Volume 15 Issue 10

October 2015

October Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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


Archived Newsletters… 
Major Trip Reports.…



30/09/15 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

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

24 - 28 April 2016

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

30/09/15 Paddler of the Year nominations.

Nominations for our four Club Awards presented at our AGM on Wednesday 21st October 2015

Each year the club asks for nominations for our four Club Awards.  Members can now vote for each category by sending an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk with their vote(s).  Awards are then presented at the clubs AGM on Wednesday 21st October 2015



  • 2015 Nominations for Paddler of the year  (club member who has either made the most progress or achievement in paddlesport)
  • 2015 Nominations for Young Paddler of the year (Under 18 club member who has made either the most progress or achievement in paddlesport)
  • 2015 Nominations for Volunteer of the year  (Club member who has given their services to help the club)
  • 2015 Nominations for Swimmer of the year  (Club member who has had the best out of boat experience)


The nominations have now been released.   Click here to see your nominations……

 Please vote for your paddler of the year by sending your vote for each category to: website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk



28/08/15 September “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to John Cooke for his winning photo:

“Graham Devaney paddling on the Tees Barrage White Water Course”


Runner up John Fay:

“Alex Peacock paddling on the

River Weaver on a Sit on Top”


Runner up  Carole Thomas:

“Helen Siertsema on the River Durance – French Alps Trip”

Poll Results…        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


29/09/15 Anglesey Weekend No. 4 Cemaes Bay Paddle Sunday 27th September

Ten of us (twelve including our land support crew and knitted teddy mascot) planned a trip from Cemaes Bay to the old brickworks at Porth Wen. Unfortunately, there was some confusion about where we were starting from and six paddlers had to endure a period of considerable sun bathing before everyone was on the beach ready to go. There wasn’t in fact much beach as it was a very high tide.

There were no problems crossing Cameas Bay or indeed the next bay. However, as we saw Llanbadrig church and its cemetery high up on the cliffs it became apparent how strong the spring tide was. At some points our progress was painfully slow, especially for those of us in plastic boats. The tide became even stronger as we headed north and our first attempt to get to the brickworks was abandoned in favour of lunch in the small bay before the Porth Wen headland. There are some ruins in this bay and there was some discussion about why anyone would build a shoe factory at the most northerly point of Wales. Nobody could explain this historic mystery. I’m not sure who said it was a shoe factory, but it was in fact a porcelain works that closed in 1920!

 We did have a very brief sighting of a porpoise over lunch. Vicky and I climbed to the top of the hill and it was clear the water was really racing between the headland and the island across from us. After lunch (Sue’s banana cake provided much needed energy) we tried again and whilst half the group made some further progress half turned and headed back to the safety of the ‘shoe factory’. Trying to keep line of sight between the groups I was rewarded by a very close encounter with a very large seal who failed to notice for some time my bright yellow boat sat inches just behind his head. Needless to say the journey back was much quicker, even with some rock hoping challenges on the way. We arrived back at Cemaes Bay about 3.00, which allowed time for some rolling and rescue practice. Thanks to Jon Maddock for keeping an eye on the group.

Mark Steward   More Photos…..

29/09/15 Anglesey Weekend No. 4

First off a real big THANK YOU to Peter Massey for organising the campsite and the weekend.   Sue and I could only paddle the Sunday trip, but a great evening was had around the BBQ. On Saturday.

In equal measure another big THANK YOU to all those that were on our Sunday paddle from Cemaes Bay to Porth Llanlleiana and the Old Porcelain Works.


I’m afraid that I seemed to get the start location wrong and drove to Cemlyn Bay, only to find that we were on our own. Luckily, after a phone call to Andy Garland we were on our way to Cemaes Bay, where we could see the others awaiting us, but what happened next was, I’m told, like something from a Benny Hill Sketch. We could see them, but couldn’t find the road to them. A very helpful local lady gave John Fay the directions and we were away.


As everyone was waiting and wanting to be paddling, something like another Benny Hill Sketch ensued. Anyway enough of that.


Cemaes Bay was flat calm and with Southerly winds forecast we were on the best side of the island. We did however have spring tides against us and the proposed trip to the Brickworks at Porth Wem was becoming very hard work. We got to Middle Mouse and the tide pushing through the narrows proved a bit too much so it was decided to go into Porth Llanlleiana and the old Porcelain Works for lunch.


After lunch a number of hardy souls tried the route to Porth Wen, but returned to those of us that had decided against it.   We then had a nice meander on our return, looking at the caves and rock formations and also getting a bit of “Rock Hopping” in. I hopped onto one submerged rock and it was pure good fortune that I didn’t capsize. I was unable to get off until a knight in shining armour came to my rescue. All good fun.


