Volume 15 Issue8

August 2015

August 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.…


31/07/15 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

17 September 2015

Go Kayaking Demo Evening at the Marian – Come and have a go of all the new kayaks in stock (from 6:30pm)

25-27 September 2015                         

Anglesey Weekend 4 (Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn)    Coordinator Peter Massey

21 October 2015

Club AGM and Paddler of the Year Awards More information…….

11 November 2015

2015 "Reel Paddling Film Festival" Hosted by Liverpool Canoe Club Click for more information…….

13-20 February 2016

Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Coordinator Pete Thomas

Nominations for Paddler of the Year are welcome now…  Please send your nominations with brief reason to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk



31/07/15 July “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Katie Holland for her winning photo:

“Phil Holland tackles for the ball at the Liverpool International”


Runner up Callum McCue:

“Joe Sheppard on a slide in Val Sesia Italy


Runner up  Callum McCue:

“Jack Andrews in Val Sesia Italy 2015”

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.
Send in your entries for July now.  website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


29/07/15 Liverpool Canoe Club River Wye Paddle July 2015


We paddled from Hereford to Lucksall Campsite on Saturday and then from there to Hoarwithy on Sunday.

The video is only of Sunday and unfortunately it hardly ceased raining, but an enjoyable weekend was had by us.


Bob Hamilton






29/07/15 Safety Cover for the Liverpool Triathlon

 I would like to express my thanks to the LCC members who volunteered for safety cover this year.  It was a great success! There were no major incidents and the team were praised by officials and competitors for their professionalism.


You did a great job, well done!


Many Thanks





/07/15 Day 10 Alps 2015 – 10a Upper Ubaye


An early start on the van leaving the campsite at eight am saw us start our long drive to the get in on the upper Ubay.   We made an early stop to buy baguettes and view fancy French pastries in a patisserie best known for short changing Chris Murphy on a previous visit.   Lunch bought and change carefully counted we continued on our way.  Near the get in we passed a village called Barcelonette which some believe gave the world cantilevered underwear. At La Condamine we split into our groups and started our descent. The trip was approx 11 km of grade 2-3 to the get out at Jausiers.


We took turns in leading down the river avoiding rocks finding eddies and generally moving round the river with some style and elegance, no swims towering mountains sunshine and great companions all meant we had a brilliant experience and everyones paddling had improved loads after our week in Slovenia. Soon we rounded the final bend and reached the get out and lunch .The afternoon was to be the Ubaye racecourse which would be a horse of a different colour.


Thanks to all our team. Sarah Gille, Pete, Thomas, David Brockway and Mark Garrod


Dom Buckley                                            More Photographs……

/07/15 Day 9 Alps 2015 – 09b Chantemerie to Briancon Lower Guisane 8km  grade 4


“The insane Guisane”

Our run of the lower Guisane started by our selecting teams. Keith was to lead with Sara, David, Mark. Our team had been boosted by two top Irish paddlers , Connor  who is in the Irish surf team and Rooan. We decided that Kurt should lead our team as he has a super human ability to avoid boulders and pick clean lines. My super human ability to drink a bottle of beer without getting wasps in it may have been needed later.


Keith's team led through Shelobs weir, this is a concrete sectional bridge that forms a long dark tunnel full of rubble and concrete.  All went well with team one until Mark decided he needed a little " Me time " against a boulder. 


Continuing on brought increasing wave trains and boulders, before the mandatory portage of the weir at le Pont Carle.  Rejoining the river brought continuous rapids of increasing furry now grade 4, at this point I decided do throw in a few rolls (all that time in the Widnes pool had worked). We eddy hopped down the twisting lines and blind corners, often resorting to the odd cuss brace.


Finally the river mellowed out a little as we wound our way through the houses of Breancon and to the get out. A fantastic paddle!!


Paddlers: Sara, Keith, David, Mark G, Kurt, Connor and Rooan


Stuart Toulson                                            More Photographs……

27/07/15 Day 9 Alps 2015 – 09a Le Casset to Chantemerie  Upper Guisane 11km  grade 3


We set of for day 9 paddle at 9.00, and headed for Le Casset which is the put in for the Upper Guisane, which according to the guide book flows in a classic U shaped valley with huge cliff faces and hanging valleys, I did miss some of this as I was concentrating on the water in front of me and Keith’s back as I followed him down the fast flowing river, at least it seemed fast to me.


We had split into 3 groups of five and headed down river fairly quickly as there were very few places to eddy out, after a very enjoyable run and with confidence building I did manage to look around at the fantastic mountain scenery, and for one second thought it would be great to be walking up there on the tops, but quickly concentration back to the river, we were approaching the S bends which is the hardest section of the river and can take paddlers unawares (says the guide book and any swims can be long rough and cold).


We got out just before the start of the S bends, 4 of us were going to portage and the rest of the team were going to run it, while we were sorting the portage, Doms` friends from Phoenix Canoe Club (Cork) caught us up and started the run before us, causing a little delay as 2 of them had a swim, and as I stood at the get in below the bends 2 empty boats a paddle and a throw bag went passed at a fair lick, Sara who had just finished the run set of to rescue what she could.  Keith ran it last and back in the water I followed down to a gravel bank where we all re grouped.


Setting of for the next section, Keith put me in front for some of the way this was good but I needed to concentrate in case something unexpected presented it self, we finally came to the get out at the lovely ski village of Chantemerie, where we all got out for lunch.  The better paddlers of the team were then going to run the lower Guisane, which is another story.


Pete and Dom who were having a day off meet us with the bus, and after 2hours of relaxation we set off to pick up the lower Guisane team.


We finished the day with a visit to the Grande SuperMarche where Fiona spent a huge 98 cents!! As we were all going to have Pizza only to find on arriving back at the campsite that it was shut. What were we going to have for Tea ???


A great confidence building and enjoyable paddle for me.


Carole Thomas                                            More Photographs…….

27/07/15 Day 8 Alps 2015 – 08 Le Argentiere la Bassee to St Clements


A relatively leisurely start gave us time to head for the supermarket to sort out lunches and our evening meal but, for those who already knew the lay of the land, a visit to the near-by bakers kicked the day off with decent coffee and pan aux chocolate and then a second breakfast back at the campsite.


