Canoe Polo at Liverpool Canoe Club” by Josh Cook Tomorrow – Monday 16th November – 7:30 to 8:10pm

Liverpool Canoe Club Talk
Canoe Polo at Liverpool Canoe Club” by Josh Cook Tomorrow – Monday 16th November – 7:30 to 8:10pm

Invitation to join Josh with his talk about the game of Canoe Polo. This is a great way to develop paddling skills and having fun while on the water. Even if you have no intention of giving it a go you should try to join Josh to find out more about this side of paddlesport.

(You do not need a camera or microphone to watch the video stream, but you can ask questions if you do have them)


Liverpool Canoe Club Talk (Zoom)

See google group email for details of how to join the talk

If you missed last night’s talk “If you get into trouble, stay with your canoe and try to attract the attention of passing aircraft” by Roger Morgan you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

If you missed last night’s talk “If you get into trouble, stay with your canoe and try to attract the attention of passing aircraft” by Roger Morgan you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

Upcoming talks

Monday 7th December Sea Kayaking in Thailand by Roger Morgan

Monday 30th November ????????

Monday 23rd November ????????

Monday 16th November Canoe Polo by Josh Cook

Monday 9th November Expedition on the Green River in Utah by Roger Morgan Club YouTube Link….

Monday 19th October Club Awards Evening, Talks and AGM Club YouTube Link….

Monday 12th October St Kilda trip with Gordon Brown in 2018 by, Kris D’Aout Club YouTube Link….

Monday 5th October Folding Kayaks and expeditions by Tim Haines Club YouTube Link….

Monday 28th September Skye by Jenny Brown and Chris Thompson Club YouTube Link….

Monday 21st September River Tweed by Brian Green Club YouTube Link…..

Monday 14th September Outer Hebrides Caz and Pete Thomas  Club YouTube Link…..

“If you get into trouble, stay with your canoe and try to attract the attention of passing aircraft” by Roger Morgan Tonight – Monday 9th November – 7:30 to 8:10pm

Liverpool Canoe Club Talk
“If you get into trouble, stay with your canoe and try to attract the attention of passing aircraft” by Roger Morgan Tonight – Monday 9th November – 7:30 to 8:10pm

Invitation to join Roger with his talk about his Expedition on the Green River in Utah by Roger Morgan “If you get into trouble, stay with your canoe and try to attract the attention of passing aircraft” a week’s canoe expedition down the green river, Utah

(You do not need a camera or microphone to watch the video stream, but you can ask questions if you do have them)

Check your Google Group Email for zoom details to join us

Covid-19 update – how the club intends to respond to the 1-month National Lockdown

Covid-19 update – how the club intends to respond to the 1-month National Lockdown

The Stewardship group have reviewed all the latest guidance and agreed on the following. From 00:01 Thursday 5th November we will suspend all club paddles until either the national lockdown is lifted or further guidance allows. The club always operates within prevailing British Canoeing and Government guidance.

  • The docks and compound will be closed from 00:01 on Thursday 5th November until further notice.

We intend to reinstate the Monday evening zoom calls with club presentations and informal talks but this does mean we need volunteers to talk about any aspect of paddle sport. Please contact website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk to volunteer.

Please note that while all club group activity is prohibited, members are still free to exercise either alone, within their household group or to meet one other from outside of their household to exercise.  This means that if you have your own equipment, you can still paddle locally but please ensure that any paddling is well within your capabilities.

There are many local venues within easy reach of Merseyside.  Example locations and access points can be found here https://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/venues/Local%20Paddles/  It would be great if members could post short trip reports of any paddling undertaken to inspire others (text and photos to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk)

You can still use this google group to ask for one other person to paddle with you, but you must ensure you keep within the rules. Please note than any such paddling will be a private paddle. No paddles will be put on the club calendar during this time.

Many thanks for all you support over the summer. It has been great to see so much paddling by the club during these difficult times.

LCC

Use of the beach area next to our compound at the docks

Use of the beach area next to our compound at the docks

We need members help to continue to run sessions at the docks smoothly:

  • The barrier entrance must be kept closed when not actually being used for vehicle entry / exit. We need to ensure ONLY authorised vehicles access the area.
  • All litter needs to be removed from around the compound (why not bring down a bin bag from time to time and have a little clean up to help out)
  • Please zip up all buoyancy aids after use or they fall on the floor and store boats on their sides with 3 or 4 to a rack so they do not fill up with water or get damaged.

In practice:

Key holder or deputy unlocks the barrier and checks the “flood” of cars as they arrive and pass through the gate (Ideally only 15 minutes before the session). When there is a lull in arrivals, they will close the latching arm on the gate, with the gate providing a solid rigid barrier. {Note: Keep the padlock locked on the D ring below the gate latch.} Any late arrivals will drive up to gate, swing open the latching arm, and open the gate. They drive through a short distance, then close and relatch the gate.

