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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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