Some of our regulars headed up to the start of the slalom course above the campsite while the less intrepid moved boats to a decent vantage point to watch the fun and games. Although the river was running faster than most of the sections we had run in Slovenia, it wasn’t a match for the Imst Gorge that we ran at the beginning of the holiday, so I felt reasonably happy pushing off from the bankside and into the glacial till laden grey water. A stiff back gained after a bit of an upside down tumble on one of the drops in the upper Soca Gorge a couple of days earlier, soon began to loosen up and I started to enjoy the river.


We were a large group so were split up into more manageable sizes but, at grade 2, the river was mostly a cruise and we all began to relax and mingle with other groups when sitting in the large eddies.


Perhaps one of the trickiest sections was a meandering kilometre or so that was lined with ugly looking strainers formed from fallen trees and shrubs. Leading our group, Stuart did a great job of keeping me out of harm’s way in this stretch and I was conscious of him placing himself frequently between me and the trap hazards. Thanks Stuart!


Bend after bend, wave train after wave train, we eventually reached another section of slalom course where Keith separated out us green horns and got us to run each feature and eddy out immediately afterwards to watch our more experienced paddlers play on them. It looked like a lot of fun and I was very tempted to get stuck in but my nagging back pain gave me an all too easy excuse not to push too far outside of my comfort zone. Maybe next time!


The get out was immediately after the slalom section but a handful of the team took advantage of the impressive man-made small canal built alongside the river, to get back up to the start of the course. Sarah managed to run it 4 or 5 times before finally packing in once the shuttle had arrived.


A great introduction to the delights of French rivers and, despite the water not being as beautiful as in Slovenia, we all enjoyed the great views and each other’s company.


Once in the bus, we headed up the valley to Le Lac du Roche le Rame where we spent a happy 30 minutes chilling out before heading back to our camp in Argentiere.


Pete Thomas                                            More Photographs…….

/07/15 Day 7 Alps 2015 – Le Argentiere la Bassee

When we arrived we set up camp in the usual spot – site numbers 1, 2 and 3.  We had just managed to make the supermarket before they shut so were all set for evening meals and breakfast.  There was the annual Le Argentiere la Bassee sport climbing competition in the town and some of us wandered into town to watch the finals.  The photograph on the right shows the presentations to the winners.

/07/15 Day 7 Alps 2015 – 07 Venice


Once upon a time, there was a city far far away. A city of amazing ice cream, pizza, coffee, water ways for streets and spectacular architecture. This city, is of course, Venice.


After our last visit to the supermarket in Slovenia, Keith, Mark and I studied the route to France. We discovered that we would be driving a few miles away from Venice. This was surely too close to not visit it. After some gentle persuasion Keith agreed we could go!!!


 We left the camp site at 6 am and drove to Venice. We parked in a car park at the edge of the city intending to get a water bus. We were approached by an Italian dude (who also clearly enjoyed the local cuisine).  He told us he could take us in a private water taxi to St. Marks square if we were willing to pay a stupid amount of money! After some negotiation (some may say flirting) we agreed a price cheaper than the public water bus. It was like something out of a James Bond film, amazing!!!

 We arrived close to St. Marks square which is by the way, stunning! We walked around taking in the atmosphere, ice cream, coffees and churches. We then took a gondola ride around the “streets” where we saw houses where Marco Polo and Caser Nova once lived and of course we sang “just one cornetto”.  Well I did!


We got the water taxi back to the car park and were away, all in about 3 hours! This is by far the best “services” we have ever stopped at on an LCC journey. A truly magical experience that now seems serial and to quote Pete “Did we just dream that??”  Loved it, I’m now working on Paris for the way home!


Fiona Barry                                            More Photographs…….

/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Five (Wednesday 1st August) – ??? to Hopsneset (??km-ish)


We set out from our stunning campsite, almost reluctantly it was so idyllic, and set our usual leisurely pace heading off around the north shore of the island in bright sunshine and no wind. We hadn’t restocked our water for a while so when we spotted some RVs on shore we decided to ask whether there was a  water supply nearby. Which there was, plus some bins to dump accumulated rubbish and a picnic table for lunch. And did I mention the sun was shining? After some lunch and a snooze, which could have lasted for longer but people where beginning to notice Kirk’s ability to still snore with a hat over his face, we got ourselves sorted to set off again. It was another scorching day so at this point Brian decided to cool off with a little impromptu dip while negotiating a tricky reverse launch manoeuvre in flat calm conditions he wasn’t used to…that woke us all up with some post lunch banter!


We hit a bit of tide against us (it was proving quite hard to predict the time and direction of Lofoten tides…!) particularly as we approached the road bridge, but a bit of eddy hopping, once we noticed, did the trick. Next up, the challenge of finding the night’s campsite, with some pretty high expectations set by the previous few night’s stunners. First up was a shallow “swimmers bay”, involving a long carry in and out for the boats and overlooked by houses, cars and other tents. Brian and Kirk weren’t impressed with this but others had one eye on their stoves and setting up camp. Eventually we agreed that the two dissenters would paddle on to check out a potentially better spot marked by our local guide Jan. It should have been a quick hop around the corner, across a large bay and find the second of two channels with a camping beach at the end. But our intrepid duo managed to miss the clear light marker to their rear on exit and got themselves a tad confused as to where they in fact where on the map. This resulted in a number of classic VHF exchanges (“we don’t think you’re in the “swimmers bay”, “we’ll just paddle a bit further and it should be round the next headland”, and “ we’re *!?*! lost!” – luckily we had switched to channel 6-9 so the radio etiquette blunder was probably quite contained….). It also saw a considerably longer paddle/wait for the teams but eventually we were able to c all everyone in to an “A1 campsite”.


Our sleeping spot was certainly more secluded and scenic than the previous one, but turned out to be just as midge infested if not more. We’d had surprisingly little trouble with the nasty little biters until now but they were certainly out in force here. Out came the nets and tents were put up and food cooked after a long day on the water, with quite a lot of eating being done on the move to escape the annoying beasts. Our intrepid fire starter Geoff managed to find enough decent building timber to start a roaring beach fire with the assistant of some of Pete’s cooking fuel. That held them at bay until a temperature drop finally saw them fade away, leaving us to watch another midnight sun with the help of some Tullimore Dew and Jim Beam.       


