Volume 15 Issue 11

November 2015

November 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.…


31/10/15 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

11 November 2015

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

13 December 2015

Christmas Paddle and Meal at Llandudno  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…..

2 - 17 April 2016

Nepal White Water Trip Coordinator Keith Steer

9 - 16 April 2016

Croatia Sea Kayaking Trip Coordinator Andy Garland

3 July 2016

Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race Click for more……

22 July – 7 August 2016

Alpine Summer Holiday Coordinator Keith Steer

16 – 30 August 2016

Alaskan Sea Kayaking Trip Coordinator Keith Steer


31/10/15 October “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Carol Thomas for her winning photo:

“Kayaks on a beach in the Outer Hebrides - Carol Thomas”


Runner up John Maddock:

“Practising rescues on the Anglesey Weekend”


Runner up Pete Thomas:

“Nicky Corbett paddling in the Outer Hebrides

 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

29/10/15  Halloween Paddle at the Docks 28th October 2015


Just a quick Thank You to the organisers and participants.


The weather was perfect and a great, fun couple of hours was spent on the water.


The “SWEETIES” went down well too.


Bob and Sue                             Full write-up and photos to follow……..


29/10/15  Paddler of the Year Awards 2015

Congratulations to this years winners of the four Awards which were presented at the clubs AGM held last Wednesday at the main function suite at the marina.  The AGM also saw brief reports from all the discipline representatives along with several films from various trips and expeditions.  Click here to see who runs the club…….


Missed some of the movies from the night then see them here:
Sea Kayaking and Surfing… by Brian Green

Aosta White Water…. by Joe Sheppard

French Alps Holiday… by Sarah Gille

Slovenia Alps Holiday… by Chris Murphy


Paddler of the Year

Nathan Edwards
Nathan started as a very nervous beginner at the Monday evening pool sessions. He learned to roll over the year by sheer perseverance.  Nathan regularly attends the weekend dock sessions and has recently completed both his First Aid Training and the SESA Qualification.  His confidence has grown so much from the nervous beginner at his first pool session and I felt so proud when he completed the annual Little Eye Sea Kayak Race despite the appalling conditions

Junior of the Year

Luke Durband
Luke has only started paddling this year and has been a regular at Thursday night "no rules polo".  He regularly paddles on Saturday and Tuesday junior club sessions and loves canoe polo.  He is a member of the under 16s canoe polo team and recently stood in to play for the Under 21s in their division 4 tournament at Collingwood Dock. He is fearless in play and seems to score goals with apparent ease

Swimmer of the Year

Pete Thomas
Peter was leading a group on the Improvers Sea Kayak trip to Puffin Island.  Conditions were decidedly bumpy in the sound and he managed to safely usher his group through the worst of the overfalls and on to the safety of the sheltered water behind the island.  Peter was at the back and unknown to his group was knocked over by a larger wave and fluffed his roll.  The tide quickly sped him through the sound and it was about 15 minutes later before Karl Winrow came to his aid to put him back in his boat, certainly the longest swim of the year.

Volunteer of the Year

John Fay
John is an asset to the club, he helps out at the Kingsway pool and nothing is too much trouble for him just look for the guy with the daft grin.  The number of new shy and nervous paddlers that turn up at the Kingsway pool afraid of getting wet not knowing what to expect but after an hour of that daft grin he’s given them the belief & confidence to capsize and even try & roll.


He is a regular at the Swim Safety events.  John regularly arranges trips on canals & flat waters & at the docks most weekends. If you feed him the odd custard donut he will spend time by the slipway helping you improve what you have learned in the pool & put it into practise.



29/10/15  River Spey Open Boat Expedition


Day 1

The plan was to paddle a large proportion of the River Spey down to the sea, carrying all the kit and camping on the way. With plans all sorted, Ruth, Andy, Ian and myself met at Aviator. Kit was sorted and the > three hour shuttle process began.


