

But what are these places like in practice?  To find out, I have launched a few times at Blundellsands and headed out into deeper water to where these various exhibits can be found.  Once away from the shore, each line of buoys can be easily followed by simply heading from one to the next.  By staying just outside the channel and keeping each marker buoy to my right, approaching traffic can be seen in good time. 

Many of the starboard markers in Crosby Channel have been replaced during the summer.  "Cameron" is a buoy tender which has been plying these waters each day to go about this task.  In this photo, the original C23 buoy just off Perch Rock is about to be replaced with a shiny new one.  Some weeks later, I was on the water when I heard over the radio that this was her last day on site.  Her skipper received an appropriate parting message from Mersey VTS on Channel 12.

With any significant amount of wind, making a return trip to the more distant buoys can be challenging.  The wind and swell will always be acting against you during one part of the trip or another.  The optimum conditions would seem to be a windless day, on a trip that is centred around low tide.  The flow should then always be in the right direction.  With so many fixed buoys along the route, keeping track of the tidal flow is very straightforward.

On a sunny day with a F3 northerly breeze, I recently set out from Blundellsands beach at low tide and soon arrived at the nearest port marker, C18.  Having checked with Mersey VTS, I crossed the channel to "Burbo" buoy which is midway between C19 and C21.  From here, the water towards the wind farm looked rather interesting with surf everywhere.  Then I realised that there was also a nice firm sandbank with dozens of birds on it.  This seemed a good place for a coffee break, so different from the soft slimy conditions on the main shore at low tide.  Wandering around this remote island which would soon disappear from view was an eerie feeling; my kayak looked so insignificant in these alien surroundings.

 Once back in the boat, I headed upwind along the greens for as far as I could get.  With the wind and tide against me, progress was painfully slow, but there's always another buoy to aim for.  By the time I reached C9, my arms had just about had enough.  Then an incoming craft called up from Q1 but it was nowhere to be seen.  This seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so I decided to stay out there until the calling craft had appeared.  While pressing onwards towards C7, a small tanker gradually made its presence known; I had initially thought it was part of the wind farm. 

Until it had gone past, I decided to hold station at C7.  Some of these marker buoys are surprisingly close to the shallower waters of Burbo Bank where the sea state becomes rather chaotic.  The calmest conditions are in the channel where I didn't ought'a be.  Just downwind/stream of the buoy, it was easy enough to hold station and stay clear of the rougher stuff which was not far behind me.  

As the tanker was drawing close, a pair of bright orange pilot boats appeared, one from each direction.  The outbound one roared past on the far side of the channel, but the inbound one changed course to head for me.   I took the opportunity to get a photo before raising a hand to acknowledge her presence.  "Kittywake" drew to a standstill in the channel maybe 20 yards upstream from me and clearly expected me to make contact. 

 As I paddled across, a crew member complete with harness and tether appeared on the deck rail.  He seemed convinced that I must be in some kind of difficulty, but I assured him that all was well and that I was staying outside the channel.  During our conversation, the skipper called up Mersey VTS to report the presence of a mystery kayaker and was informed that "he is one of our regulars".  I was so pleased that I had taken the trouble to report my intended route to Port Control around an hour earlier.

Having let the tanker pass, another one had also appeared on the scene.  An upwind crossing of the channel in such conditions seemed unwise, so I decided to retrace my steps along the green side until it was time to aim for shore.  With the swell now coming from my rear, progress was easier but it was trickier to remain on course.  Although my progress felt somewhat random at the time, the GPS trace shows that both tracks were very similar. 

Going it alone is not everyone's choice but I feel confident that I will be able to cope as my own Safety Officer in the prevailing conditions.   I now carry a PLB as well as the radio.  With winter approaching, and only a wetsuit, these solo excursions will probably now be drawn to a close for this season.

Robin Emley           

10/11/16 Part Two (Day 6-9). Club Expedition to Alaska (Whittier to Perry Island crossing over to Knight Island and return via Port Nellie Juan) “Can bears swim?”


This clubs` expedition to Prince William Sound is now well established with trips in 2008, 2010, 2013 and again in 2016. This time we headed out to the islands in search of whales.  This involved some fairly long open crossings including some in fog. We were stormbound for a day with strong gusty winds and waterspouts and on another encountered the heaviest 24 hours of rain any of us could imagine.


