River Dee Improvers WW River Trip Sunday 11th November by Gary Thomas

River Dee Improvers WW River Trip Sunday 11th November by Gary Thomas

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Today’s improvers trip took place amidst glorious Autumn weather.  There were plenty of participants, split into 4 groups.  After the usual shuttle, we headed off from Ponsonby Arms for the 9 kilometer paddle to the get out at Ty Mawr Country Park.

The usual grade 1-2 start felt a bit ‘pushy’ after plenty of rainfall, but it helped increase the enjoyment and presented an achievable challenge for those quite new to kayaking rivers like this.

A lunch stop on the bank coincided with some warm sunshine, after which we made are way under Pontcysillte Aqueduct towards the get out at Ty Mawr.

Everything went reasonably incident-free until we got to Trevor Bridge, where a tricky section resulted in the loss of one of the much-treasured LCC paddles!

It was a great day for improvers and experienced paddlers alike and, hopefully, newcomers will be encouraged to get involved in more trips like this.

A big thank you needs to go out to the leaders and assistants and I would like to say ‘thanks guys’ to my group leaders, David Rider and Mark Garrod for informative and safe leadership.

Click for more photos……


Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 13”

Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 13”
28th August (Tuesday) – Decision Point Storm Bound

The weather forecast has promised wind, and in the middle of night it definitely arrived. Getting up to check that the kit left hanging hopefully to dry hadn’t blown away I realised it wasn’t raining! And the kit was dry. Waking closer to morning and crawling out of the tent for a stroll down the beach, not only was it not raining but the sky was blue with hardly a cloud in sight. It was still pretty windy though. So now we knew that partly sunny = cloudy and horrible all day (Monday’s forecast) and partly cloudy meant sunny all-day Tuesdays forecast!

The realisation that the sun was shining filtered through the campsite and suddenly everyone was scrambling to hang out all the wet kit to dry. Martin was over excited by the prospect of going home with a bag of dry stuff which is much pleasanter  (and lighter) than a bag of wet manky clothes. Never have I seen so many items of underclothing spread out on a beach! The ‘Keith`s’ had beaten us to it and were on the beach enjoying breakfast in the sunshine. An impressive bit of delegation followed as Keith S remained in place, and his cap, sleeping bag and other items arrived at his side along with cups of coffee.

http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/Newsletter/Articles/Recent%20Letters/2018%20Alaska%20-%20Prince%20William%20Sound%20Expedition_files/image163.jpg  Elsewhere on the beach swimmers were to be seen, this time Ian and Mike followed Nikki into the water – apparently further away from the ice the water is colder?!?

The forecast confirmed what we knew, the wind was too strong to go anywhere, certainly some of the gusts felt like they’d carry you away, but they also guaranteed dry kit. A sunny stormbound day felt like a rare treat – well let’s face it sunshine was a rare treat this trip. Much lazing and some socialising with the local occupant of the campsite followed, hard to believe only a short paddle to Whittier remained of the trip.

http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/Newsletter/Articles/Recent%20Letters/2018%20Alaska%20-%20Prince%20William%20Sound%20Expedition_files/image165.jpg Throughout the trip entertainment highlights have been provided by the wildlife and Mr Grumpy. In fact, at some points the antics of sea otters and the rants of Mr Grumpy were the only things that kept the spirts up. Number 57 on the list of life’s most annoying things is porridge apparently. Breakfast became elevenses and then lunch and the campsite wildlife, a ground squirrel, came out to discover if we had any food.

As the sun moved we swapped beaches – decision point happily had 2 beaches facing opposite directions. Keith decided it was time to record the events of the trip. Much muttering and moaning followed, but recordings were made – can’t remember what I said, and you can bet its completely different to this write up!

Conversation invariably turned to how much food was left-over, and some food swapping occurred to gift Keith S with a packet of cheesy broccoli.

As evening approached another couple of paddlers arrived. Mark and Roger went to welcome them and after a last evening meal and rubbish fire folks drifted to the tents to prepare for 7am on the water for the final push to Whittier. Looking at the clear sky Keith S decided to sleep out in his bivvy bag – just in case the night sky decided to put on a show ………


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Frankie Annan     More Photos……….       Audio Report……..


Hilbre Island Trip 28th October by Martin Page

Hilbre Island 28th October

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, this was all Paul’s idea and he picked an ideal day for a trip out to Hilbre. 20 LCC paddlers gathered at West Kirby sharing a busy slipway with sailing club, plus another 12 members of Deva club making 32 kayaks on the water.

We set off for the island in perfect conditions, passed Little Eye and quickly on to Hilbre.

Some took the option of a leisurely lunch and ‘sunbathing’ on the beach, rest of us set off around north side of the island to play in rougher conditions.

After a brief chat on the beach tide had turned and time to head back for West Kirby.