Launching at 2pm, the boats felt sluggish but it was great to be on our way. The prevailing wind was blowing us along under the leaden skies and, despite the very low water level, we were making reasonable pace. The river was fairly gentle, and despite being so close to civilisation it felt remote with ample wild life. Three and a half hours later it was time to stop. Tired after a long journey and flattish paddle we made out first wild camp. Dark by 6.30, we cooked and retired to our beds.


Day 2

We woke to a light grey sky, feeling glad to be in the wilderness. Camp was swiftly broke and we started our longest day – aiming for about 37km. Straight away we were glad of the wind on our backs as the river was flat, but the sights of the autumn colours, numerous fish jumping and raptors in the skies made the day fun. After elevenses, the river picked up a pace and the numerous rapids sped us along past the golden trees and the fabulous fishing huts.


With the river low, we knew that the washing machine rapid was going to be big! In high flows it is a large wave train, but at these low flows it is a steep large drop – fun in an open. Not being entirely sure where the rapid was, we ran on sight and all got through safely despite the curling wave dumping a bit of water into each boat. A few more km and we settled in for the night.


Day 3

We woke to wet, lots of wet. Tents were wet but the river hadn’t risen. With spirits still high we played in the white water section of Knockando rapids (below Knockando distillery). More rapids pushed us past more fantastic autumnal colours and even grander fishing huts. Eventually we reached Arbelour where we stopped for chips – well it was wet. Carrying on, we had a close encounter with wild deer and yet more leaping salmon.


Under sunny skies we decided to finish early so as to relax and allow the tents to dry. We landed, discounted a first camp site on an island surrounded by a dry channel and selected a better site higher up the river bank. We pulled the boats to the river bank (7m away and 50cm above the river level) and pitched camp. Suddenly, and very rapidly, the river rose and we had to move quickly to pull the boats up onto our camping ledge. Disaster averted, we settled in for a nice summers evening sit.


Day 4

With the river flowing at a fast pace, we set off. The river had more strength and we had to give more care to our lines. We zoomed along, passing more leaping salmon, deer, eagles and otters. Eventually the river widened into a large pool, we had reached the mouth of the river.


Normally a river flows straight into the sea, but here a shingle spit had created lagoon with only a single narrow entrance out to sea. Under the bright blue skies we headed through the spit and onto the calm sea. We spied several seals, but the strong current that had assisted us on the last day was making it hard work getting back though the gap in the spit. Ruth made it, but the three male members of the group decided to land and drag the boats instead.


Celebratory photos and that was it, 100km of fantastic river Spey completed. A truly great open boat trip. We WILL be back.


Mike Alter, Ruth Edwards, Ian Bell, Andy Garland                             More Photos………


28/10/15 Sealed with a kiss at Arisaig!

 As 4 members of the LCC club left Arisaig for a sea kayaking trip in the glorious October sun. On the way to lunch we paddled on the outside of the skerries we saw three seals. The sea was as smooth as a piece of silk. We headed for lunch on the golden sanded beach on a quite island surrounded by calm sky blue sea water. The island full of nature and we saw some seals, butterflies and one person saw some red deer on the island.

After a lovely lunch we paddled of the island. About 5 minutes later we paddled into a bay and we could see about 20 odd seals sunbathing on the golden soft sand or spread out on the rough bumpy rock sunbathing. They all came over to us so then there were about 20 seals in the water and then 10 more popped up and so there was 30 odd seals in the water. They were all curiously watching what we were all doing. When we made a noise they all splashed down underwater to protect themselves, so we kept ever so quite so we didn't scare them. We slowly came out of the bay and all of the seals followed us out. Eventually they obviously got a bit bored of following us so they left us to go back home.

As we were paddling home the condition was windy so the water was rough and bumpy. As we turned the corner to our launch spot, we surfed the waves to save our energy as we had burnt off a lot that day. It was an amazing experience being so close to nature.

Paddlers: Megan Byrne (age10), Danny Byrne, Mike Alter, Ruth Edwards.         More Photos…….

28/10/15  Opens on the Spey and out to sea.

