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Hilbre Island Trip, Sat 16th Sept by Andy Bond

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Hilbre Island Trip, Sat 16th Sept by Andy Bond

Eamon, Brian, Ian, Keith, Andy, Christine, Catriona, Roger and Tony

The September weather continued fair and we were looking forward to a day out with the club paddling out to Hilbre Island, new territory for me and Christine although familiar to most of the others in the group. We met near the slipway at West Kirby around 10:00 am. The aim was to be on the water for 10:45 by which time (we hoped) the tide would be in sufficiently to allow an effortless launch and limited wading through the acres of mud which stared at us from the slipway.

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Around 11:00 we launched and headed out to find deeper water before turning northwest, passing Tanksey Rocks and paddling directly towards the north end of Hilbre. This section was relaxing and a great opportunity to take in the views as the vista towards Hilbre and Little Eye opened up. As we neared the island though, the turbulent water at the far end came into view, quite a contrast to the relatively calm paddling of the approach. There was a quick review and consensus that all of the group would be able to manage this section, even though to me, as a relative newcomer, the choppy water looked quite challenging. Following Ian and Catriona, who showed us the easiest line, we passed red sandstone cliffs and thankfully were soon through the more challenging water, and landed fairly easily on the small shingle beach at the south end for coffee, snacks and lunch.

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Suitably refreshed we headed back towards the slipway at West Kirby. This was generally easy going for most of the way although a section of surf gave some excitement. Fortunately for me, Keith was close at hand giving helpful advice on the best way to handle the surf and soon the group was nearing the slipway and the end of the paddle. With cars loaded up, we then scoured West Kirby for somewhere to find refreshment, ending up in the tried and tested Morrisons cafe to round off the trip. Although paddling to Hilbre and back is only around 10km, the fine views and warm weather made this a great day out.

Andy Bond 

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