A bit of surfing on the way back, we all made it to slipway before tide went out.

Thanks to John Fay official photographer and Bob Hamilton, video director.

And a video by Bob Hamilton



Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 12”

Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 12”
27th August (Monday) – Esther Island to Decision Point


The day started off with an overcast sky in a shade of grey that I hadn’t seen before, I felt it was an optimistic grey, heralding light winds from somewhere.

Everybody got onto the water at their own pace and paddled down to see the fish hatchery complex from the seaward side. There was a boom around a small bay to try and stop the Stella Sea Lions getting to the salmon When looking down over this watery enclosure the night before we could see that a few Stella sea lions had somehow managed to get over the barrage and judging from the white turbulence in the otherwise calm waters that morning, they were enjoying their continued salmon frenzy.  The black bears were also still on the shore, picking off the salmon trying to get upstream with ease (note to myself, never be reincarnated as a salmon!!).

I was appointed leader for that day’s paddle, the plan was to paddle from our location on the southern tip of Esther Island to the campsite at Ziegler Cove Marine Park on the mainland. We would head up the western coast of Esther island before making the 8km crossing. I nominated a fellow paddler to lead us out of the cove to some shouts of surprise from other members; this paddler had previously expressed alarm with paddling around the Stella sea lions, whom you could describe as the brainless thugs of the sea lion world, there were a number in the bay, waiting for us. In fairness to both the secondary leader and the Stella’s, each got on with their job without hindering the other.

http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/Newsletter/Articles/Recent%20Letters/2018%20Alaska%20-%20Prince%20William%20Sound%20Expedition_files/image153.jpg  Hugging the coast, we made our way northwards without incident. The skies cleared at times, giving us good views of the rarely seen mountains on this trip. A good lookout was kept for any whale spouts or activity, but sadly today there was none. We stopped for elevenses near the makeshift camping area then leisurely continued northwards. There was no evidence to be seen of the cabin marked on the map. However, we didn’t land to search inland. Shortly before our dinner stop near granite bay there was a signal from Mark, he had spotted some fresh water otters on the shore. They hung around long enough for all of us to catch a glimpse of them, a father mother and two cubs, much smaller than the sea otters, but just as timid and shy.

Following dinner stop we set course approximately SSW to hit the mainland around the area of pirate cove. Unfortunately, the visibility had reduced by now, we couldn’t see where we were heading, relying on sound compass work which was delivered by mike alto and a hand-held Silva compass. Half way across, there was a shout that a large dorsal fin had been spotted heading towards us, this was quickly identified as a male killer whale, with eager shouts of excitement from most of the group, and an even louder gasp of “oh gawd” from the secondary leader earlier in the day. Whilst they had come to terms with a nibble from a Stella sea lion, there was still some work to do on the outcome of na Orca`s nibble. During the crossing there were no other sightings of any other whales, and no tell-tale bubbles forming on the otherwise calm waters, a sign of something passing deep beneath observed on earlier crossings where there was whale activity.


After about 1 1/2 hours we made landfall, near a distinguished tower of rock in the sea, and after a short breather we made our way to the Ziegler cove state marine park camping area, hoping to find a bear box to put our food in and other signs of habitation. Alas, they were elusive despite our landing and making a quick search.

Keith took the opportunity to check the weather forecast; it indicated high winds the following day which would prevent us from going on the water. He felt concerned that if the weather front didn’t move through as planned, we may be left with a difficult final day`s paddle up Passage Canal, which already had a reputation of high winds blowing against you as default. Following a short discussion, it was agreed we should continue onto the decision point campsite that we had used on our first night of expedition, despite it prolonging our paddling day into a 40km journey. There was the promise of a day off on the following day, a comfortable campsite and… a toilet, there were no complaints.

Ian took the lead, safely delivering us to the campsite where there was thankfully only one established tent. After emptying boats, pitching tents etc. we had food and packed the food cache under a groundsheet to detract bears. Keith reportedly slept next to the cache, to see the Aurora Borealis, we all knew he wanted the final picture of Mr black bear.

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Roger Morgan     More Photos……….       Audio Report……..


The Paddler issue 44 Autumn/Fall 2018 edition

The Paddler issue 44
Autumn/Fall 2018 edition

The International magazine for recreational paddlers

Current magazine can be viewed in three ways:

Free tablet and smart phone HTML5 optimised edition: http://paddlerezine.com
Free Joomag desktop page-flip digital issue: https://joom.ag/MEIa
Perfect-bound 132-page printed: https://thepaddlermag.com/subs-print-paddler



Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 11”

Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 11”
26th August (Sunday) – Esther Island Storm Bound

Genesis of the Church of Hydrology (AKA Storm bound on Esther Island)

I woke slowly, with the dawning realisation that the water that should be on the outside of my tent was in fact on the inside of my tent.  While I had slept, trillions of water molecules had passed unhindered through my groundsheet and were now making themselves comfy in my sleeping bag.  I assessed my situation and deduced that my fetid body was encased in a festering pile of damp goose down held together by sheets of soggy nylon.  It was not the best of feelings.  It was at this instant that I was struck by a blinding realisation, an epiphany – suddenly it all became clear.  The only way that I was ever to find peace in this world of wetness and ever prevalent damp was to embrace it!  The rain that had been our constant companion over the last few days was not a foe but a friend.  Moisture was good, and wetness divine.  All praise to H2O!  Halleluiah! The Church of Hydrology had been born.

