A general round up of Pembroke 2018

Short boats and long boats met at Newgale ready to enjoy the bank holiday on the Pembroke coast. Some had arrived early and spent Friday walking around the headland at Marloes Sands. No surf was forecast for the weekend. The short boats went for a paddle around the cliffs and caves going from Dale to Watwick Bay on Saturday, while the long boats went a little further to Dale West where there were a few little waves for them to play in. Lyn had got up early for a trip to Skomer and came back with reports of seeing Puffins close up and an Owl. Saturday evening the rain stayed away and the BBQ was lit before the wind picked up into the evening. Some of the group headed into Haverfordwest to grab a bite and watch the football.

On Sunday a few went for a morning walk and scramble on the cliffs. The long boats went over the gravel barrier to paddle 30 km along St David’s Peninsula with a detour to the Green and Black Scar islands just offshore. The short boats went south to shelter from the morning’s wind under the cliffs. They paddled from Norton Haven to Druidston Haven, surfing the clean little waves that they found along the way and walking up the beach to explore some cave rock pools. A second BBQ was lit after an evening paddle/cliff walk from Abereiddy round the headland to the Blue Lagoon. Monday was an early start for some who fancied a trip to see the puffins and flowers on Skomer Island. Others went for a cycle to Solva, pottered on the beach at Newgale and had a paddle on the way home.


Pembroke Bank Holiday Camping Trip Saturday 26th May St Ann`s Head

Pembroke Bank Holiday Camping Trip Saturday 26th May St Ann`s Head

Ten of us left on Saturday Morning for Dale. There was optimist dinghy racing on in the bay, so the car park was a little full. After unloading our kayaks some of use moved our cars to the free beach about a half a mile up the road where hopefully, the tide would be in on our return.

We headed off around the point which had an old castle (now a field studies centre). After a couple of bays, we came across the light house and coast guard station on the end of St Ann`s Head.

This marked the entrance to Pembroke dock and Milford Heaven (sheltered water for some very large oil tankers and ferries).

We paddled on round the headland and passed several rocky cliffs and points. Eventually we came across Westdale bay. This had a beautiful sandy beach and a small wave which caught a few of us unaware. Nice hand roll Tony!

After a relatively short lunch we headed back to Dale for ice cream and coffee.

More photos…….


Bank holiday Monday Float and boat by Martin Connolly‎

Bank holiday Monday Float and boat by Martin Connolly‎

Sunshine, good company, three? Waves. Whats not to like at Crosby on bank holiday?

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Chester Weir – Paddling on Wednesdays from Sandy Lane CH3 5UT

We have been meeting at Sandy Lane and then paddling down to the weir at Chester for the past three Wednesdays now. The venue is ideal as an introduction to moving water with a number of small drops and ledges. It has an easy shoot at the bottom to practise break in and outs and ferry Glides.
There are often number of other clubs there but just ask for Liverpool Canoe Club.

Location and more information……….

Ciaran, Dom and Nick playing on the weir


Tall Ships Parade Docks Paddle – Monday 28 May 2018 by Julie Brookes

Eighteen paddlers, in various kayaks and 2 open canoes, paddled the docks today hoping to see the Tall Ships Parade of Sail.

After a leisurely paddle we entered the Albert Dock, which of course was rather empty, the tall ships etc. having now assembled in the River Mersey after exiting through the Hartley Bridge into Canning Half-Tide Dock and then into the river.

We then paddled into the Salthouse Dock and stacked our boats neatly on the slipway by the bandstand and proceeded to walk around the dock complex to the Flagpole on the waterfront.  On arrival we were greeted by gun fire from HMS Suffolk who, I believe, was leading the parade with the water siphon tug boat just ahead.  The gun fire was to signal the start of the parade.


H,M.S. Suffolk

I couldn’t get all the photos I wanted as the crowds lining the waterfront were, in some place, 3 to 4 people deep.  The Parade of Sail then began and below are a small selection of the ships involved, many being sail training ships.





After walking back to the bandstand slipway and a few “munchies” we set off for the return stopping by “Seal Island” for a bit of fun and games.  We had jumpers, seal launching, and very brave “swimmers”.






We then made a slow return in the glorious sunshine via the Watersports to the slipway.  It had been a lovely day and I think we timed it just right for the Parade.

