You might be interested to know that you can sign up (free) with the Channel Coastal Observatory to have email alerts when the waves exceed certain conditions.
There are a number of buoys on the network with one at Gwynt y Mor in Liverpool Bay. Go to the link below and click on the “Alerts system – receive custom alerts from the observatory” option. You can then set a wave height and/or wave period to trigger an email when the sea state reaches that level.
After warming up on the Leven we headed over to the River Kent, after leaving a car we missed the turn to Scroggs weir and had to take short detour.
We were soon on the river which was at a medium – high level. Soon it wound its way down to the start of the gorge section at Hawes Lane. The first drop was plesant enough. At S bends we stopped in the rapid above and shot it one by one. There was an enormous hole on outside of the bend which claimed a few casulties including Leannes paddle which disappeared in a stopper lower down. We fished for it for a good while with a weighted throw line but the current was far too strong. (Leanne was reunited with her paddle a week later after a post on UK Rivers Guide)
Lower down the gorege opens up and a nasty small scour weir has to be shot with extreme caution on river right (Scrape the wall – there is a very large but inconspicuousrecirculation).
We later egressed above the L shaped weir and infamous Force Falls.
It was a bit grim first thing but fortunately the ‘monsoon’ rain stopped and eventually the sun came out. We had 22 paddlers in 13 kayaks and 2 canoes. Not a bad turn out for such a miserable beginning.
Music was provided by Craig Ford, a selection of Xmas songs, and we started off to Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”. We were the only traffic on the water apart from one solo rower and we certainly brightened up the docks with our multi coloured outfits and wonderful assortment of Santa hats.
After a paddle around the Albert Dock we stopped at the Bandstand slipway in Salthouse Dock for about half an hour where everyone enjoyed a good munch, chat and much laughter. Food appeared from nowhere – mince pies, cakes, seasonal biscuits etc. Cameras were clicking from all angles particular from the visitors who were very interested in our little band of Santas.
There was quite a festive mood, particularly from 3 young ladies!!! – Nadja, Sue and Irene – who were decidedly ‘merry’ after the mulled wine!!! and would insist on showing off their dancing skills.
Then it was time to leave so our little convoy set off again to more music and a “ca
ts chorus” from some very vocal enthusiastic singing paddlers!
We arrived back at the slipway, all safe and sound, about 12.50 pm. After putting all the boats away everyone agreed that the morning had been great fun and very jolly. Following “Seasons Greetings” being heard across the slipway eventually everyone left having thoroughly enjoyed our annual festive Christmas Paddle.
Kayakers: Martin, Carol, Nikki, Christopher, Emily. John & Chris Fay & Penny, Keira & Courtney. Sarah, Dom, Ian. Craig, Nadja & Aleksander Ford. John & Matthew Ennis. Bob, Sue, Irene & Julie. (I’m sure I’ve left someone out – apologies).
Everything was high so a call was sent out for anyone interested in paddling grade 3/4 on the weekend. 6 of us finally met up at Starbucks at junction 3 of the M57 (This is an ideal meeting place for anyone heading north to paddle). Boats thrown on / in a couple of cars and we were off.
We scouted Backbarrow bridge on the way – it looked very high and decided on a shorter run getting out at the woodmill. Brick shoot weir was quite big and boily but gave some of us a little bit of fun as we tried to get on the first wave. The next drop was a very large hole rather than a drop but we all popped out on the other side.
We surfed and played our way down the remaining rapids. There was no stopping on the graveyard section giving a bouncy run down to the bottom.
LCC SEA KAYAK PADDLE TO Hilbre Island West Kirby Sun 7th Jan 2018
Meet at West Kirby Sailing club slipway at 1300hrs prompt.
Winds 10mph E
HT 1450hrs 9.0m
Hilbre paddle today. Good show of over 20 boats and perfect conditions. Roll on the next one Karl. Peter Massey
23 paddlers took to the water for a visit to Hilbre Island West Kirby Sun 7th Jan. Thanks to everyone involved for working as a team and the great support to achieve such a hassle free day. Karl Tattum
A total of 22 paddlers arrived at the compound and began decorating kayaks and canoes for this years Xmas Docks Paddle. Not a bad turn out considering the pouring rain. But not discouraged by the inclement weather the group soon set off after first being treated to a demonstration of seal launching from the wooden decking by Craig and young Aleksander Ford.
The group, dressed in traditional red and white, moved steadily through the docks system and into the Albert Dock drawing attention from the visiting public. After a brief paddle around the dock and a rolling demonstration this time by Sarah Gill the group headed for the slipway at the carousel. One by one kayaks and Canoes were hauled onto dry land and lots of festive goodies were unloaded.
Cakes of every description, mince pies, sausage rolls and mulled wine were passed around. Sarah even offered “camel droppings” which seemed quite popular with the group. The mulled wine quickly took effect on Nadia, Sue and Irene who burst into an impromptu dance routine. Britain’s got Talent watch out!!
The winter sun was now shining down making it quite pleasant at the slipway. The atmosphere, regardless of the weather, was of course great. A group photo was taken after waiting for Sarah who was paddling a new Scorpio mk2 HV sea kayak on test by Dom Fahey. Could this be a change of discipline for Sarah??
Threats of blackmailing her with the photographic evidence could be heard as Sarah guided the kayak in.
After filling up with goodies the group headed back and the 2017 Xmas Docks Paddle came to an end. A really nice paddle with excellent company.