Kirk Williams                                            More Photographs…….



24/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day One (Saturday 27 June) – Svolvaer to Kalvsoya island (22km-ish)


We set out from the campsite at first light. Correction, there is no first light, it is light 24/7, light enough to read by at any time of the day or what is meant to be night. It was early morning and it was raining slightly, a dull wet miserable day. But what scenery, mountainous peaks their tops lost in the mist – we were off – the circumnavigation of Austvagoya had begun!


As we passed the small pretty town of Kabelhavn a statue of a woman was outside the harbour entrance, peering out to sea, waiting for her men folk to come home from cod or deep water fishing. We paddled round the acres of fish drying racks and the fish houses, the smell was overpowering but once upon a time fishing was all the town had. After that more paddling until we then entered our first fiord and paddled North East, between our island and the next huge island. it was like something straight from Peer Gynt – which is just what the tourist boats played as they entered Trollfiord. Our campsite for the first touring night (or day) was on an island, the preferred camping ground for LCC. It was still wet, cold and miserable but it would have been impossible to feel miserable in those wonderful surroundings.


Andy Garland           More Photos…….



24/07/15 Day 6 Alps 2015 – 06 Soca Velika (Eco Gorge) to Cezsoca


This was to be our final paddle in Slovenia! Starting off at the Eco Gorge, where we had a bbq the previous night. We got on the river for 11:15, we had been blessed with another amazing day of sunshine! It was a shame that Nick and Mark couldn't make it. (They took the day off to do laundry!)
 Before we set off we split into three groups of five. Ours the second was lead by Chris; which contained myself, Helen, Pete and Leanne. Progress was slow and a scrape but we soon got going. The first major rapid we encountered was a grade three boulder garden with little pool drops. We had a few swims and bashed knees here and there, but everyone was still smiling! The rapids continued for about 500 meters, everyone was down in one piece.
 Around the next bend we found a slide that was going off the top of gorge wall. The Silver Fox thought this to be the perfect opportunity to show off his silky skills! It was a good eight foot drop onto unbroken water and some seemed a little anxious at the thought, while the rest couldn't wait to see the Fox swim. Kirk and Sam had to help in the process as foxes aren't that strong. He ended up styling the drop with his assistants jumping in after to add to the effect!

Shortly after the heavens opened up which laid a think layer of mist over the river, which added a new element to the paddle. Making everything seem more interesting. Out of nowhere a dog appeared floating towards us, this mysterious hound turned out to be a part of the mountain rescue team! (Also smashing zip lines on a regular basis!) We ended the day on an Ice cream from the page 3 hut, never to return again!


Kurt Toulson        More Photos…….



24/07/15 Day 5 Alps 2015 – 05 Soca Kortinica to Trnovo Slalom Course


After much debate on Wednesday evening, Chris finally got the team to understand Keith’s plan for today, and it turned out to be an earlier replay of Day 2 with a campsite put in and run down to Trnovo. The target start time was an ambitious 9am in order to allow for an early finish and return to collect gear & food for a BBQ up at the beautiful paddling restricted (ecological reasons) gorge on the upper Soca above the Lepenja confluence. As the clock ticked past 9am, a few tardy paddlers were still eating breakfast and messing about, resulting in the expected barbed comments. However, Chris and Kirk were experienced enough to know that they would still beat Mark on to the water, even with a mini 100m shuttle from Marianne for his gear to the river. We had another brew, put on some sun tan cream and the got on the water to wait…..


Mark was a beast again today, but we also saw a new side to the Silver Fox. An eventful rapid provided the opportunity for him to give a demonstration of advanced rescue techniques so he set of with a cheery “I’ll just go and help these out” to Nick. His delivery of psychological comfort and “it could happen to anyone” support was much appreciated.


Meanwhile from an eddie further down the river we had a perfect view of carnage corner from where we saw three unmanned boats floating past. It turns out it wasn’t just the Fox that had got his tail wet as Fiona and Leanne threw themselves out of their boats in sympathy. Pete and Carol had done brilliantly up to this point and were feeling very chuffed that they had survived this tricky section. Pete had inspected the river bed from close quarters on a couple of occasions but Carol remained swim free until the final hundred yards. This boulder river centre also caught out Pete but in truth it was Kirk who led him down a crap line. Pete’s last act before he disappeared beneath the water was to reach up and push Kirk back upright. Selfless to the last, unlike Kirk who didn’t give his saviour a backward glance.


We carried on to the top of the Slalom course were we met the overworked support crew who had had another busy day doing not very much at all really. Chris, Keith, Stu and David carried on to run the Slalom course. This toughest section on the Soca wasn’t without incident as David somehow managed a swim out of view of the rest of us. As we didn’t see what caused this I’m afraid we will never know for sure what happened. You will have to ask David! After another lung gasping walk out we were more than ready to hit the road and get ready for an afternoon BBQ.


After the shuttle back to camp and a quick trip to the supermarket we set off for the BBQ up at the Eco gorge. Sara set off on her bike and we passed her on the way.  The fires were loaded with coals and we went off to jump, dive, attempt a high five and generally mess about at the Gorge.  After the food, including two wasps, we walked up the gorge to get some photo’s. First of all was the boys then the girls then Kirk feeling Gerry up! Just before it was time to leave a sudden gust of wind blew my umbrella into the river and without hesitation Captain Kirk flew in to action and a successful recovery was made  All through out the evening the thunder was rumbling and on the way home Sara was caught out in the rain. 

Back at camp it was off to the bar to have a pint in celebration of Kurt’s birthday.


John Cooke, Kirk Williams, Chris Murphy.                                                                   More Photos………….


24/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Six (Thursday 2nd July) – Hopsneset to Orsvagen Campsite (3km)


We woke to be greeted by a damp morning.  It was definitely moist, soggy, squelchy and drizzly, with more than a hint of rain.  Wet tents were packed and it was time to say farewell to our last wild campsite of the trip.  It was also time to say ta-ra to Molly-the-Midge, Maurice-the-Mosquito and all of their charming little friends who we had had the pleasure of sharing company with the night before.


