Easter in Scotland with the club. Thursday to Monday. Blackwater Hostel 13th to 17th April

Why not come and do a spot of paddling with the club.  We have sole use again this year including the large kitchen / dining room / drying rooms etc. Scotland’s only inside ice climbing wall is just across the road, Ben Nevis is just up the road.  Great open boat, sea kayaking, sheltered lochs and beautiful rivers.  Lots to do for non-paddlers.

We still have a few places left in the hostel but will soon be sending out the car share rooming options so please hurry if you still want to reserve you place.

Click here for more information and to book……

Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 For 4 days
Scottish Easter Paddling Holiday based at Kinlochleven – coordinator Roy McHale. 
40 is the maximum number on this trip to ensure there is enough cover for all the trips. . We will contact you with more details – list of who is going so you can share transport. Contact Roy McHale for more information….


The area is ideal for Sea Kayaking, loch paddling, grade 2 rivers, grade 3-4 rivers, Open Boat trips, walking, Skiing and mountain Biking. There is something for everyone.

Cost is £17.50 per night but you need to pay for all 4 nights. We have booked the whole hostel for all of the Easter so that is £70 for a place on the trip. 1 x 2, 3 x 3, 5 x 4 and 1 x 8 bedded rooms available and will be allocated by Roy once you have booked.

Roy McHale email: Roy.McHale AT riverside.org.uk

There is a camping / Camping van option which is the same cost as the hostel (£70) and must be pre-booked using the bookwhen form below as it is a very busy Easter and most of the tent spaces have been reserved for walkers on the West Highland Way. We would prefer it if you stayed in the hostel rather than camped.

We are in the Blackwater hostel again this year. Lab road Kinlochleven PH504SG www.blackwaterhostel.co.uk Telephone 01855831253

Mersey Tunnel Tour – Saturday 11 March 2017 by Julie Brookes

Twenty-seven brave souls participated on the journey into the subterranean world of the Queensway (old) Mersey Tunnel wondering beneath Liverpool’s city streets.

As I approached the George’s Dock Building entrance I was greeted by the site of an jolly crowd of Liverpool Canoe Club members with some bright spark shouting “Did you bring the biscuits and sausage rolls?”  What cheek!

After sorting out bright yellow hard hats/high visibility vests we assembled by the two tour guides who gave us a brief history of the construction, safety issues etc. and then the tour began.

Young Aleksander between the 2 Craigs!

The entrance hall

Meeting Room

Now we could have taken the lift but we all decided, some unwisely, to ascend the 4 flights of stairs to the original tunnel control room where Irene took centre stage, displaying what to do in an emergency should there be flooding!

After all the laughter and the banter between LCC and the 2 Scouse Tunnel Guide comics the atmosphere changed as they told us about the ghost and tried to frighten young Aleksander (and us).  Aleksander was not at all bothered unlike some of us who shuddered at the eerie stories!!

After fiddling with all the dials, controls etc it was time to descend into the depths.  Back down the stairs we went to the ground floor and then down more stairs to 4 floors below street level.

We arrived at one of the huge ventilation chambers and waited while the fan started up.  Although rather dusty walking down when the fan got going the air was remarkably clean and fresh and quite gusty!



 Another ventilation fan


We walked through what seemed a labyrinth of twists and turns until we got to the emergency escape refuges, where seven of us at a time were let loose in the actual road tunnel with about 12 inches between us and the roadway!  We were instructed not to lean forward as we could have been buffeted by the vehicle wing mirrors.

Then is was time to ascend the four floors up to ground level.  Again we all decided to walk instead of being sensible and taking the lift.

After two hours the tour ended, we thanked the guides for a most instructive and fun tour and went our separate ways.  After chatting outside and viewing the beautiful art deco adorning the outside of George’s Dock building and the old toll booth/tunnel entrance lighting beacons I said my farewells to Craig and Aleksander Ford and my fellow organiser Craig Ellingham.