After all kayakers arrive, or all present are ready for the paddle, the key holder applies the padlock to already latched main gate, closes and locks the compound, then all paddle off into the sunset whistling “Happy days!”

Please try not to turn up excessively early as the gate will generally only be unlocked 15 minutes before the start of the session. If you are early, remain inside your cars until called forward.

Club’s statement of position with regard to tier 3 (Very High Alert Level)

The Stewardship Group have reviewed all the emerging advice and guidance for the region’s Tier 3 (Very High) status and concluded that as an organised sport we can continue to paddle at the docks under our current Covid 19 guidelines. However, we do not advise travel outside of the region at this current time.

In addition to our requirement for members to pre-book all places and to maintain a strict “rule of six” while paddling, members will be required to wear face coverings whist moving around the compound area (from their cars to the compound and only removing them when they are afloat).

If you have any symptoms or are required to self-isolate, please stay at home.  If any member has any concerns over paddling in a group while maintaining two metres at all time, they should refrain from paddling with the club.

The Government advice for this rationale is copied below.  Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know

Local COVID alert level: very high

This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. You should therefore check the specific rules in your area.

At a minimum, this means:

  • you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not allowed
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport
  • you should try to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level area you are in or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
  • you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very-high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but aim to reduce the number of journeys you make

This is the baseline in very-high alert level areas. The government will also seek to agree additional interventions in consultation with local authorities, in order to drive down transmission of the virus. These could include the following options:

  • restrictions preventing the sale of alcohol in hospitality or closing all hospitality (except takeaway and delivery)
  • closing indoor and outdoor entertainment venues and tourist attractions
  • closing venues such as leisure centres and gyms (while ensuring provision remains available for elite athletes, youth and disabled sport and physical activity)
  • closing public buildings, such as libraries and community centres (while ensuring provision remains available for youth and childcare activities and support groups)
  • closing personal care and close contact services or prohibiting the highest-risk activities
  • closing performing arts venues for the purposes of performing to audiences

You should therefore check whether additional restrictions apply in your area.

Find out more about the measures that apply in very high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Published 12 October 2020
Last updated 12 October 2020 + show all updates

If you missed last night’s talk St Kilda trip with Gordon Brown in 2018 by Kris D’Aout you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

St Kilda, Scotland - Portsmouth Canoe ClubIf you missed last night’s talk St Kilda trip with Gordon Brown in 2018 by Kris D’Aout you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

Upcoming talks

Monday 9th November Expedition on the Green River in Utah by Roger Morgan

Monday 2nd November ????

Monday 26th October ???

Monday 19th October Club Awards Evening, Talks and AGM

Monday 12th October St Kilda trip with Gordon Brown in 2018 by, Kris D’Aout Club YouTube Link….

Monday 5th October Folding Kayaks and expeditions by Tim Haines Club YouTube Link….

Monday 28th September Skye by Jenny Brown and Chris Thompson Club YouTube Link….

Monday 21st September River Tweed by Brian Green Club YouTube Link…..

Monday 14th September Outer Hebrides Caz and Pete Thomas Club YouTube Link…..

If you missed last night’s talk “Folding Kayaks and expeditions” by Tim Haines you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

If you missed last night’s talk “Folding Kayaks and expeditions” by Tim Haines you can now watch it on the Club YouTube Link….

Upcoming talks

Monday 9th November Expedition on the Green River in Utah by Roger Morgan

Monday 2nd November ????

Monday 26th October ???

Monday 19th October Club Awards Evening, Talks and AGM

Monday 12th October St Kilda trip with Gordon Brown in 2018 by, Kris D’Aout

Monday 5th October Folding Kayaks and expeditions by Tim Haines Club YouTube Link….

Monday 28th September Skye by Jenny Brown and Chris Thompson Club YouTube Link….

Monday 21st September River Tweed by Brian Green Club YouTube Link…..

Monday 14th September Outer Hebrides Caz and Pete Thomas Club YouTube Link…..

A long Mersey paddle by Kris D’Aout

Oooh, Mersey mercy me!

Here is a story of two guys going for a long paddle on the Mersey, but that’s only the superficial story. The Deeper Message is that the Mersey deserves to be paddled more. The river is good to us paddlers (with ifs and buts, keep reading).

On 19 September 2020 we had one of the biggest spring tides of the year (10.04 m at Gladstone Lock) which gives a flood current of 6 knots in places. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity the see how far I’d get on the river – would it be possible to get from the mouth of the river to Warrington and back? The best way to find out is to try it and I found another crazy person (Brian Green) to team up with. I’d leave from New Brighton and he’d trolley from home in Waterloo, adding a few more miles (so in fact he’s crazier than me), with us communicating over VHF and meeting on the water. That worked well, but it’s striking how hard it is to spot each other even from quite close by. I had to paddle ¾ of the way to the other side to spot Brian. Apparently, it is easier to spot a very tall guy with ginger hair than a normal tall guy with, ermmm, no ginger hair.