I rushed out of my deliciously damp tent to convert the others.  The first person I met was Frankie. She had just returned from a walk in the rain, and she had chanced upon a wet black bear on the muddy path.  She showed me a photo of the wet bear, in the rain, and I then welcomed her to the faith and christened her ‘Frankie Mistress of Moisture’.  All the others were down  http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/Newsletter/Articles/Recent%20Letters/2018%20Alaska%20-%20Prince%20William%20Sound%20Expedition_files/image143.jpg by the shore, where they were wickedly trying to keep the nourishing drizzle from touching their bodies by standing beneath a tarp.  I quickly ordained them:

o   Keith S – ‘Deacon Damp’

o   Keith P – ‘Vicar of Drizzly’

o   Martin ‘Priest Precipitation’

o   Ruth ‘Pope Puddle’

o   Mark ‘Archdeacon Drips’

o   Ian ‘Father Fetid’

o   Chris ‘Curate Cats & Dogs’

o   Mike ‘Rector Rain’

o   Nicky ‘Chaplain Clammy’

o   Roger ‘Squire Soggy’.

It was shortly afterwards that a drenched bear walked through our wet camp and climbed a dripping wet tree.  Some of our party approached the bear, in the rain, to take photos.  However, a wet bear so close to our moisture laden camp was not a good idea, so we frightened it away by banging some billies together (while it rained).  We deduced that the wet bear had been attracted by the smell of food being prepared and coffee being brewed, so we decided to cook on the beach, below the high-water mark, so that the food aroma and any morsels of dropped pasta would be washed away by the wet water as the tide advanced.  It occurred to me that the wet bear in the camp was a divine intervention, as it forced everyone out of the Devil’s Shelter (tarp) out into the God-given showers and delightful drizzle.

That night the wind dropped, but it kept raining – glory, glory be!

Reverend Wet (AKA Andy Garland)


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Andy Garland     
More Photos……….       Audio Report……..


LCC Youth Polo and GB development

LCC Youth Polo and GB development

In November Callum Cook , John Smullen and Luke Durband from the LCC youth polo team attended a GB polo development weekend at F.O.A. Collingwood Dock. With all three doing well and progressing to the U21 appraisals / selection process weekend held in October at Hatfield Marina ,Doncaster .

Unfortunately, both Callum and Luke failed to progress after they failed the lactic test (3 x 6 laps with 1-minute breaks in a time of 4 minutes 55 seconds ) and will now return to the development group. However, a great effort from John saw him progress and be retained for further training within the GB squads.

A big well done to all three .

Norman Cook .

John Smullen

Luke Durband

Callum Cook


LCC River Dee Farndon to Chester – Saturday 3.11.18

LCC River Dee Farndon to Chester – Saturday 3.11.18

6 of us headed from Farndon down to Sandy Lane at Chester. There was a strong tail wind which pushed us along from time to time. We were amazed by the variety and sheer number of river side shacks and sheds (aka holiday homes) on raised up above the flood plain along the river banks just below Farndon. One would make an ideal overnight camp spot for a club trip if anyone has a contact in the area.

The Autumnal colours were fantastic withal shades of red, brown, yellow and green on display. Cormorants, heron, kingfishers, fancy looking ducks and couple of swans watched our passage downstream. We stopped for lunch just opposite the Iron Bridge at Eaton Hall. Brews were made with a variety of stoves. We soon set off again past the Grosvenor Estate but there were no deer to see by the river today. The car park and canoe launching spot of Eccleston Ferry was on the left before we entered the outskirts of Chester. This is a great little trip for kayaks and open boats for anyone wanting to do a local trip but yet feel like they are out in the sticks.

More information……

Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 10”

Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 10”
25th August (Saturday) – Eaglet Bay to Esther Island


We had a good start to the day with a relatively dry breakfast and pack up having, in the end, been well above the tide line (despite the concerns of some on the previous night). This is a campsite I would certainly use again.


The Wally Noerenberg Hatchery (WNH) is the second PWSAC-owned hatchery located in Lake Bay on the southern end of Esther Island in Prince William Sound, approximately 20 miles east of Whittier.  The hatchery was built in 1985 with monies borrowed from the Alaska Fisheries Enhancement Revolving Loan Fund.  WNH is currently permitted for 148 million pink, 165 million chum, 4 million coho, and 4 million Chinook salmon eggs annually.  Sockeye salmon were also cultured at WNH in the past and was transferred to the Main Bay Hatchery in 1990.