What will be the next LCC outing?

Julie Brookes
Organisers – Craig Ellingham & Julie Brookes
Participants – 27 brave LCC members

For Sale – Cag, PDF and various equipment

Kokatat Storm Cag one size fits all  Used only twice £150 + P&P   Now Sold

A collection of on the water essentials. Bilge pump , Paddle float, Reed Aquatherm Fleece Hood. Palm Ocean Pro tow rope, Towing Bridle Home made with Pale Carrabina, Close couple tether, home made Kayak carry straps and a Peak Crash helmet not shown.  £50 + P&P

Palm Kailkoura  PFD XL,With 2Ltr Platypus Hydration bladder, Whistle and rescue knife £60 +P&P  Now Sold

Email or phone me 07786026091.


For Sale Werner Paddles

Werner Cyprus Carbon bent shaft 215CM £200 +P&P

Werner Corryvrecken bent carbon shaft Glass blade 215CM £160 +P&P

As always drop me a line or call 27786026091 All other Items still up for sale cag tops etc.


Mallaig Trip Report 10-12 March 2017, Simon Kirby and Simon Howarth

The great thing about Scotland in March is a) the lack of people and b) the lack of midges!

It can be a bit chilly in March so we planned a route to take in a couple of overnight stays in mountain bothies so that we could relax in front of a real fire each evening. As per usual, we decided to drive through the night alternating between sleeping and driving, a strategy that seems to work well and makes for a stress-free journey. The trip plan was to paddle out of Mallaig and head up Loch Nevis staying the first night at Sourlies Bothy, returning the next day part way along Loch Nevis before deploying our kayak trollies to climb the pass to Loch Morar and heading to Oban Bothy at the head of the Loch. The final day was to be a gentle paddle along Loch Morar and a gentle run back to Mallaig to grab the car.

We loaded our car with luggage and boats the previous evening before heading to bed for a couple of hours sleep. At 1.15am, we tumbled in to the car and set off. With clear roads, the journey was a breeze and we were in Mallaig by 7.30 am, in time to shop for an onion and cough sweets at the local Cooperative. The mission café in Mallaig opens at 8am in winter and does a reasonable full Scottish breakfast.

By 9.15am we’re on the slipway wondering how we’re going to get all the gear we have brought in to our kayaks; wine, Guinness and other essentials! After much faffing and repacking we were off by 10.30 with a local skipper warning us of the windy conditions out in the loch. Initially, we could hug the shore for protection but eventually our course turned south east in to a strong headwind with plenty of chop, the weight of my kayak evident as it seemed to plough through the waves rather than over the top. The next three miles were somewhat tough but conditions did ease as we found more shelter further up Loch Nevis.

Eventually the loch narrowed and we were able to take advantage of the incoming tide to speed up our progress. 3kts is hardly the Falls of Lora but we had a pleasant drift further in to the loch. Sourlies bothy eventually came in to view and the high tide meant that we were almost able to paddle up to the front door. We spent the rest of the daylight hours scouring the beach for extra firewood to supplement the fire log and coal that we had packed. Sourlies Bothy is one of the busiest Mountain Bothy Association bothies so we were surprised to have the whole place to ourselves. The bothy is a large single room with raised platform for sleeping at one end and a fireplace at the other end. A real fire is always good for morale and we enjoyed good food and spent some time disposing of some of the wine and Guinness that we had packed. A good night’s sleep was assured.

There was torrential rain in the night and the ground outside was totally waterlogged by morning. The mountain streams on the opposite side of the lock were in full flow. Breakfast was interesting . . . Simon Kirby made porridge that was a little too runny so decided to thicken it with milk powder which immediately formed powdery lumps. It didn’t taste too good either so we mixed in some chocolate for good measure. By the time we had packed ready to go the tide had gone out quite some way. Trollies were deployed for a stroll across the sandy beach to find the shoreline.
During our leisurely paddle down the loch we were able to stock up on fresh mussels ready for our evening meal. The outgoing tide carried us gently out of the loch and on to Tarbet ready for our first portage experience. Loch Morar was up and over a 100m pass along a rough track with plenty of rocks. The other Simon had cunningly made a harness system to haul his kayak like an arctic explorer up the steep gradient. I hadn’t! Much grumbling and one crash later we were up and over and sat on the shores of Loch Morar enjoying lunch on a beautiful pebbly beach. I decided to see how much firewood could reasonably be collected and attached to the top of my kayak to transport to the bothy.