Otters, seals, kites, herons, deer, eagles, ospreys and lots of leaping salmon.

What a fabulous LCC trip!  Mike Alter…..           More Photos………

27/10/15 Liverpool Canoe Club hosts the only UK viewing of the 2015 Reel Paddling Film Festival on Wednesday 11th November

This is a must see event for club members as we will be showing all five category winning films along with the best of the rest.   It includes films from Olaf Obsommer, Ray Mears and Dane Jackson.

Book your place now for only £7.00 in advanced – spare tickets may be available on the door for £10.00

Click here to book…… ***                                                                                   See trailers for some of the films on YouTube…..

2015 rpff web banner 706x269

27/10/15 Surfing Crosby 25th October

Five surf boats, two sea kayaks, and two playboats arrived for a sunny wind free surf session. Nobody believed there would be any surf but turned up anyway just so they could say "I told you so".  I had the belief, and was not wrong. The waves were 3 feet high, no wind to worry you which at Crosby means pretty much perfect.

Karl was first on and first to walk back to the side. He said he was just making sure he knew he was up to date with his wet exits before the session really begun. (Check the photo opposite).

A great morning out, and great to see a couple of new faces from Robin and Kris.

Paul Harwood

26/10/15 Llangollen Canal, Chirk tunnel and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 24th October 2015


The planning of this trip started with a phone call to the landlady of The Poachers Inn at Chirk who kindly gave us permission to use their car park and access the canal via the beer garden. And so five LCC members arrived at 10am and unloaded boats to the canal side. The rain was heavy but our reasoning was that we would be fine in the tunnels. So off we went.

Heading towards Llangollen it wasn't long before we came to the first aqueduct at Chirk. 


Chirk Aqueduct is a 70-foot high and 710-foot long navigable aqueduct that carries what is now the Llangollen Canal across the Ceiriog Valley near Chirk, on the England-Wales border.


We crossed the aqueduct and turned to face the dark entrance to the 460yd long Chirk tunnel which lies north of the aqueduct. We could hear the rumbling of a solitary canal boat coming through so we waited patiently before heading in ourselves making sure the torches we had brought along were on. The tunnel has a towpath running inside but was only designed to take a standard single narrow boat so passing is not possible. Our lights illuminated the tunnel roof and walls as we made progress through the damp and eery passage but eventually exited the tunnel bursting into daylight and more rainfall.


Continuing on we leisurely paddled towards the second but shorter 191yd Whitehouse tunnel. Once again we checked first to see if other boats were coming through. The last thing we wanted was a collision with a big iron canal boat in a dark restricted tunnel. It's surprising the extra throttle needed to get through the tunnels due to the flow of the canal coming from its feed at the river Dee but amid laughter and a bit of splashing we got through.


We were now well on our way to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and our lunch spot at the Trevor Basin. The Aqueduct is quite impressive as it spans the valley rising 126ft over the River Dee below. Completed in 1805 the aqueduct is the longest and highest in Britain and is a Grade 1 listed building. Our group paddled the 336yd Trough constructed aqueduct pausing briefly midway to peer over the edge to the river far below. Getting out from a capsized kayak on the wrong side here could certainly spell disaster. 


After 2.5hrs paddling we were glad to stretch our legs and eat lunch. As the rain was still heavy we set up camp under a bridge and enjoyed sandwiches, donuts, sausage rolls and various chocolate bars washed down with Warm tea and pop. Yes we were wet and a bit chilly but at the end of October we were out paddling in the fresh air. 


The trip back was a reverse of outward journey but the rain had now stopped and the weather was quite pleasant. Going with the flow of the canal the trip back was a little faster and easier. Arriving back at The Poachers it was only a matter of loading boats on cars and then it was time to relax in the covered seating area in the garden to enjoy a warm drink and chat about the trip. 


Paddlers:- Julie Brooke's, Phil and Nathan Edwards and John and Chris Fay with Penny the Jug.   More Photographs……



23/10/15 Photo of the Month (October) competition


Photograph of the Month competition.  There is a shortlist of 6 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……..