Every day we encountered something interesting including; humpback whales, black bears, Steller Sea lions and common harbour seals, sea otters, bald headed eagles and many other sea birds; they seemed to be everywhere.  We also paddled up to several enormous tide-water glaciers. 

Our friend Levi Hogan (below) shuttled us to and from Whittier along with supplying his fleet of high quality UK Sea kayaks.


Carole Thomas

Debbie Hughes

Dave Rider

Ian Bell


Catrionia Hare

Pete Thomas

Nicki Corbett

Brian Green


Mike Alter

Kathy Morton

Don Brooks

Mark Pawley


Day Six (Tuesday) –  Knight Island to Crafton Island - Time to get going again…..

We awoke to more rain but looking across the knight island passage it was starting to look less angry. The winds were abating a paddling day was looking to be in the offing, but not straight away. Morale was low this two-day storm was sapping at everyone.

As breakfast was conjured and consumed the weather forecast were checked and time to change plans…… strong winds where still blowing in north with a small boat advisory for passage canal and not looking better for a few days but dying down locally. Not enough time to get to icy bay and leave a few day’s spare to get back in case of more storm bound days.

So after packing away sodden tents and reacquainting ourselves with our boats we bid farewell to our home for the past 2 days.

Crossing the knight island passage and the marine highway shrouded in a clinging mist, we were treated with atmospheric views of Chenga island and the elegantly named dangerous passage. Moral was starting to improve and smiles where even seen as we all became warm again. Happy to be paddling. Chenga island is one of several areas which are private lands owned by the first peoples of the area. And you could see why. It had a mystical aura heightened by the mist clinging to it.

Landfall was made at Point Nowell where we had lunch and a much-needed break. Thankful to be getting back into the rhythm of paddling. The weather was still not idyllic with light rain but the lure of a camp site with a cabin was keeping morale high and the knowledge we were once again on the move. The beach was a pebbly beach offering views of our home on knight island.

Once refuelled on fine fare, we headed north hugging the shore in the hope of seeing wildlife which was being quite illusive. (I don’t blame them the weather wasn’t the greatest) but we saw the ever-present eagles keeping an eye on us though. Magnificent beasts looking proud and elegant in their perches in the pines of the temperate rainforest. We crossed Eshmay bay and then on to Crafton island with the weather starting to improve and the first glimmer of sky which we hadn’t seen for days.

The beach is regarded as one of the best campsites in the Sound. It is situated on a gravel spit that sticks out almost linking the main Crafton island with its smaller isle. It was truly beautiful and sheltered from a swell that was squeezing through the gap and pounding the coast near falls bay. With this beauty and sheltered spot no wonder someone in Alaska’s past had built a prospector’s hut. Now in trust with the state and protected under law.

As we adjusted to the settling conditions and begun the now automated function of setting up camp. A lone humpback swam right past in the passage between the main land and Crafton island no more than 500m away without a care in the world. A truly special Alaskan experience.

As the night drew in the clouds kept lifting and we were treated to a lovely evening to dry gear out and have a nice relaxing evening to recoup and rest with the chance to take a swim and just enjoy being in the wilderness. Wondering what tomorrow will bring.

Dave Rider          More Photos…….       Voice over……..

Day Seven (Wednesday) – Crafton Island to Falls Bay

Wet and windy (storm bound), dry and windy (storm bound, lunch), dry, we can go :-) !!!, wet, very wet, exceedingly wet, the most wet I have been when not under water.


We woke up to rain, wind and a reasonable amount of swell and choppy water off shore, so after breakfast most of us went back to our tents. I managed to get out the tent for elevenses to find that it had mainly stopped raining, and there were a number of hardy souls looking at the view from under the tarp, and beginning to get a bit restless with the lack of activity. Time to try walking around the island, which didn't work as the tide just did not go out far enough.


After lunch the conditions had calmed down and we packed up we set off to find our next camp. By now it had started raining again but we had a bit of fun in the swell on the way around to Falls Bay. Where we stopped to fill our water supplies and have mid afternoon snack before heading off again. We spent some time getting wetter playing in the impressive water fall the bay is named after, well some people did. By now the rain was torrential and I think it would be fair to say that we were all a bit miserable by now, and wondering if we could cope with any more rain. Keith suggested that we returned to the wooded area where we had picked up our water supplies to camp. None of us needed too much persuading to give up for the day.