Klint Hischke, WNH Hatchery Manager leads a permanent, year-round staff of eight along with a seasonal staff of 12 during the summer months.  Klint has worked with PWSAC (Remote Programs, CCH and WNH) since 2013.  He received his B.S. in Water Resource-Fisheries with a minor in Aquaculture from University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

All the Hatchery Managers enjoy giving tours, showing off their hatcheries and the fish, so please stop by if you are in the area.  All the hatcheries can be contacted on VHF 16.

This marine park is located on the southern end of Esther Island, including Lake and Quillian Bays. Lake Bay houses one of the world’s largest fish hatcheries. You can also carefully navigate to the head of the bay for an anchorage. A hike along the eastern edge of the lagoon and through a low, forested pass brings you to Esther Lake. The land is too wet and uneven for camping.



The Wally H. Noerenberg Fish Hatchery is owned and operated by the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC). PWSAC is a private, non-profit corporation operating under a special permit with Alaska State Parks. Fresh water can be obtained from the floating dock near the hatchery. Mooring buoys in front of the hatchery may be used if available.

During commercial openings, the fishing fleet crowds the area and you are advised to stay clear of the nets and boat traffic. During the height of the fish run, black bears can be seen near the hatchery.


We left Eaglet bay just before 9:00am with a flexible plan as to our final destination for the day. The weather forecast for that day was fine, but the following day was looking wet and windy. That was going to influence the decision as to where and when we camped that night.

The first part of the route was basically hand railing the coast to Ragged Point and on to Squaw Bay, before a short crossing to East flank island and then over to Esther Island.  We would then hand-rail the coast to the inlet, which is where the fishery and sea plane base are located. We intended to make the decision as to whether we camped on East Flank or continue to a better location to weather the expected storm.

Having left the campsite bay, we had some good mountain views between the broken clouds at times.   We then passed the current site of the oyster farm. This is just a load of mooring buoys with chains on which they grow the oysters.

We were accompanied by the odd sea lion but made good time and were on course to land at East Flank dead on 11:00 for elevenses. Just as we were about to leave the right-hand coast, a bear was spotted feeding at a stream outlet. This gave the good photographers with big cameras an excellent opportunity for some good shots. They got really close with some stealth paddling and were fortunate to be down wind. This I think set the bear count to 7. After about a quarter hour the bear moved on and so did we. We landed at the north of East Flank island for a break and while we were resting we were entertained by a couple of feeding sea lions. Yet another photo opportunity.

From here we crossed to Esther Island and followed the coast. This section of the journey was relatively uneventful, but we could hear the sea lion colony out on Egg rock and saw some boat traffic in the main shipping lane.  The tour boats headed out to see the sea lion colony.

We eventually made Esther Island for a late lunch and made our first contact with humans from outside of our group during this trip. As we entered the inlet at Esther Island we spotted a couple of other sea kayakers.  Keith engaged them in conversation about their trip while assessing the landing and camping area, which was located in a side bay just around the corner from the fishery.

They turned out to be a couple of local paddlers setting out to cross over to Valdez and were intending to take up to four weeks. They moved their boats up and we all landed on the small beach area and climbed up the ladder to the lower platform and had lunch while we talked with them. They then left, so we decided then that this should be our base for the night and the next day as we would likely be storm bound. The only real other option being at least another 3 hours of paddling. Camping platforms where bagged and the camp set up.

Once sorted Frankie took a wander up to the top of the campsite boardwalk and had a close encounter with a bear, which did not seem to be bothered by our presence. Others went exploring to the waterfall and took photos while it was not raining.

Just as most of us where about to call it a night and where heading to our tents, Mark and Rodger came back from a walk they had been on to the fishery (Wally Noerenberg Hatchery – see opposite). They said they had seen at least another 8 bears. With this exciting news a group of us set of with them to see. We did this with caution, taking bear spray etc in cases they were right about the large group of bears.  After the walk around the island the previous week we choose to stay on established paths and not to detour. From the top of the camping area there was an established board walk path to the fishery.  Once there we too were able to spend time watching 6 to 8 black bears fishing along with sea lions that had jumped past the fishery boom and were just feasting on the salmon trying to swim upstream past the rapids to the lake. We watched salmon try (and in most cases fail) to climb the waterfall and the bears crossing over from the wood to the river totally ignoring our presence.

Eventually we headed back to bed as dusk fell.


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Ian Bell     
More Photos……….       Audio Report……..


Liverpool Canoe Club is open to all and aims "to provide the maximum canoeing and kayaking opportunities for all its members"