We paddled out of the bay and rounded Hopsneset headland to find that the wind and sea were a little higher than when we had arrived the evening before.  After around 15 minutes of paddling through slightly choppy water Geoff eventually woke up, and announced that he had left his expensive and gadget-laden watch lying on the beach when he was packing his boat.  Brian volunteered to go back with him to carry out a search, while the rest of us carried on towards the Orsvagen commercial campsite, the start and end point of our trip.


After a further 1km of paddling we collectively and simultaneously came up with a cunning plan.  We jointly decided that it would be a good idea to deliberately overshoot our destination to make sure that we had covered every inch of the circumnavigation.   We therefore purposefully paddled into the bay beyond our intended landing point, and pretended to look for a campsite that wasn’t there.  We then feigned mock surprise that we couldn’t find it, and intentionally backtracked to the correct bay.  Anybody watching us might have thought that we’d made a navigational error, but of course they would be unaware that we had planned it that way!

Very shortly later we landed on the strand that we had departed from 6 days before.    However, there were only 7 of us on the beach, whereas we had set out that morning with 9…Geoff and Brian had found some surf to play on when returning from their watch-hunt!  The 7 of us retired to the campsite restaurant for a celebratory nosh of ‘traditional’ Norwegian cuisine, where Geoff and Brian joined us shortly thereafter.


We had completed the circumnavigation of Austvagoya: 143km of paddling amongst gob-smacking scenery; 5 nights camping on islands with white coral beaches and 6* days on the water with a great bunch of people.


Special thanks go to Steve Gille for his daily weather updates, and Kathy Morton for the loan of a comprehensive 1st Aid kit and for arranging the weather.  Thanks also to Jann from Lofoten Aktiv for the provision of advice, lifts to the pub, loan of bikes to do pre-trip shopping and hire of equipment.     In actual fact it was 4 full days, plus an initial half-day and a final 3km ‘hop’.


Andy Garland           More Photos…….



22/07/15 Day 4 Alps 2015 – 04 Soca Otena to Tolmin


Today’s paddle started with a bracing walk in the baking heat to the start of a great section of the river just below the most dangerous section on the river. Without doing the walk I you’d never understand why people would choose to run the dangerous section above, but after struggling down the narrow, very steep path in sweltering heat for what seemed a very long time even the most timid where entertaining crazy thoughts of “how hard can it be….”. Still, emerging at the bottom to an idyllic pool above a nasty rocky looking opening feature was a welcome relief. The advance party decided to take the opportunity for cooling swims, rock jumps and general lazing around content in the knowledge that only fools would attempt the bolder strewn drop. We kept quiet about putting in below it when the shuttle party arrived and all styled it one by one without any inspection. Mark, obviously, was still a beast.


We then set off on one of the best of many beautiful and scenic paddling sections on a great river, full of testing but enjoyable rapids for the full range of the group.


This was the distance paddle of the week, with a super long flat water paddle down to Tolmin, with only occasional minor features to break up what was quite a test of endurance, if a very relaxed and scenic one.

Breaking up an otherwise sedate section, Fiona decided to fall in over a rock about the size of a sandwich box on a really flat grade 0 section. Amidst our howls of laughter and shouts of encouragement (some misinterpreted as sarcastic), Sarah jumped out of her boat in rescue mode to help her friend in dire need. Unfortunately, in all the excitement of preventing any further damage to the diamante bling on Fiona’s helmet, Sarah’s boat made a break for freedom with only Kirk in hot pursuit in the mighty trickle. Eventually, Keith stepped in with his sling and karbiner to drag the boat to safety, although his threat to drag it down to the bottom to “teach her to keep hold of her boat” seemed a tad harsh. Especially as Sara was far more magnanimous when she found the karabiner he had inexplicably dropped in the heat of the action. 


Kirk Williams, Chris Murphy and John Cooke                                                        More Photos…….


22/07/15 Frankies Birthday Weekend trip report


Last weekend saw a small gathering at Anglesey Outdoors to celebrate Frankies birthday. On Friday evening there was a strong westerly which pushed a powerful swell into Porth Dafarch. The strong sun shone onto big surf, making for some interesting photos of bright silver sunlight on the water. It didn’t auger well for any trip on the west coast though!


On Saturday, we reckoned that the best bet for some shelter was the East coast, so we set off from Traeth Bychan, heading northwards with a breeze behind us. This enabled us to reach Moelfre quite quickly in the sunshine. As we reached the lifeboat station the wind really began to push us onwards between the headland and Ynys Moelfre. On the other side of the peninsula, the shelter from the cliffs made for a peaceful meander close to the sheer rockface. This led us to a deserted little cove just before Traeth Lligwy, where it was time for a spot of lunch and some of Frankie’s lovely homemade cake. Yum! The cove was sheltered from the wind and with the warm sun on our backs, we sat on the beach for ages just chatting about anything and enjoying the peacefulness and each other’s company.  It was just one of those times where nothing exceptional happened that you could put a finger on, but the relaxing atmosphere and being with good friends made it all click together. It was one of those times that will stick in my memory as a classic LCC trip.

Heading back was always going to be tricky, unless the wind had changed 180 degrees to effortlessly push us back to the put-in. Sadly, it hadn’t.  As we rounded Ynys Moelfre it had increased in intensity to “Beaufort scale Ooh-err!”  This meant paddling with all our strength directly into the wind in an endurance test all the way back to Treath Bychan. Luckily the wind hadn’t whipped up any waves, so it was just a relentless trial of strength and determination. We all made it back though and it was definitely worth the effort – a great day out!

That evening, most of us went for a meal in the Paddlers Return, where another endurance test began – How long could hungry paddlers survive from the time of ordering food to it being put on the table? Luckily, Frankie came to the rescue with some more cake – mm-mmm!


We all had a good night’s sleep, in spite of the overnight wind and rain which reached biblical proportions at one stage.  After a really chilled no-rush packing away of tents we headed for the North coast – determined not to settle for a day on the Strait.