23/10/15 Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race & BBQ Next Race - Sunday 3rd July 2016

More information and entry forms……..

Race Start 2015Hilbre Island is the largest of a group of three islands at the mouth of the estuary of the River Dee, and lies about 1.6 km from Red Rocks, the nearest part of the mainland on the Wirral Peninsula.

The Start is at Dee Sailing club (CH61 0HN) START TIME 10:00 am with a beach (Le Mans style) mass start (Seeded start line). The finish will be a buoy on the water in line with the causeway.

Prize giving and BBQ will be in the club house after the event. (BBQ items and drinks can be purchased from the club house) The main Hilbre Island Race goes clockwise around all three islands (13km) while a shorter race for General Purpose and touring boats

Conditions can be very rough on the northern end of Hilbre and anyone entering the Hilbre Island Race needs to be sure that they can cope with the conditions on the day.

If conditions are too rough then modified courses may be used. We have a number of safety craft covering the race. Several kayak rescue teams will also be positioned on the end of Hilbre Island.

Places are limited to the first 50 entrants.
Hilbre Race (13Km) - Sea Kayaks, Ladies Sea Kayaks, Tandem Sea kayaks, Racing Surf Skis, High-performance Sea Kayaks.
Little Eye Race (9Km) - First Kayak, Ladies Race, Doubles (any design)
West Kirby Race (4Km) - First Kayak (under 4m), First Junior (under 16), First Open Canoe.

You will need to pre-enter online and bring with you on the day a completed registration form.

Supported by YambaUK Dee Sailing Club, System X, Go Kayaking North West, Cedar Boats Europe and Manchester Canoes

YambaUK   Dee Sailing Club   System X   go Kayaking 
Cedar Boats of Europe Manchester Canoes


20/10/15 Chester Weir Saturday 17th October


We all met up at the Marina to load up with canoes and to head off to Sandy Lane in Chester.  This is a large car park with a ferry boat in summer to take walkers across the river.  We got on the water and headed downstream towards some slalom poles from Chester Canoe Club.  A little further on we met some paddlers in open boats from the riverside club.  Nearer the town we found loads of ducks and Swans being feed by the tourists.


At the weir Jessica was first over the first step, dad Geoff took a swim on the weir but the kids aced every drop.  Most of us paddled the steps at least twice.  We eventually carried up the middle of the weir to paddle back to Sandy Lane.    More photographs……





18/10/15 Open Canoe Technique

This open canoeing video with Andrew Westwood, Etienne Green and the Madawaska Kanu Centre covers all the basics—and then some!—including what to wear to get on the river, the strokes you'll need and introductions to more advanced manoeuvres, like rolling you canoe, as well as basic river reading skills. Refresh or learn something new with this helpful video. Although from Canada it is well worth a watch as it has a lot of detail about solo or tandem paddling https://vimeo.com/96497429



04/10/15 Anglesey weekend 4 - Outdoor Alternative Saturday - Four Mile Bridge


It was strange waking up on Saturday morning to Sunshine. It has rained at every Anglesey weekend this year. What was stranger was that there were no short boats on the campsite other than what Karl and I had brought. So after lots of bacon butties we went to one of the beaches around the campsite where the kids went swimming. 


At around 11 am we made our way to Four Mile Bridge and the inland sea. We found an outcrop of rocks that we could jump off. Had and extreme seal launch competition. Karl won this going backwards without a paddle or spraydeck. This was thanks to Harvey launching him whilst he was getting in his boat. We had lunch on the grass and had loads of fun in the jet of water coming through the tunnel. The day was finished off snorkelling around the beach near the campsite followed by watching the rugby at the pub at Tyn Rhos campsite.


Paul Harwood      More Photos…..


01/10/15 The 6th Introductory Course at the docks

Each month during the summer we run a 6 hour introductory course for new members and those wanting some more coaching.  They usually run between May and October so watch the calendar if you are interested next year.   More Photos……..




30/09/15 October 2015 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link October 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)