We put up the main cooking tarp and the tents. We hung spare tarps over the tents, in the hope that it would keep things a little bit drier. After a very wet tea, several cups of team and collective attempts to remain cheerful I gave up on the day and went to bed, so if anything exciting happened after 8:00pm I missed it.

Many glaciers in Alaska are retreating.

Figure - refer to figure caption for alternative text description

Photo Plate. Series of photographs of the terminus of Portage Glacier.


The best thing about this campsite was pitching the tent on soft mossy ground (after Dom had helpfully suggested we moved our camp from a potential puddle collecting hollow) and actually being so tired that I managed to sleep for nearly 12 hours.


Catrionia Hare          More Photos……       Voice over……..


Day Eight (Thursday) – Falls Bay to Moraine ridge in Derikson Bay (Nellie Juan Glacier)

WET, WET, WET . . . sums up the way we all felt as we awoke on the morning of day eight of our expedition.

Having had to retrace our steps back to Falls Bay the previous evening in increasingly heavy rain there had been no let-up in the weather and the relentless downpour had battered our camp spot all night.  Even the patchwork of tarps we had strung above our tents from the surrounding trees did little to deflect the deluge.

Donning cold gear already wet through from days of rain, emerging from our tents it was easy to start to believe that this was how the rest of the trip was going to be.  Breakfast and brewing up started as a cold, damp and glum affair but once warm drinks started to trickle down the usual smiles began to return to the group.  Cheerfulness in the face of adversity or just a bunch of nutters?

Having all wished Debbie a very Happy Birthday and provided her with a soggy card, we got packed up and on the water.  As we paddled back out of Falls Bay I came across a large eagle feather which served as a handy birthday present for Debbie and was soon installed on the front of her kayak.  I’m sure this may have brought us some good luck as within an hour the rain finally began to ease off.

By the time we stopped for elevenses on an island just to the east of Lighthouse Reserve the rain had stopped altogether and heavy cags began to be taken off.  We continued onto McClure Bay which is the site of an old and long abandoned salmon cannery.  Here the rusting remains of huge boilers, old engine parts and other pieces of unrecognisable machinery lay all along the rocky shoreline and suggested a ghostly echo of the industry that once thrived in this inhospitable place.

A large waterfall roared down from the back of McClure Bay and after a leisurely lunch some of us played briefly in the surging waters at its base.  Leaving the remains of the old cannery behind us we headed south into Nellie Juan Fiord, by which time the sun had made a welcome return.

Passing Division Point we again marvelled at the stunning scenery that surrounded us as the clouds that had dogged us for the previous days began to move away.  A long but enjoyable paddle down the fiord brought us to Derickson Bay where a moraine ridge left behind by the retreating glacier provided what might have been an excellent camp spot for the night.  I say ‘might’ because this was to be our first of many evenings spent in the company of the dreaded Alaskan Black Fly.

The moraine basked in early evening sunshine and the light winds soon worked a treat in drying our wet tents and kit, it was almost perfect except for the infuriating black fly that had appeared in clouds within minutes of us landing on the shore.  These flies, most of which don’t bite but some that definitely do, seemed to infest all of the glacial moraine areas of the bays we visited, often quickly appearing when we paused from paddling even when some distance from shore.

I suspect that one of the main reasons, aside from the cold winters, that most of Alaska remains unoccupied by humans is the presence of these flippin’ black fly!

However, despite the annoying flies it was great to see the back of the rain and it turned out that this was to be the start of many more days of glorious Alaskan sunshine.


Brian Green    More Photos…….        Voice over……..

Day Nine (Friday) – Moraine ridge in Derikson Bay (Nellie Juan Glacier) to Taylor Glacier

DSC_4758After a dry night camping on the moraine spit in Derikson Bay we woke up on day nine to a beautiful sunrise lighting up the mountains above the top of the Nellie Juan  glacier. 

Unfortunately, we were still plagued by the blackflies which seem to love to make their home on glacial moraines, the fact that this was such a glassy, still morning really didn't help. 

We needed to make the usual early start to catch the last of the flood tide which was flowing through a shallow river-like entry to the glacier.  This shallow section had been formed over many thousands of years by the glacier dumping moraine material before gradually retreating to its present position.