Back at Cemaes we had some fun practicing recues and rolling. After the farewells, the normally easy journey was made quite a bit longer due to roadworks near Penmaenmawr, but we arrived home and felt that the trip had been successful and most of all enjoyable.  Pity it’s the last one of the year.


Bob Hamilton    More Photos…..


29/09/15 Anglesey Weekend No. 4 Cable Bay to Llanddwyn Island and back 26th September

Having visited "Cable Bay" on many occasions with family responsibilities, it was great to meet there on Saturday with a bunch of friendly sea-kayakers.  After a short safety brief from John Maddock, we headed off southwards on a glorious morning, aided by the ebb tide.  

One headland had been taken over by a group of fishermen whom I didn't like the look of.  Although we gave them plenty of clearance, I heard a weight plop into the water just a few feet short of me which was rather unnerving.  On the return journey, some of our group stayed close in to the rocks and passed inside their lines.  I waited for the fireworks but no problem was encountered; maybe this was a friendlier group.  At each passage, the slope of their lines confirmed that we going with the tidal flow.   According to the map, we did approx 12 km in each direction.

Mark and Erica were in their "Kaskazi" SOT kayaks from Cape Town which handled really well.  On the outward trip, Erica was intending to stop for an early lunch and then join us again for the shorter return trip.  Instead, she was persuaded to complete the full distance: "you're nearly there, not far now, it's just around the next corner", which it was ... eventually.

Lunch was taken at a lovely beach just around the tip of Llanddwyn Island which only Debbie from Caernarfon could pronounce.  Because the causeway is open for much of the time, plenty of tourists were milling around the chapel and tower buildings.   For me, the only way to arrive at such an idyllic location is by sea-kayak.

The seals put on a good display for our return trip.   We passed at least five, none of which moved away from their sunny perches.   I watched a cormorant (?) rearranging a large fish in its beak before diving again briefly and then flying away.  It's a real privilege to see the workings of nature in such an intimate way. 

At one stage, John was seen paddling across to a distant green buoy in the hope of finding the wreck which it marks.   The rest of us continued on our previous course and soon came across a prominent metal obelisk which had appeared since our outward passage as if by magic.  It was a curved metal structure, covered with barnacles and seaweed, quite surreal in the tranquil surroundings.   After John's return, we debated why the associated marker buoy was not of the cardinal type which would seem a more sensible arrangement. 

As Erica was finding it hard going, Mark fitted a tow-line for part of the return trip.  When coupled together, the two SOT boats went like a train!

With my Easky being the only plastic kayak, I was happy to explore places where others preferred not to go.   Andy Garland, however, in his Northshore Atlantic, was often to be seen deftly picking his way through the rocks.  At one stage, I left the main group in order to get a slice of the action too.  Soon, I noticed that Andy who was just in front of me had stopped for no obvious reason.  Then I heard him shout across to the others, "Where's Robin?", to which I was able to reply in true Panto style, "he's behind you!"

After a great day's paddling, our arrival back at Porth Trecastell came all too soon.  My thanks to Don Brooks and John for planning the trip, and to Andy, Erica, Mark and Debbie for their pleasant company.

Robin Emley     More Photos….


28/09/15 Mike McCabe – Condolences

Thinking of my one-time kayaking buddy Mike McCabe since the sad news came through on FB yesterday of his untimely passing. Mike became a friend through a local canoe club and was a regular companion on the river when I was getting back into the sport in the early 2000s. Although Mike's interest veered back to flat water and running, we kept in touch and I was glad to see him again just last year at my stag do and wedding.


I was lucky to know Mike and appreciated his sense of humour and easy going nature. I always especially remember the day we took a trip on a very swollen River Ribble from Edisford Bridge near Clitheroe.


Heartfelt condolences to Mike's wife and family.  


Mark Benson





28/09/15 National Division 3 North Tournament 2 at Roundhay Park - Leeds


Our Division 3 team met at Roundhay Park on Saturday 26th September to play in their first tournament of the season.  We only had 5 players available but the team played well winning our first game against Cherwell B 3:1 with 3 great goals from Josh.  3:0 against Warwick A by default as they had not turned up.


We then a close fought battle with White Rose.  We won this 1:0; it was a matter of honour as Ben Waller had recently moved back to play for White Rose having played for us while he was at university in Liverpool.  Our last game saw us under a lot of pressure from Kingston C and we eventually lost 4:2.  This was a good start to the season and above all a fun sunny day out.  


