New Brighton Paddle – 2nd January 2019 by Julie Brookes
New Brighton to Monks Ferry & Return
A group of 4 intrepid “would be sailors” met at Fort Perch Rock car park on a very chilly Wednesday morning at 10 am. The intention was to paddle to The Ferry Public House, at Egremont, and return. Having scraped ice off our car windscreens, before setting out, we knew it would be rather bracing!
High Tide was at 8.21 am, 8.2 M (27 ft), the wind was a 2 – 3 easterly with the temperature 4 deg C. On arrival at the car park we were greeted to warming sunshine which lifted our spirits plus a view to die for of the magnificent River Mersey, Seaforth Docks, Fort Perch Road and the Three Graces in the distance at the Pier Head.
As the tide was 2 hours into low water, we had to cross a stretch of sandy beach to the water’s edge. Having safely entered the River, which was very calm and flat, we proceeded to paddle towards our destination, keeping to the shore but avoiding the quoins and safety marker posts.
As the tidal current was very slack, we proceeded to paddle by Victoria Park, past our original destination, Egremont, and carried on paddling past Birkenhead Town Hall, the Mersey Tunnel vents, under the Seacombe Ferry and further on to the Stena Sealink terminus. At this point the tide was running quite fast, against us, and it was a struggle to make it through the Sealink gantry and on to Woodside Ferry landing stage. We just didn’t seem to be moving anywhere. However, with great determination (meaning me in my little Flex) the group managed to paddle on and reach Monks Ferry beach where we stopped for a lunch break.
We had set off at about 10.20 am and we reached Monks Ferry at 12.40 pm. After a much-welcomed break, with great views of the camouflaged Mersey Ferry, the dazzling ‘Snowdrop’, the Anglican Cathedral, The Big Wheel, and the Brunswick Dock entrance etc. we set off on our return journey at approx. 1 pm. With the tide being with us we made it back to New Brighton in under one hour!
As we were so close, we decided to paddle round the headland of Fort Perch Rock to the Lighthouse, avoiding as we went the many fishermen on the beach. Following a few photo shots we paddled back to our original beach and alighted into the sand. As the tide was nearly at low water, we were quite a distance from the sea wall and it was quite hard going taking the kayaks back to our parked cars!
After congratulating ourselves on the great achievements of the day, packing up the kayaks etc we entered the Floral Hall where a hot drink and de-brief was enjoyed by all.
What a very memorable day with great company and terrific paddling conditions. Thank you all.
Paddlers: David Allanson, Roger Coleman, Paul Goetzee and Julie.