It was in this shallow section that Dave decided to run a test to see if his go-pro floated, sadly it DSC_4932didn't, the start of an expensive day for Dave!

We paddled with a little current (the last of the flood into the inner lagoon) and we encountered small icebergs which had been calved recently whilst there were also bigger bergs the size of cars and even bigger.  These larger bergs had grounded in the shallows and probably had been there a while gradually melting. One of the larger, free floating bergs had become top heavy as the water melts away the ice below water very much faster than the air above water, it reminded me of my old P&H Quest as it was definitely happier to turn over and stay that way.

DSC_4988We paddled on in bright sunshine although the air temperature was quite cold until the water deepened and we entered a steep sided valley leading to the glacier where we spent some time photographing.  The glacier was far from quiet.  There were thunder-like rumblings as the glacier ground its way slow along the floor of the valley.  Occasional loud cracks like rifle shots rang all around as we tried to guess where the next big calving would take place.

We gave the glacier lots of respect and didn’t approach too close to the foot of the ice cliffs but slowly soaked up the atmosphere.  When we had enough we started to paddled out as the tide DSC_5055would drop in the lagoon and leave us high and dry.  We came across some beautiful common seals basking on the ice floes and after a few photographs we left them to their peace.

We then paddled out turned and left at the point and paddled past “deep water bay” where there was a rock feature to rival half-dome in Yosemite. We stopped for a late elevenses under a towering granite cliff.  Snow patches above provided so cool, clear drinking water for elevenses.  DSC_5088This was an ideal sun-trap and most of us took the opportunity for a good wash; some even washed their hair and clothes.

After an hour and half we paddled across Greystone Bay and at Cockstone Point crossed Kings Bay to finish the day at our campsite below Taylor Glacier. 

Camping sites here was a little illusive and estimations using the rule of twelfths suggested that Keith, Dave and Brian’s tent would be underwater.  They resisted the urge to move it until they had no choice.  I had a couple of inches to spare and Kathy and Nicky’s tent was lifted at the edge to let the last couple of inches go under the tent before receding shortly after.

The warm air held back the cold air high on Taylor Glacier until the evening cooled and a katabatic wind formed suddenly creating a stream of mist on the water out of the valley.





Black flies once again were a nuisance and they tended to be attracted to warm black clothing, or was it the smell?

The day ended with another beautiful sunset.

Mark Pawley    More Photos…….       Voice over……..

Part 3 in next month’s Newsletter (Part one is in November Newsletter……IE_Small )


10/10/16 Welsh Open Canoe Symposium 2016
Spotted, Ian Bell Welsh Fire Dragon    



05/11/16 November Photo of the Month CompetitionClick here to vote for your favourite.  http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/menu/IE_Small.gif  



Kathy Morton listening to a colony of Steller Sea Lions


John Cooke testing out the Diesel at Tees Barrage



David Southern catching a bow wave in the Menai Straits





Halloween Paddlers at Albert Dock

Sea Kayaks on an Anglesey beach


Liverpool’s wheel at night




Don is attacked by an Alaskan crocodile


Open Boat symposium



Nellie Juan Glacier Ice Front




04/11/16 Tees White Water Course 2016

Trying out my new Diesel at the barrage today with Sarah Gille and Graham Devaney, Picture by Cedrik Fok


04/11/16 Canoe Symposium 2016


Neither Ruth nor I had ever been to a symposium before. We are kayakers that taught ourselves to paddle opens. We don’t have beards, Tilley hats, nor like taking large cast iron Inline image 1frying pans when wild camping, so it was with a degree of trepidation that we booked to go to the Welsh Canoe Symposium.


The pre-event paperwork provided a bewildering array of half / full day sessions for Saturday, with Sunday being decided whilst there. We decided to camp rather than share a bunk room (although it transpired that it was private rooms) and this was a decision I regretted as the person in the tent next door snored louder than I have ever heard. Even worse, it wasn’t a continuous rhythm and was so loud I could hear him through my earplugs!


Tent pitched, it was time for the Friday night talk – a canoe trip on one of the great lakes that LCC just happened to have previously paddled in sea kayaks. The talk was great, not least because the speaker was absolutely nuts!