Dinny, Phil, Keith, John and Josh


More information about Canoe Polo…….






24/08/15 Aosta Kayaking 2015

Here is a video of one of my latest paddling adventures. We went to the Aosta Valley in Italy. It felt like a hidden gem as the rivers were so fantastic. It was an amazing place to paddle Enjoy guys!!




20/08/15 Photo of the Month (September) competition


Photograph of the Month competition.  There is a shortlist of 9 excellent photographs for this month.  Please vote now for your favourite and why not send in a photo that you have taken for next month’s competition. Just email it to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


Click here to see this month’s photos……..


20/09/15 Liverpool Canoe Club trip to Nepal 2016
kaying with paddle nepal


Kayaking trip to paddle the rivers of Nepal.  2 weeks in April 2016 

(2nd to 17th April or dates in between dependant upon best flights)


We will have a guide who will paddle with us on the rivers we choose to paddle and to organise the logistics, transport etc while we are there.  You will need to be competent on grade 4 water to get the most out of the trip with a good roll.


If you are definitely interested in going then please get back to me and I will keep you up to date with the all the information, trip details.


When I looked last year flights were approximately £516, expenses while out there budget another £500 so please expect £1000-£1200



K Steer

Members contact details….



20/09/15 Liverpool Canoe Club trip to Alaska 2016                                                                                            

Kayaking trip to paddle the Prince William Sound - Alaska.  2 weeks in August 2016 

(16th to 31st August or a few days either side dependant upon best flights)


This is a 12 night trip camping from hired sea kayaks from Whittier probably heading south again in search of island and whales.  You need to have experience camping from sea kayaks and paddling 20+ miles a day.  There are several reports from previous trips available on the club website.  /Newsletter/Articles/


If you are definitely interested in going then please get back to me and I will keep you up to date with the all the information, trip details.


In previous years flights were approximately £900-£1000.  Expenses while out there; budget another £500 so please expect £1500-£1600


K Steer

Members contact details….



20/09/15 Great Glen Canoe Trail


Shortly after returning from the club white water trip to the Alps, and by way of stark contrast, Caz and I headed north with our sea boats for 3 weeks of varied paddling in Scotland.


Our plan was to fit in a paddle along the Great Glen Canoe Trail before heading to the Outer Hebrides for more Scottish delights and more paddling. Had we been a week earlier we would have teamed up with Andy Garland and his wife Linda who had only just completed the Great Glen Canoe Trail in an open boat by the time we put our sea kayaks in the water at Banevie at the South Western end of the trail.


The trail, which uses Thomas Telford’s Caledonian Canal system to join Fort William with Inverness using Loch Lochy, Lock Oich and Loch Ness, is approximately 96 Km long and, depending on the conditions, some people complete it in 5 days and some less. Because we were using sea boats, we managed to get to the other end after paddling for just two and a half days, although strong following winds and steep breaking waves forced us off the water for half a day at the far end of Loch Ness. Before we decided to pull in to Dores to wait for calmer weather, we did enjoy a 10 Km surf before the conditions got too boisterous for us. 

The village of Dores is famous for being the base of The Loch Ness Monster observatory www.nessiehunter.com and for being the centre of the annual Loch Ness Music Festival, which was in the throes of setting up while we were there. The trail has a charm all of its own and has been done by many in Liverpool Canoe Club so ask around if you fancy having a go yourself. You’ll find a wealth of experience and knowledge and no two groups have the same experience so you can bet on enjoying it in your own way. The trail has some very useful facilities sprinkled along its length. Check out http://greatglencanoetrail.info/ for full details. It’s well served with wild and commercial camp sites, bunk houses and hotels to suit any kind of ambition. We used one bivi in our car, one wild camp, one commercial campsite, and one final night camped outside the canal offices at Inverness.


It was hot and calm the day we started but a forecast of thunder and lightning and heavy rain came true once we were well along Loch Lochy. The rest of the trip also got unsettled weather but the bright and sunny bits compensated for the wet bits. If we ever did it again we would like to complete it in an open boat and take in the white water river sections that run parallel to some of the stretches. It’s also possible to walk or cycle its length from coast to coast. Give it a go.


Paddlers: Pete and Carole Thomas               More photos……



20/09/15 Outer Hebrides – North Uist and Isle of Lewis

Carole and I were fortunate enough last year to be invited on Mark and Eileen Pawley’s Hebridean holiday and were so impressed with the place that we invited ourselves back this year. In a very exposed car park on the top of the Quirang on the Isle of Skye, we all met up and were joined by Nicky Corbett to camp for the night before catching the CalMac Ferry from Uig to Lochmaddy on North Uist. The Quirang is a very atmospheric and wild place reminiscent of a “Lord of the Rings” film location and was a fitting start to our holiday, setting the scene for some of the wild places we hoped to visit in the Outer Hebrides.