Loch Morar is the deepest freshwater loch in Scotland and its 300m depth made the water look inky black. A gentle breeze carried us along the loch towards our destination at the head of the loch. The weather continually improving and skies clearing ready for a sunny finish to the day. Oban Bothy is closed during the deer culling season and luckily my enquiry of MBA had prompted somebody to contact the estate manager to have the bothy unlocked ready for our arrival. This really is a gorgeous bothy in a stunning location. There are two downstairs rooms with fireplaces and a large upstairs attic for sleeping. The bothy was very clean and tidy with a pile of ready cut logs next to the fire. With the wood I had carried along the loch on my kayak we were not going to go short.

The sunset at Oban bothy was stunning and as the temperature dropped we headed inside to cook up the onion and
mussels for tea. Mulled wine and a nip of whisky in front of the fire before heading out to admire the stars and full moon and then to bed in time for an early start the next morning.

The wind turned again in the night. Initially we made very quick progress along the flat calm loch, protected from the south easterly by the mountains. But as we progressed further along the loch we were eventually exposed to more cold wind and some rain for good measure. We found a sheltered beach on an island for a hot drink and some food before pushing on through a lumpy exposed section of water. The western end
of the loch has a number of islands which provided more shelter and as we neared our destination the weather brightened. As we approached the shore we were greeted by the first person we had seen in three days . . . the coastguard! A nice cheery chap on his way for an exercise further up the loch.

All ashore and Simon K rummaged in a bush to find some running shoes that we had hidden a couple of days earlier and jogged off to get the car. An early start meant an early finish and we had an easy trip home and were back by 8pm.

All in all an excellent trip. Perhaps not as adventurous as a full coastal trip but nonetheless good fun in a stunning location. For three days away, we spent £110 on fuel, a little bit on wine/beer and took food from home so had a very cost effective trip.

We’ll plan another for later in the year . . .



Why do we need you?

At the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust we believe that the best way for people to understand and connect to wetlands is to experience them so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close.  You will be directly involved in shaping our visitors’ unforgettable experiences through your warm welcome, your interaction with them and the information that you provide.  We need friendly, outgoing people to help with the canoe safari operation, ensuring that our visitors feel part of something amazing.

 Who will be responsible for your role?           Marketing Manager

Where will you be based?                                   Canoe barn

How much time will it take?                    We have opportunities on all days.

We will mutually agree the hours that you can contribute and it would be helpful if you could try to give us as much notice as possible on the occasions when you are not able to contribute those hours

You must be 18 years or over to apply for this role.

 What will you be doing?

  • Giving health and safety briefings covering all of the aspects of canoe safety applicable to Martin Mere canoe safari
  • Fitting buoyancy aids in a professional manner, paying particular attention to the sensitivities of older people and children
  • Handling money taken for canoe trips
  • Illustrating the use of canoes and paddles, including demonstrating if necessary
  • Completing paper work relevant to canoe trips accurately, in particular on participants return
  • Understanding the importance of prompt response to emergency calls
  • Monitoring the canoe route and visitors’ participation in the activity
  • Maintaining the tidiness of canoe hut and surrounding area

Who are we looking for?

No previous experience is required as training will be provided.  However this role will     suit you if you have a love of wildlife and the outdoors and are:

  • Confident or experienced in talking to the public
  • Able to work in a team of staff and volunteers
  • Experienced in a visitor service environment with a strong commitment to excellent customer service
  • Experience in canoeing is an advantage

How will you benefit?