Inline image 2 Saturday started with a superb breakfast before it was time to collect packed lunches and head off to the session. We had decided to run the lower Treweryn for  4* aspirants, Ian Bell had decided to do Stand-up paddle boarding and camp fires / bushcraft. The sessions were great, lots of top tips! Other courses included; tandems on Tryweryn, guided trip on Tryweryn, skill sessions, flat water basics, trip on the dee, sailing, poling, OC1’s etc etc!


Returning to the centre there was a further short session. Ian, Ruth and I deciding to attend a refresher on de pinning open boats and learnt a great way of joining ropes – the cats claw knot. After that it was time to decide the next days session (you could put forward your own session idea if you wanted something specific) before the amazing evening meal and further talks – 30 days wilderness Canada trip that went big on bear proofing the Inline image 6campsite, and how to deal with group dynamics. How would you cope as a paid guide on a multi-day trip with two couples, the older man makes a pass at the younger man’s wife? The added complication is that the younger wife works for the older man, and the younger couple were only just married! What would you do????


Sunday saw many courses again. Ian decided to join the trip on the Mawdach estuary whilst Ruth and I did a WWS&R refresher morning above the chipper on the Tryweryn (this was excellent as there were only three participants being taught by one of the top WWS&R providers in the country). The afternoon saw us practicing flat water rescues on Bala Lake – hmm, I used to be able to self-rescue into a canoe with no problem – with the same L5 coach.


After that it was all done and time to go home. We had a great time, learnt a lot and will definitely be back.


So, for anyone interested in canoes then why not go along. There were courses for all standards, coached sessions, guided sessions, or bushcraft, tarping and camping sessions. Give it a go. 10/12 November 2017 is England’s turn, in the Lake District, before the symposium moves to Scotland (Glenmore lodge) in 2018.


Mike, Ruth & Ian                     More photos



04/11/16 My tow system for sea kayaking - by Robin Emley


For sea kayaking, many different types of towing system are in use.   A standard towline belt with a shock absorber such as the 10-metre Palm Ocean Pro is fine for an extended tow.  But having had an operation some years ago on my lower back, I would much prefer to tow from the boat instead. 


The Jeff Allen system incorporates a throwing capability but does not have any shock absorption.  When kayaking alone, it may be important to be attached to the boat by a short tether in case you become separated in windy conditions. 


None of the standard setups appear to include all of the features that I was looking for, i.e.

- all towing to be from the rear of the boat rather than the waist;

- a shock-absorbing element to be included;

- short and long tow options;

- a throw facility;

- me to be tethered to the boat whenever the tow system is not in use.


After a bit of playing around, all of the above features have been incorporated in a bespoke system that I now feel happy with.  The component parts are:

- a stretchy "handlepass leash" with a Quick Release from the world of kiting (£25);

- a 15-metre Lomo throw bag (£14)

- a pair of aluminium karabiners (£16)

- a screw activated quick-link (£2)


The 'fixed' end of the stretchy leash is lark's footed around the fixing point on the rear deck of my kayak.  The 'remote' end of the leash runs under my left arm and clips to a quick-link which is around the collar of my PFD.  By this means, I am always attached to the boat.  By reaching back, the Quick Release mechanism can be easily located and deployed by pushing the red plastic collar away. 

[showing the stretchy leash in place]

[showing the Lomo bag on the front deck]

[showing the long-tow setup]

A short tow can be effected by simply unclipping the leash from my PFD and attaching it to the other boat.  For a longer tow, or for throwing, the Lomo bag needs to be attached.  This bag is retained by shot-cord on my front deck in the handy recess which comes with the Easky 15.  This recess has always annoyed me so it's good to have finally found a proper use for it.   For a better fit within this recess, I have shortened the length of line in the bag from 15 metres to just over 10 metres.  When sitting in the cockpit, I can't reliably throw the bag any further than this anyway.

For use as a long tow, my leash is clipped to the protruding loop of line at the base of the bag.  The karabiner at the end of the line inside the bag is withdrawn from the neck of the bag and attached to the casualty's boat.  For a half-length tow, the line can be looped back and clipped to the fixed end of the bag.

For use as a throw tow, my leash is attached to the karabiner at the end of the line inside the bag.  Having undone the velcro strap around the neck, the entire bag can then be thrown to the casualty.  A second aluminium karabiner is lark's footed to this line near to the "bag" end so that the victim can clip the extended line to his boat.  This seems the safest place to locate a metal component on a projectile that will be thrown towards a casualty.