The ferry crossing took about 2 hours and crossed the Minch, a sea area that demands respect as it frequently gets some nasty weather. Our plan was to paddle here in a day or so and, from the ferry, we each looked at the sky and the sea state as if to will them to calm down before we got on the water in our kayaks. Centuries past, North Uist was a favourite haunt for pirates and it’s not difficult to understand why. The place is almost 50% water with the sea threading intricate channels deep into the land. It’s a perfect place to hide out undetected in the lace-work lochs and it’s also a great place to practice pilotage in a sea kayak. Just five minutes drive from the ferry terminal in Lochmaddy, Mark and Eileen had booked a comfortable house for us all to stay in and this formed the base for our paddling and cycling trips for the first week of the holiday. Week 2 was going to be based at another house further north on the stunning Isle of Lewis.


Our first day on the water started out at the far north of Uist at a slipway close to the ferry crossing the Sound of Harris, another intricate place from a navigation perspective. At first we were protected by numerous islands and rocky shoals which took us a while to paddle through as the map work was challenging to say the least. Heading east we eventually popped out in the Minch where we turned south amidst some small overfalls and the all too familiar clapotis bouncing back off the high vertical cliffs. This section gave us extensive views over to Skye and further south down towards the island of Barra. Eventually we reached the entrance of Lochmaddy and turned to head westwards and then north into some of the intricate channels that are so characteristic of this area. Looking for a place to get off the water close to the house we were staying at, we negotiated a tidal channel that was running as fast as a river against us. After about 5 hours paddling and exploring, we were back in the comfort of the house and enjoying a meal that Eileen had prepared for us.

As is normal in the Outer Hebrides, the weather changes by the hour so all you have to do is wait a while until conditions improve; and so it was while we waited for our second paddle a day or so later. This time we planned to put in close to the west coast just off an island called Valley. The conditions were much calmer than on the previous paddle but, turning west just after the put in and heading out into the mighty Atlantic, we were all whisked away by a very fast flowing tide in the sound between Valley and the main island of North Uist. It wasn’t long before we were out into the Atlantic proper and marvelling at the lazy swells breaking on the numerous reefs all along this stretch. The views were spectacular and we had heard on the radio that morning that a group of swimmers were taking advantage of the good weather window to attempt a record breaking relay swim from the distant St Kilda over to Hushinish on Harris; an impressive swim of some 90Km !!


Both Carole and Nicky saw something in the water close-by and said it was probably a sun fish but although Mark and I searched for a while, we eventually gave up sad that we had missed this sighting. The white shell sands of the Outer Hebrides are world famous and we were paddling along some spectacular beaches which, if they were in the Mediterranean, would have been chocker block and ruined. Up here in the Atlantic, they enjoyed perfect and serene solitude. We stopped briefly on one of them for a drink and a butty or two while observing a family of ducks swimming in the bay. Turning once again into the magical Sound of Harris we were in perfectly calm waters and could make out the distant hills of Harris.


During this trip Nicky had expressed an interest in paddling with a Greenland stick, not for the first time. I think she is becoming a convert to this way of paddling and I can see her signing up soon for a Greenland rolling course.


Another 4 or 5 hours paddling in fantastic scenery and we were once more heading back to the house to tuck into some of Eileen’s legendary meals.


Over the next few days the wind increased and it rained more often than not so we took to our bikes to do some exploring and also jumped into Mark’s van for a day and headed south to the small island of Eriskay in order to visit a pub called the Politician, named after a ship that was wrecked nearby along with its cargo of whisky. The event was the subject of an Ealing Studios comedy film called “Whisky Galore” and it’s possible to buy a tot of the same shipwreck whisky over the bar J


Our second week was in another house in Breacleit on the small Island of Great Bernera which nestles into the North West coast of Lewis. We had paddled here last year and I was looking forward to exploring some more of the area. Conditions were still a bit lively so we contented ourselves with another bike ride and some more exploring in Mark’s van. Eventually we gave in and decided to try a short trip in the relatively sheltered waters around the island. It was blowing about 30 knots and, although the fetch was short so the sea didn’t build, it was very difficult to control our kayaks when trying to turn them into the wind. It required brute force and it was difficult to do much more than hide under the lee of a nearby island. I noticed a narrow channel linking our sheltered coast with the exposed outer coast. I half-heartedly tried to push through but the strength of the wind blew me backwards at speed, forcing me to steer in reverse to avoid hitting the rocks either side of the channel. Mark had a go and succeeded in getting out for a while but came around the corner soon afterwards reporting that there were some decent swells hitting the exposed shore. For another hour or so we hid on a sheltered boulder beach for a lunch break and Nicky decided she would like to try and learn to roll. I stood off in my kayak in case she let go of her paddle and boat which would have blown off very quickly. Mark stood waist deep in water and guided Nicky while she practiced (and succeeded) a number of screw rolls. Needless to say, we all headed back to the house for yet more home cooking – you can get used to this sort of thing you know and I felt happy that we had decided not to spend our time camping out of our boats and dodging some very dodgy weather.