Julie Brookes

Liverpool Canoe Club


29th Liverpool Waters international Canoe Polo Tournament by Norman Cook

29th Liverpool Waters international Canoe Polo Tournament

A big congratulations to the Liverpool youth team for winning the 29th Liverpool Waters International Canoe Polo competitions class 4 division on the 26th and 27th of May over the bank holiday weekend starring Aaron, Callum, John, Luke, Dean and Myles.

Winning all four games on the Saturday (with Deano Scoring two against his brother’s team Liverpool Coburg) and a further two wins on the Sunday to end the league format unbeaten in six and moving into the knockout stages of the competition.

After a long wait with some false starts on the Sunday they won their semi-final 3-2 despite being 2-0 down and Deano being subbed after being struck with a paddle by one of his own team mates (Callum).

Then to the final against Liverpool Coburg which then won 4-3 with a superb hattrick from Luke and hung on despite a late fightback by Coburg.

Congratulations to both teams, first and second for a great weekend.

Norman Cook (team coach)

More Photos………


Liverpool Waters International Canoe Polo Tournament 26th + 27th May 2018

Liverpool Waters International Canoe Polo Tournament 26th + 27th May 2018

We had two teams in this tournament over the bank holiday weekend. Our youth team Liverpool U18`s beat our open team in the final of Div 4. An excellent result for all the players. If you would like to get involved with canoe polo or come down to join in, we play on Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm at the docks. All the equipment is there so just pop down and have a go.

Both Teams Liverpool U18`s and Liverpool Coburg

Liverpool Coburg and Liverpool U18`s

More Photos……..

Tall Ships at the Docks Bank Holiday Weekend by Julie Brookes

Our usual Sunday Docks paddle had a bit of a twist this morning as this is the Tall Ships Regatta 2018 late May Bank Holiday weekend.

Seventeen paddlers started out from the compound in a variety of kayaks expecting the usual Sunday paddle.  As we entered Salthouse Dock there were quite a few colourful decorated barges moored by the pontoons, a few motor yachts as part of the Northern Boat Show and of course the Watersports 4 pedalo swans, Drascombe, Wayfarer and ‘Wheelie’ mobility motor boat.  By the bandstand there was a “Message in a Bottle” focussing on the issue of plastic pollution.


As we paddled through to the Albert Dock we spied 2 Royal Naval vessels, HMS Smitter and HMS Ranger, 2 Sea Cadets training vessels TS City of London and TS Sir Stelios, the schooner Challenge Wales and the gaff ketch Brian Boru.



As we approached the Hartley Bridge we were beckoned through by the River Police who informed we could paddle around Canning Half-Tide & Canning Docks where more Tall Ships were moored.








Just before exiting Canning Half-Tide dock we spied, heading towards TS Royalist, The Ship’s Cat & Super Rats on the quayside.  These had been created from 1,000 reclaimed milk containers.







We paddled around the Albert Dock looking at the ships and a contingency of Lancashire Nobbies which originally came from the Southport/Morecambe Bay area where they trawled for shrimps and flatfish.  This fleet will be joining the Parade of Sail and you can spot them by their colourful red sails.


By this time everyone was ready for the usual sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits which were devoured on the slipway at the bandstand and huge plastic bottle.  As a speciality Jim Duffy treated us all to strawberries and it’s not the tennis season yet!




We then headed for the slipway, stowed the kayaks and said our goodbyes.  I think a brilliant day was had by all.

Julie Brookes

Liverpool Canoe Club

Oban to Garvellachs and surrounds By Julian, with edits by Becka


Oban to Garvellachs and surrounds

Those who served:    Ian Bell, Simon Howlett, Roger Colman, Catriona , Julian Todd, Becka Lawson, Anthony Vaccaro

I’m proud of under-planning and not thinking ahead, especially when doing something new.  Becka and I had never been out for more than one night in a sea kayak, and this trip was supposed to be five nights in the Scottish wilderness.  We had the kayaks, we had a Trangia stove and enough old soda bottles to carry our regulation supply of water.  At the last minute we grabbed our one working tent that wasn’t the pop-up kind.  I was sure we could simply shovel enough packets of random food from the larder into the holes around this gear to make something up each day.

Becka drove us up to Oban while I provided the entertainment by reading aloud a food list for a French kayakers’ fortnight-long trip from the kayarchy website (including an oyster knife and one winkle-pick per person). By the time we reached Glasgow Becka insisted on some panic buying so she stocked up at Aldis and we arrived quite late.