After some nifty faff-free shuttling of cars, we launched from Cemaes Bay heading for Bull Bay. Cemaes itself had some small swell induced surf for Dave to play in (he can’t help himself!) while everyone else got in their boats.  The swell really picked up as we came out of the bay.  It was big and bouncy in a manageable sort of way. The wind was coming from behind us and the tide was in our favour so we flew down the coast and reached the Brickworks in no time. By then we were getting a bit peckish so it was time for some lunch…and more of Frankie’s cake. She’d saved the best till last. Phwarr! Nice!

After that, it was back into the swell, which we bounced up and down in all the way to the headland outside Bull Bay, where a nice race was forming as the tide turned against the wind. We couldn’t resist turning round and paddling through it again. The swell was fairly big and it was difficult to let go of my paddle to take photos, which don’t do it justice. In Bull Bay there was some time for rolling and rescue practice - a great way to round of the weekend’s excellent paddling!

Thanks to Frankie for coordinating the weekend and for the cakes. Thanks to Ian Bell, Dave Blake, Martin McCoy, Frankie for the great paddling company!

John Maddock        More photos to follow

The attached photograph is of Porth Dafarch on Friday evening.

22/07/15 Day 3 Alps 2015 – 03 Soca Bunkerji to Cezsoca


Today started off with a quick recce, Keith, Sara, Chris,  Sam and myself set off to scout out the upper Soca, The put ins were mainly down long steep paths but each one looked very welcoming with the beautiful colour off the water. After a couple of hours we arrived back at the campsite with a plan for the day’s paddling. The cars were loaded and the minibus was ready so we set off to the first drop off.


At the put in we split into three groups of five and set off. We had entered the river mid way through a tricky grade three section which John C quickly made look a little harder as he fell out just as we started (Editors note, John was apparently just trying to tickle a nice fish he’d spotted for tea, and it was only a technical step out….). Although the water was low and the grade of the rivers are running a half grade lower than normal, the boulder gardens are still difficult in places because they become more technical as you really have to work hard to position the boat in order to negotiate the drops without slamming up against the next wall of rock. Eddie hopping our way carefully we continued our way through stunning valley all the time marvelling at the turquoise waters. Eventually we came to a constriction where we dropped through a narrow slot one by one. Sarah somehow managed to mount the rock too far on the right and ended up pinned at a precarious angle. Both Sara and Keith tried to free her until Keith decided to dump her on her head and let her fend for herself, which she did admirably with a nice roll up in the pool below. However, flush with all the excitement she was struck with indecision at the two possible lines past the looming large bolder and decided to try one rocky roll too far….Mark, who was a beast all day, watched on intently, just in case his rescue skills in his borrowed German style full face helmet required the opportunity to practice another chin roll, this time with protection (Editors note again, Mark said remember, he was a beast….)


The next major feature was the entrance to a grade 4 gorge. Although a little more forgiving in these levels it was still a committing drop into pushy boily water with a slight undercut thrown in. One by one everyone stepped up (eventually) and successfully negotiated the drop. There was quite a bit of indecision at the top looking at rocky line in to a fast flowing drop into the turbulent water with the rock faces either side waiting to grab the unwary but with a bit of limbo and puffed cheeks even Kirk made it through without pulling the ejector loop (and spent the next ten minutes in mild hysteria at his awesome skills….). Waiting for us at the other end of the gorge were Peter, Caz and Dom to start the next section. But we then realised we had managed to send Leanne off solo down a riverside path with numerous forks and a very optimistic (short) estimate of distance. Search parties mobilised but struggled to find her, until reports filtered up river of a young woman teaching German paddlers the lyrics to Hey Jude. Safely reunited, the team set of on the final scenic section to complete another great day.


Kirk Williams, Chris Murphy and John Cooke                                                      More Photos…….


22/07/15 Day 2 Alps 2015 – 02 Soca Kortinica to Trnovo Slalom Course

After a very hot night we awoke to a very hot morning. In daylight we could see the beauty of our surroundings and if we listened carefully could hear the whisper of the river from the edge of the campsite.   With the mercury rising a few of us headed down for an early dip and we where met by the crystal clear water of a small pool which would later be our get in point.  Sara the instigated of the early morning expedition took the first dip soon followed by Leanne.

The river certainly cooled us down, no wonder the river bank was strewn with bottles of beer, milk and other fridge based goods. My it was chilly.


Once all re-United we soon gathered at the get in boats and B.A.'s at the ready. Some braving the cag-less approach while others were a little less optimistic!

Any how we soon set off into the clear crystal water with white rock beneath and made our way around the large boulders and rocks. Soon we reached a large flat section where I managed to break my camera mount trying to take an aerial shot by throwing my camera in the air. It seemed like a good idea at the time!!!

After a long winding section we saw a huge slap - Slovenian for waterfall to our river right.  It was spectacular as it fell down the white rocks in the distance.

After this we reached another bolder type section, great practice for us all the wind in and out of the rocks. After this point we reached the 'slalom' course. Apparently a grade 4/5 in low water I heard it was a grade 3.  A few clever souls left at this point and headed for pizza and beer, but for me the prospect of a nice open river with a few features to hop around or play in was quire enticing.   This was far from the truth, we where met by a large fast flowing bolder garden, for me not far from the limit of my ability.   After a few silly errors ending in a swim it was advised to be more aggressive and decisive as to where I was going and what I was doing. The advice woke me up and we made it through the get out. I'm so glad I never knew about the siphon after the get out.

After a hard climb out of the river we were re-united with the others who had found a bar, pizza and many beers.


A good day was had by all.


Sarah Gille                                            More Photos…………


21/07/15 Day 1 Alps 2015 – Austria, Slovenia and France
This years road trip saw a deviation from our usual formula where we usually base ourselves on the campsite in Le Argentiere la Bassee.  We formed two groups, the minibus and two cars heading to Austria and the Imst Gorge and John Cookes team who went straight to Slovenia for week 1.  The plan was to spend a week in Sovenia before driving across the top of Italy and into France to Briancon.


This year’s group included: Keith S, Sara Bergqvist, Dom Buckley, Pete Thomas, Carole Thomas, David Brockway, Fiona Barry, Sarah Gille, Nick Coughlin, Sam Preston, Leanne Murray, Helen Siertsema, Mark Garrod, John Cooke, Sue Cooke, Kirk Williams, Gerry Williams (Flying), Chris Murphy, Stuart Toulson, Kurt Toulson, Mark Benson and Marianne Benson.