Our final day’s paddling started late while we waited for the weather to improve. It was from the white sandy beach of nearby Bostadh; my favourite place from last year. Heading out from the beach we had no special plan other than to explore a bit more. Settled conditions soon saw us heading out around an island group that none of us had done before. The conditions in our little patch of sea gave us an opportunity to head out more and more but a massive black cloud and rain squall just a few miles behind us reminded us that conditions can change in an instant round there. It was a fantastic paddle and once again we were in the open Atlantic and off the edge of the OS maps. By the time we got off the water the light was beginning to fade but, keen as ever, Nicky wanted to practice her roll some more but this time using a Greenland stick. Feeling the urge too, Carole wanted to do the same so Mark and I stood waist deep while they each practiced (and once again succeeded). We might have been there longer but swarms of midges scattered us and it was extremely difficult to load our boats on the car because of them. Normally they’re not bad in the Outer Hebrides as the slightest breeze prevents them from flying and attacking. It must have been especially still at the end of our paddle as they came out in force to remind us why Scotland is such a gloriously unpopulated place.


Without doubt, Great Bernera is my favourite spot in all of the islands I’ve visited in the Outer Hebrides. The paddling is superb and there’s also plenty of cycling and other tourist options if (and when) the weather turns bad. Caz and I are looking forward to inviting ourselves back again next year.


Paddlers: Mark Pawley, Nicky Corbett, Carole and Pete Thomas


More Photos……..



12/09/15 Liverpool Canoe Club hosts the BCU Norther Lifeguards training day

Interested in some training – why not book onto the BCU Lifeguards training day held at the Marina next Saturday 19th September, First Aid, SES,A and for those with some experience of kayak safety the Assistant Lifeguard (Training only) course to further develop your skills.  We have some of the best trainers and tutors attending and the event is subsidised so all courses are only £20.  Book now before all the places go.





06/09/15 Tees Barrage – White Water Course Saturday 5th September

Tees - Loving it kayaking in Home Brew Bitter. Frothy Man.    More Photos……..




06/09/15 River Weaver Paddle – Bankholiday Monday

As the usual Bank Holiday rain fell six LCC members met at the Runcorn rowing club at 10.30am to paddle the Weaver Navigation up to Acton loch and around to the weir.

After chasing Penny the Jug for ten minutes the group were finally able to set off from the pontoon. Various craft were paddled including creek and river kayaks, an open boat, sea kayak and a crossover wavesport.


The pace was leisurely and the group chatted as they went along passed by small motor craft and sit-on-top fishermen. The rain continued to fall but the group were far from disheartened. Whilst thousands of people would have opted for IKEA and B&Q due to the weather our group was out in the fresh air enjoying the atmosphere of the Weaver.


The group stopped just before the lock and took time out for a bite to eat. Phil Edwards treated us all to birthday cake whilst Julie Brookes had the old faithful tubs filled with sausage rolls and biscuits.

After a welcome break it was time to move on. The group paddled to the weir where the falling water had foamed up looking like snowfall on a winters day. Penny the Jug thought it could be walked on and made a bid for freedom jumping from the open boat into the water of the Weaver. She actually proved to be a good swimmer but seemed relieved to be scooped out and rubbed dry with a towel that had been brought along in case of this very eventuality.


On the return journey Arran decided to seal launch his kayak and sitting on the high bank of the Weaver he pushed off. Down the banking he went and landed gracefully into the water to the sound of rippled applause and cheers from the on-looking group.


After over five hours of paddling the group arrived back at the rowing club and loaded boats onto cars whilst eating more sausage rolls. What a great day.



Phil, Alec, Arran, Julie, John and Chris with Penny the Jug.                           More Photos………


28/08/15 September 2015 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link September Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

To check your membership details go to Login button on website or click here….      If you have forgotten your password click here….. to have a new one emailed to you. (Please note that some ISP`s may block our automated system so please contact membership@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk if you have problems)