Although not yet used in anger, I feel confident that this system will work well in practice.  Having operated the Quick Release, the two parts would probably need to be re-fitted together where I can see them, but it's then a simple operation to attach this complete assembly to the rear deck by feel.

All feedback welcome. Robin Emley

04/11/16 British Canoeing Rebrand the Leadership Awards

Leadership Awards will be renamed, losing their Star Award branding. Following the announcement of the new Sea kayaking four starPaddlesport Leader Award, British Canoeing would also like to announce the rebranding of the existing British Canoeing 4 and 5 Star Leadership Awards. 

From April 2017, for example, the British Canoeing 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader will become ‘British Canoeing Sea Kayak Leader’, and the British Canoeing 5 Star Sea Kayak Leader changed to ‘British Canoeing Advanced Sea Kayak Leader’. 

Feedback from our members suggest that these are more descriptive terms, will be easier to understand for the end-user and will support our Leaders in describing their qualifications and remit. There are no changes to the syllabus or requirements. 

Leaders who have undertaken 4 or 5 Star training ahead of April 2017 will be able to complete the relevant assessment after this date and be awarded the rebranded certificate. 

02/11/16 Reel Paddling Film Festival – 9th November at the Liverpool Marina      
8 of the best short films from this year’s entry.  This is the only UK showing of this unique collection of films – free (if booked in advance) to any club member.  Do not miss this great chance to see these films. Click here to reserve your seat…..


Go Big or Go Home

WINNER: WHITEWATER film, sponsored by the Ottawa Valley and the Ottawa River Race and Festival. Producer and Director: Olaf Obsommer.

Expedition Q

WINNER: ADVENTURE TRAVEL FILM sponsored by Adventure Kayak Magazine. Producer: NRS, Director: Skip Armstrong

Martin's Boat

WINNER: ENVIRONMENTAL film, sponsored by Rapid Magazine. Producer and Director: Peter McBride.

Kayaking the Aleutians

WINNER: SEA KAYAKING film, sponsored by Kokatat. Producer and Director: Cackle TV.

Chaos Theory: Free Will

Producer: NRS & Mike McKay, Director: Mike McKay.

Kayak Fishing for Tarpon in Puerto Rico

Producer: Heliconia Press, Director: Kelsey Thompson & Ken Whiting.

Living the Stoke 2

WINNER: STANDUP PADDLEBOARDING film, sponsored by ACA. Producer: Jeff Pikington, Director: Rob Pirie.

Beyond Definition

Producer: Jaganath Produkcija, Director: Tomaz Praunseis.


01/11/16 Halloween Paddle

We had recently bought a lifejacket for Oliver, our grandson and this was to be its first outing. It was also the first time that Oliver had been in a small boat of any description and we were a little apprehensive about the outcome. He is 2 ¾ !!!!!


Well, our fears quickly subsided as he took to it very easily, all be it, held carefully between his father’s legs. Our location was never in doubt throughout the session as he was blowing on his emergency whistle all of the way to Albert dock!!!


While there, I realised why sea kayakers carry spare paddles. I’m not at liberty to expand on that, but if you have a word with Irene, she may be able to throw some light on the subject. While talking about LIGHT, I found a head torch at the beach area on our return. I guess it must belong to one of the people that launched from there. See me for its return.


Jim had his dog in the rear hatch. She was leaning out to the Port side, which Jim said was making it difficult to go in a straight line.


We have not had anything to do with the junior section at the club and to say that we were impressed with the way the youngsters paddled is a gross understatement. They were brilliant. Trying to put ages to them is really difficult, but one young man must have been about 6 at the oldest.


We did the usual refreshment stop at the slip into Salthouse Dock, where many cakes, biscuits and sweeties were scoffed. At this point, some had to remove the horrible masks in order to eat, I’m not sure if the faces revealed where any better??? Keith made us all stand for the obligatory photo shoot.


After that, we returned to base as one of our team was feeling the cold. We hope everyone else enjoyed the afternoon as much as us.

We ended up with a Foil wrapped “Butty” and some sweeties in our boat. The “Butty” can be collected anytime, but the sweeties will definitely need to be collected quickly--------before they go OFF????


Bob Hamilton        More Photos……




30/10/16 Newsletter Published 
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