Photographs……….              More information on the trip……..

/07/15 Day 1 Alps 2015 - Austria – River Inn (Imst Gorge)


After an early rise we set off to the Imst Gorge however in our haste to reach the river before the folk of rafts, we missed our turning and headed through what felt to be a 6 mile long tunnel. Once we corrected ourselves and eventually making it to the put in there was already a number of rafts readying themselves for the river. In the guidebook the river is described as a ‘big volume class 3 and a good warm up for the Grand Canyon of the Colorado!’ I believe this statement massively overestimates the river as for the most part the river was tame apart from the odd wave train causing trouble. However the water was huge compared to UK rivers with this section averaging 250 cumecs at this time of the year (20 x volume of the Tryweryn).


Sam was in his playboat cartwheeling all over the river.   We paddled in two groups with some of us missing the big holes and large waves while others paddled into them.  There were a few odd swims but they were far and few between as the majority managed to navigate down river with relative ease to the take out were the minibus was reloaded and we set off to Slovenia.


David Brockway                                             More Photos…..




17/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Three – “Leave Slartibartfast’s work alone!” Gunnarskjaen to Krakoya = 23.23km

Day three saw the team waking under bright blue skies and calm waters on the island of Gunnarskjaen – perfect.

The camp was broken with regimental precision and we set off, so close together it was as if we had forgotten to untie them from the night before (we had tied them together because we hadn’t known quite how far the tide was going to come in, we had been too lazy to carry them any further and it really wouldn’t do for LCC to be marooned on an island and look like complete muppets).


Unfortunately, at this point in time we were off the edge of the detailed maps so it was a little bit more difficult trying navigating, but we knew we had to head west so all we had to do was to make sure we entered the correct channel. However the sun was shining and the sky was blue so all was good with the team.


Just as we were getting into our stride the wind started blowing into our faces and the speed that we had generally been paddling at slowed. Looking to get out of the wind we headed close to the shore which gave the added bonus of admiring the subtle features of the rocks. Elevenses was taken early, 10.58, as there was a small breakwater that enabled an easy get out and a relief from the wind. Geoff managed to find an unusual stone, perfectly flat, circular and with a hole in it. After much discussion we decided it was a fishing weight.

Fully refreshed, we launched back into the strengthening wind and gathering overcast skies. We paddled on, line astern so as to get to as close to the shore as possible so as to save energy. A couple of bay crossings in the strengthening wind  led us to a lunch stop on the island of Tjunken. Luckily the rain had began to ease so after a short while we had no need of Ian’s excellent tarp.


Launching, the skies had cleared but the wind was still blowing. No worries though, as  it was time to carry on and pass under the bridge that joined the mainland to Holdoya. Unfortunately, as we came near it became apparent that bridge was not a bridge but a man made causeway. That left two options, land and carry over the causeway or paddle out into the face of the strengthening wind and around the exposed island. With a “death before portage attitude”, otherwise known as these boats are darn heavy, the team decided to face the exposure! Why couldn’t they have left Slartibartfasts work alone, after all he had won an award for it.


Coming around the island, the sea began to pick up as we headed across the channel. Mid crossing we realised that the incoming ferry was a bit closer than we wanted, and it was headed our way. Time to get a wiggle on! We paddled hard against the wind and were soon out of the ferry’s path as we hid behind the island of Kalvoya. We decided to head between the island and the mainland, but as we rounded the corner we were greeted by a huge sea wall. The Norwegians had been at it again this time creating a harbour that was not on our maps, why could they not leave Slartibartfast’s work alone!!!!! With a dejection that comes from the knowledge that we were going to have to backtrack we carried on just to have a look and we were rewarded by a small gap that enabled us to slip through. Phew!


We paddled on towards our destination on the island of Krakoya near Stonstad and were rewarded with a most stunning campsite! Being the athletes that we are after landing the team started gym ball exercises under the never ending sunshine!



Mike Alter                                            More Photographs…….



15/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Seven Friday 03 July


Having successfully completed the main objective of circumnavigating Austvågøy, we arrived at our starting point at the campsite at Ørsvågvær and were treated to a night of extremely heavy rain, the likes of which was said by the locals to be very rare!


Waking up to a dull and dreek day on Day 7 of our trip, I felt de-motivated to continue paddling in such drab conditions. Paddling around Austvågøy had been like paddling around “Chamonix On Sea”  but the lofty and snowy peaks were now obscured by thick clag with no significant wind or swell to make things interesting on the sea.


Brian had already decided to have a day off the water to give his niggly shoulder a rest and I made up my mind to go exploring some of the area near-by. Carole eventually decided to join me and we said our goodbyes’ to the others as they donned their wet clothes with a plan to head off somewhere in the misty morning, leaving most of their heavy gear in their tents.


Carole and I walked the short distance to Lofoten Aktiv www.lofoten-aktiv.no , where we had left our flight bags earlier in the week, so we could change from our smelly paddling gear and into walking gear. We soon met Jann Engstad, the owner, who generously offered us free use of 2 of his hire bikes. Hopping on these we headed off to explore the vicinity and it wasn’t long before we reached the nearest town of Kabelvåg. It’s a tiny but important place for the area as it has a couple of small supermarkets, useful to supply us at the beginning of our trip. We also noted that it had a decent looking pub, located right adjacent to the water in the harbour; although it was closed at the time we were there.


Exploring the centre of this town didn’t take all that long so we headed off on the bikes again to Svolvær, the major town on the whole island. By now we were pretty wet but the rain began to ease as we rode into town. We explored the harbour area and the main square which seems to form the hub for tourists as it has a number of boats offering punters various kinds of expensive rides to the famous Trollfjorden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trollfjord where we had paddled a few days earlier for free! In town there’s also a number of gear shops where it’s possible to buy any kind of kit that you may have forgotten to bring. By now my sodden down jacket was beginning to dry out and we continued to wander around, discovering a war museum and an ice carving display, both of which we walked past as we felt too tight fisted to pay the seemingly expensive entrance fees. There was also a display of some old and very brutal looking whaling harpoons –ouch! they must have hurt a lot.