Other last minute decisions that happened frantically the next morning included packing our thickest sleeping bags (which could barely be rammed into a hold, even when you fed them right up to the bow through the hatch), and our choice to wear our skinny wetsuits for the whole trip because we didn’t have enough confidence that we weren’t going to capsize and be unable to roll.  The rest of the group (in their comfy, dry gear) were polite enough not to make it obvious that we were holding them up as we squabbled over what to take and Becka tried to cram in her mound of fresh fruit and veggies (it turns out that coconuts fit snugly behind the seat).

And then we set off south towards the slate islands.

We got lucky with the weather.  It was never too windy or wavy, and though we had some rain during the day and at night, we had sunny respites for a few hours most afternoons during which time we could dry out our wetsuits.  That was another advantage of going on a trip lead by Ian — aside from the air of quiet competence and expert decision making — the early starts and early finishes.  You got your 5 or 6 hours on the water experiencing sore arms, sore thighs and a sore back from sitting in an insanely unnatural position (those who can’t take it probably don’t go kayaking), with enough time afterwards *not* in the boat to recover and straighten out.  If left to do our own planning, Becka would doubtless have maxxed out the paddling for a minimum of eleven hours a day, which would mean I’d refuse to get out of bed in the morning.  On a multi-day trip you need to pace yourself sensibly; it’s not a weekend blast.

The sea was flat enough to let us go past Easdale to camp on Luing then past Fladdha, lunch on Belnahua and around the far side of the Garvellachs. There, we camped by the monastery ruins on the same patches of grass where the previous kayakers had been the day before and where they’d left their two-way radio.

The next day we headed further south in a horrible wind and rain through the Grey Dogs north of Scarpa and around to the south end to lunch at the depressingly ruined, not-cosy two storey bothy near Corrywreckan.  Here, we met the other group of other kayakers just getting ready to head out to sea (pretty lazy), and gave them back their radio that they hadn’t even noticed was missing. Then one more crossing and we camped on the mainland near Craignish.

The most notable wildlife were the geese who liked to fly back and forth overhead honking wherever we walked.  Someone once saw an otter.  Every so often there was a seal head poking out of the waves.  There were no midges at all because it was still too early in the season and too cold (and, like a lot of flying insects, they’re probably going extinct).  In the evenings Simon entertained us with different ways of not lighting a fire (apparently the driftwood was too salty for firesticks) until he had to use a lighter.  Becka and I had neglected to pack any whisky.  We also decided that a one man tent that you couldn’t sit up in was too small for two people (everyone else knew better and so they all had their own two-man tent).

The final night (cutting short one day because of the wind forecast for the Friday) put us along Shuna to a campsite on the north coast of Luing, on a gusty and cold headland of squelchy mud near Torsa Beag. Here we provided a public demonstration of how a married couple decides which of two spots, three metres apart, to pitch their tent.  In the end we put it onto the wetter ground with the door facing into the weather across two cow-pats that Becka scooped and thrown over her shoulder using a paddle as a shovel.  Having lost the argument, I sulked and didn’t come out of my sleeping bag for the remainder of the soggy day as I only had sandals to wear and the mud sank up to your ankles, which would have made the sleeping bag filthy.

On the final day before the wind really picked up we shot up north on a tailwind, up through the Bridge over the Atlantic before the tide changed, and then around the back of Kerrera Island to Oban.  Here I was able to practice my downwind surfing, which we had been taught to do on surfskis earlier in the year on our train trip to Tarifa in Spain.  The surfing was fun, except I had to keep ignoring Ian who was calling me back to the shelter of the shoreline where the waves crashed on the rocks and the paddling was just a right slog.

It got very hard work around the north tip of the island when we had to paddle south, directly into a stiff wind.  No matter how much force I applied to the paddle, all the others pulled away into the wind at twice my speed.  They waited for me to catch up in the shelter of a small island mid-channel, then pulled away again and got to the shore miles ahead of me.  By the time we had packed everything back on our cars and vans the wind had almost died and a bunch of children had headed out into the middle of the sound on a raft made of barrels.  We then all went out to a celebration dinner in the Wetherspoons pub in Oban called the Corrywreckan.

Huge thanks to Ian for proposing, coordinating and leading the trip, and to Simon, Catriona, Anthony and Roger for great company and easy-going patience with us – we had a lovely time!

By Julian, with edits by Becka