  • This is an excellent opportunity to work within an internationally important wetland site
  • Suitable uniform is provided to all regular volunteers
  • Discount is available in the cafe and shop on the days of volunteering
  • Training opportunities will be provided
  • Free entry to all WWT wetland centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge.

General notes:

This position may require helping out on other days in addition to rota days but this will be infrequent and will be agreed with your head of department and will be subject to your availability.

Martin Mere Wetland Centre is 2 miles from Burscough and public transport does not run directly to the centre. You will therefore need to have your own transport to get to the centre. We regret that we are not in a position to reimburse expenses incurred for travel to the site.

This position is entirely voluntary and is therefore unpaid. Any offer of a volunteer placement is not intended to create a legally binding contract between us and any agreement may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.


Epic Relaxed Touring paddles for sale (sea kayaking paddles) £240

Epic Relaxed Touring paddles for sale (sea kayaking)
These are full carbon construction with foam core, lightweight and strong, 210-220 adjustable length and feather, with a lever lock, purchased late August 2016 and used on only 3 occasions, ie in top condition and great for touring. I’ve decided to sell and put the money towards some replacement wing paddles.

See here for the full specifications: https://www.ultimatekayaks.co.uk/Paddlesdetail.asp?PID=21
Bought new at £340, will accept £240

Julian Triggs
Email julian.triggs AT gmail.com

For Sale Valley Etain Sea Kayak 1100 ono.

Hi all. As you may know I have had to hang up my paddle! as a result I have all my kit for sale.

Valley Etain 17-7 British racing green in very good condition usual scuffs and scrapes but not excessive. Stored undercover in garage.

All hatches in perfect condition ie soft and flexible and no cracking. I have just repaired and serviced the seat pan, Complete with Reed spray deck and cockpit cover and  allen key for skeg slider in small aquapak. £1100 ono.

Andy 07786026091

Club weekends and major events for the Club 2017

Club weekends and major events for the Club 2017 – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

10 – 12th March 2017 Scottish Sea Paddle Arisaig/Mallaig area – Coordinator Simon Howarth
10th March 2017 Improvers River Trip (Grade 2-3) – Coordinator John Allerton and Keith Steer Click to book a place…
13 – 17th March 2017 River Wye Paddle from Hereford to Hoarwithy (Grade 1 flat water) – Coordinator Carl Yung Leungsangnam Click to book a place…
1st, 8th April and 7th and 8th May 2017 Open Boat (Canadian Canoe) Introductory / Improvers Course – Coordinator Mike Alter and Ruth Edwards 3 x half day and 1 day local trip Click to book a place…
13 – 17th April 2017 Scottish Easter Paddling Holiday based at Kinlochleven – coordinator Roy McHale. Click to book a place…
22nd April 2017 Introductory Course for new members / Novice Paddlers 1 x six hour session Click to book a place…
12 – 14th May 2017 Anglesey Weekend #1  Click for more and to book a place – based at Tyn Rhos Trearddur Bay  – coordinator Peter Massey.
26 – 29th May 2017 Pembroke Bank Holiday Weekend Click for more and to book a place – based at Whitesands Camping coordinator Jenny Brown.
9 – 11th June 2017 Anglesey Junior Club Weekend #2 Click for more and to book a place – based at Pen-y-Bont Farm, 4 Mile Bridge  coordinator Keith Steer.
25th June 2017 Hilbre Island Race – Club event for all  More information……..
7 – 9th July 2017 Anglesey Weekend #3 Click for more and to book a place – based at Bodfan Farm, Rhosneigr  – coordinator Jenny Brown.
21st July  – 6th Aug 2017 Alpine Holiday Alpine Rivers Holiday – Briancon France  Coordinator Keith Steer
22 – 24th Septmber 2017 Anglesey Weekend #4 Click for more and to book a place – based at Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn  – coordinator Peter Massey.