It was mid-afternoon when we decided to cycle back and I was glad of the 4-ring chainwheel on Jann’s bike as there was quite a pull up a hill out of Svolvær. The rain came back so we detoured once more into Kabelvåg and, finding the pub to be open this time, we sat down to dry out with a couple of cinnamon buns and some hot chocolates. We watched with envy as some of the other customers were tucking into fish soup and bacalhau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacalhau.


Returning to the campsite, we met the others who arrived back pretty much at the same time. It seems that Brian had also blagged a bike and had met up with the paddlers in the pub in Kabelvåg, also enjoying cinnamon buns. Brain then joined Kirk for a trip around the local museum while the rest of the crew paddled to Svolvær but couldn’t find an easy place to get off the water and explore.


All in all, we each did pretty much similar things but used different steeds. Both Carole and I looked forward to paddling again tomorrow when a return to clear conditions were forecast.


Pete Thomas                                            More Photographs…….


15/07/15 Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Eight – Saturday 04 July - Paddle to Henningsvar and a Walk in the Hills.


Heavy rain in the previous 24 hours saw Andy abandon his puddled tent to sleeping on a pile of plaster board under a nearby veranda, leaving his human shaped form outlined in the board, like the Turin Shroud, to be preserved in the new build. We all awoke to sunshine and clear skies, 7 of us opting for a paddle and 2 for a walk in the hills.


Two days earlier we had paddled past a small island and harbour called Henningsvær and some magnificent rocky scenery on our way to complete the circumnavigation, because we had paddled past at speed in a bid to find a campsite, we decided to return at a more leisurely pace and explore the coastline.


Andy and Geoff opted for a walk with the intention of reaching the snowline above Lake Stor Kongsvatnet, on reaching the snowline it was prudent to stop as Andy’s footwear was not appropriate for snow.


The rest of us paddled west along the coastline with rocky pinnacles, ridges and lofty cwms towering above us.


We rock hopped where we could with a slight swell making it more interesting, empting gaps and exposing rocks. We had been told that more than 2 mins in the water could mean that our hands wouldn’t work properly with the cold, was this fact or fiction? One member of the team put this to the test when in a rapidly empting gap a rock appeared to tip him in, the verdict was that it was not as cold as we had thought, at least not in a dry suit.


We carried on and were treated to a display of up to 5 white tailed eagles being mobbed by fearless black backed gulls, as the eagles tried to take a chick or egg for lunch.


On reaching the harbour of Henningsvær, the only landing place was a very rocky area just outside the main harbour, but we had spotted a Burger Bar in the main harbour, which we decided to try. No ordinary burger bar, no plastic tables and bright lights, just wooden benches on the wooden quayside and fantastic fresh fish burgers.


This island is connected to the main island by two bridges and a causeway and the fresh Northerly wind had increased enough to make a crossing quite exposed, requiring a little more work and effort to reach the sheltered cliffs on the main island. This done we paddled back to the campsite, where Jann the kayak man, was expected to arrive and pick up the boats.


Jann had had a few staff problems in the week and arrived late, so offered to take us into the local town Kabelvåg where we were going to eat our celebration meal in a pub/restaurant we had visited the previous day. Although expensive, the food and beer were very good. We met a very tall local who had been at a wedding party in the pub. He made Brian seem a long way down on standing next to him and photos were duly taken to great amusement for everyone involved, including the Norwegian giant who had also probably had quite a bit to drink that night.


Although midnight and the sun still up, Jann picked us up and returned us to the campsite, where the last of Kirk’s Bourbon was consumed before bed.


Carole Thomas                                               More Photographs…….



14/07/15  Lofoten Islands Sea Kayaking Trip - Day Two  28 June 2015  Total 35 kms

We awoke after our first night's camp to a clear, fresh, crisp day with no condensation but the clarity of the air reminded me of being in the Alps high in the mountains.  I expected it to be cold as we were at 68 degrees high above the Arctic Circle.  Lofoten enjoys long summer days thanks to the Gulf Stream so a lovely mild start to the day.  These temperatures last from May to July and into August with a whopping average of 12 c.  The sun never dips at this time of year and will last until September time. 


So after a large bowl of hearty porridge (thanks Brian) and a few brews we slipped the boats down the shore and into the water.  We set off with a following sea and the wind helping us on our way, marvelling at the stunning scenery of deep rich green valleys and dolomite looking mountains.  There were quite a few quaint red fishermen's cabins called Rorbuer.  Some of these date back to 1797 and have been handed down through generations of fishing families.  As many as ten to twelve men inhabited these at a time.  Hmmm, lovely smell of all of these fishy oily clothes in the hut!  No sooner we had set off and it was time for elevenses. 


We stopped at a small peninsula called Vasskraa but with the chilling wind we sheltered in the lee of the large glacial boulders.  So, we were all happily tucking into our nic-nacs and  in no time Peter and Caz spotted some otters.  Ian could see a waterfall in the distance and thought that it would be a good time to fill up with water but decided against it as the boulders were covered in green moss.  So we were only 3 K away from the highlight of the day which is Trollfjorden.  This is the most visited Fjord in the Lofoten Isles.  So very quickly we were turning to the left of the main entrance and surprisingly it was extremely narrow considering large ships enter this.  I would say 100 metres in width.  It soon started to open to a massive 800 metres wide.   Massive steep walls surrounded even bigger mountains 600 metres high on the left and 1100 metres high on the right.   We felt quite small in this massive fjord but even smaller when a cruise ship came behind us the size of the ship, Isle of Man Ben-My- Chree.  There were tourists hanging over every side of the ship marvelling at the fjord but in no time they were somewhat bemused with kayaks in the fjord as we were a long way from habitation.  I reckon we are on quite a few holiday snaps. 


As we got deeper inward Jeff spotted a waterfall and thought he would go for an early morning shower but as soon as he got under it the overwhelming weight of water imploded spray deck.  He come rushing out saying, "that is refreshing!"  However, Kirk would not be outdone by this so he went for a go too.  There was a few screams from him and lots of laughter from the rest of us.  We paddled to the end and had lunch. 

Soon on our way again heading north to the narrows.  A large cruise liner passing us on her way north but coming the opposite way was a cargo ship so the Captains thought, "who can make the loudest noise on the ship horn?"   Paddling against some current hugging the left hand wall keeping out of the way of the current and major shipping.  Two kilometres and we were out soon thinking about a campsite for the evening.  Andy had spotted a possible campsite on Google Earth prior to leaving so we would have to pass under the Raftsund Bridge which is a major cantilever concrete bridge with a main span of 298 meters.  


Soon after going under the bridge the sea boiled with fish jumping and the bird life was having a feeding frenzy.  We could see the island in the distance but much to our surprise the walls were sheer.  After checking the charts this was the camping island.  Oops...


So the main Team went to the left and the second Team went to the right behind the island saying we would meet at the north end and hopefully finding a camp spot which I am glad to say we found a five star camp site which was the only camp site in the area.  A perfect end to a perfect day. 


Don B.  More Photos……



14/07/15 Angelesey Weekend No. 3 at Bodfan Farm Rhosneigr

Thanks to everyone who came this weekend.


I think the British weather BBQ skills have been perfected ready for the summer hols! The attached provides the proof.


Hope to see those that couldn't make it on the next camping weekend. 


Jenny Brown 


More information on the campsite at Bodfan farm in Rhosneigr….



4 Mile Bridge     More Photos…….

Sea Kayak trip Porth Eilian to Bull Bay   More Photos…..

Stanley Embankment    More Photos…..


14/07/15 Porth Eliian to Bull Bay and back…..


Saturday morning dawned sunny and bright, but we knew that the forecast meant the weather would worsen through the day, so that meant decisions had to be made and paddling plans were quickly formed after breakfast and the arrival of the Thomii (Pete & Caz).


With the wind forecasts the options were the North Coast or the North Coast, in the direction of the tide also seemed sensible!

So we set a plan to paddle out from Porth Eilian and see how far we could get, thinking that at least Bull Bay was possible if the wind didn’t pick up too much.

Any sea kayak trip involves some faffing that was duly accomplished with the swapping of boats onto the minimum number of vehicles; we headed out to get on the water.

With the sun shining at Porth Eliian we quickly sorted gear and happily headed out onto the water, a rare outing for the short sleeved cags, many of which ruined the coordination between paddling clothing, boat and paddle! As some of the group hadn’t paddled in the area before we began the trip with a right turn to paddle round Point Lynas before heading out towards Bull Bay.

As the wind wasn’t too bad at the start of the trip we went for as much tidal assistance as possible as we turned and headed to our planned destination but as we progressed and the wind became stronger and off shore, we moved closer to the coast and made our way round to Amlwch where Pete T gave us a brief potted history of the port before we pushed on towards Bull Bay.  There was much chat along the way about colour coordination – an excuse for some to contemplate buying new boats possibly?!  (not in my case, orange helmet, orange boat, orange PFD, orange trim on my deck – almost perfect). Apparently we also saw some porpoises – hmm where I was looking at this point?


A sandy beach provided an option for stopping for lunch before Bull Bay, sadly our quiet spot wasn’t as quiet as we hoped as we were then entertained by the antics of a young teenager deciding to go for a swim fully clothed & in his trainers (this caused Nicky much distress). Refreshed and re fuelled we then finished the journey to Bull Bay, taking another opportunity to stretch the legs and play some beach games, before taking the tide back to Porth Eilian. We timed our arrival perfectly as the rain began as we drove away from the beach, the perfect excuse for a trip to Summit to Sea in the search for more coordinating gear or possibly a boat .


After the foray into the world of gear shopping we headed back to the campsite for the club BBQ, but after a fun game of boule for most of us (Kathy decided sorting the boot of the car was more fun than competitive sport) we decamped to the pub. Well it was about to rain again and there was no sign of the BBQ. What followed was a very entertaining evening but as they say what goes on tour stays on tour so if you want to know what LCC sea kayakers get up to in the pub come along to the next weekend or ask Bill……..


Frankie A


Pete T, Caz T, Kathy M, Ninja Nicky, John M, Craig F, Don B

Pub extras Tony, Brian, Nicky, Keith & Sara



Sunday Surfing at Rhosneigr     More Photos…….

Sunday Surfing at Rhosneigr     More Photos…….

Sunday Surfing at Rhosneigr     More Photos…….




13/07/15 “And then there was four.” An day out on the Tryweryn

Click for the Vimeo video……
Great day on the tryweryn again- thanx  John Cooke, Roy McHale, Joe Sheppard and Sam Preston.   Hope your feeling better john!  Sarah Gille





09/07/15 July “Photo of the Month” Competition

We have nine excellent photos this month – vote now for your favourite Click here to see them…….


09/07/15 An idiots guide to the Bala Mill 360
Vimeo video by John Cooke pulling a new play boat move >>



09/07/15 Caernarfon Search and Rescue Helicopter Service Launch Marked in Ceremony


Sikorsky S92        

The launch of the Caernarfon civilian UK search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service was marked today (Wednesday 8 July) in a ceremony held at the new SAR base at Caernarfon Airport. Bristow Helicopters Ltd, is operating the search and rescue Helicopter service........ READ MORE >>


08/07/15 The Joy Davis Hull International Polo Challenge

This is the team that represented Liverpool CC at the Joy Davies canoe polo comp at Hull - a semi credible 5th place finish. A good intro for James Garcia for his first ever proper polo comp

Every year Kingston Kayak Club run the Joy Davis Hull International Polo Competition at Princes Quay in Hull. Using the water surrounding the Princes Quay shopping center in the centre of Hull brings canoeing and Canoe Polo in particular right into the city centre. Visitors to Hull to get to watch some top class polo from top local, national and international sides whilst taking a break from their shopping whilst having lunch at one of the many waterside cafes and bars.

More information and results……






08/07/15 A day on the lower Tryweryn

Good day on the Afon Tryweryn;  some upper and 2 lower runs - thanks for the sunshine. And JC for organisation.  John Allerton


More photos…….


YouTube Video of the trip to the Trywern….








30/06/15 July 2015 Newsletter Published 
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