The flow was working well and we enjoyed a pleasant push past the Three Graces and on to Otterspool promenade. Once past there, the river widens to about 5 km but we still enjoyed good tidal assistance and often made 15 km/h (9 mph). This section also has sandbanks – they were covered but did generate medium-sized overfalls which kept us on our toes. All of this happened with an easterly headwind force 3-4 (gusting 5) against the tide which definitely added “interest” but nothing too dramatic. It’s good to have a GPS indicating ground speed, because subjectively it felt like we weren’t going anywhere.

We reached Runcorn Bridge after 30 km and just over 2.5 h of paddling and cracked on to the new Gateway bridge. A few miles further the Mersey becomes narrow and proper river-like, but still with good tidal assistance. On big springs, the tide even tops the weir in Warrington. On big springs, there can also be a bore – we later found out we missed it by 20’, but it was a small, non-surfable one because of the opposing wind.

We made it to Warrington albeit just a few miles short of the weir. But the tide had started to turn and we still had to get back, ideally before sunset. After a brief lunch break at the Fiddler’s Ferry Sailing Club (big thanks for letting us use the slipway and loos, and for nice chats) we cracked on to discover that the river was starting to expose sandbanks between the two bridges, but with a good channel running so progress was good. This is where we just missed some North West Sea kayakers (they spotted us though).

West of Runcorn Bridge we stuck to the right bank towards Hale Point. So far, so good. Once past Hale Point, it was the Wild West though! It was quite interesting psychologically. That first scratch of the paddle against the bottom I tried to just ignore, “it didn’t happen”. The second one, hmmm, third one… Of course, soon enough we were sat on a sandbank, cursing, and with no other option than to carry and drag our boats. It wasn’t so bad – we had two “portages” of about 10’ each but we felt uncertain about what was yet to come, with no overview of where the good channels were (they move a lot and charts are unreliable here).

We only knew it would only get worse, so we had to move fast. Thinking back, it made sense why the river was lower now than it was on the outward leg. Firstly, the tides have a delay going up the river – so when we turned in Warrington, the tide was already ebbing for about an hour in the “sandbank” area. Secondly, the quite strong Easterly wind probably pushed the water out faster than on a calm day.

Eventually we found the Garston Channel – a relief, and the beginning of the final stretch. It is only when you paddle past buoys that you realise how fast the current is.

It was beautiful! Our bodies felt OK, the Liverpool skyline was glowing golden and we could almost smell that fresh pint waiting for us. After nine hours and 85 km in the boat, I was welcomed in New Brighton by Mieke, while Brian carried on to Crosby and perfected his trolleying skills (I’m sure they’re really good now).

What a day, what a paddle!

Kris D’Août

Some notes on paddling the Mersey (the “ifs and buts”)

The Mersey is underpaddled – it certainly is different from, say, North wales, but it has its own appeal. The “river” needs to be treated as the sea in terms of required skills and planning. In fact, most of the times it would fall within the Advanced remit because of the general lack of landing spots and the conditions you might encounter. Also, IF you’d be in trouble, either you’re far away from people/help, or very close to them which might mean a guest appearance in the Liverpool Echo, and surely we don’t want that. Also, The Mersey is no good for rescue practice etc. (unless you really want to fill your sinuses with mud).

I divide the Mersey in three sections:

  • Lower Mersey: from the mouth (New Brighton/ Crosby) to Eastham (Manchester Ship Canal entrance). Here is the fastest flow (up to 6 kts) and the most traffic, including container ships, oil carriers, ferries, tugs and pilot boats. There are only few sandbanks in this area and they are close to Eastham. They can produce overfalls. This area has lots of landing stages and constructions. Stay clear of them because they are dangerous (you can get pinned etc.) especially with a big current (some club members can testify).
  • Eastham to Fiddler’s Ferry: this is much more remote and indeed in the airport area the river is 5 km wide. There are many sandbanks creating overfalls and drying out around mid-tide (I estimate). The navigable channels change here, and there is no reliable chart for this area. Once past Hale Point it is best to stick to the middle of the river and then onto the left to cross Runcorn Bridge (beware for a back eddy on the flood just after Hale Point on the left; i.e. the right bank of the river). Past Runcorn Bridge and toward the gateway Bridge, there are sandbanks in the middle; best stick close to either bank. The river then narrows.
  • Fiddlers’ Ferry and upstream: as you approach the Sailing Club the Mersey becomes a river proper, albeit very tidal at springs.

A few things to bear in mind when planning:

  • The tide is delayed the more you go upstream. This gives you lots of time when paddling upstream but works against you (in terms of having enough water) when paddling back towards the mouth. On springs, HW at Hale Point is Liverpool (Gladstone Lock) +35’, at Widnes +45’, at Fiddler’s ferry +65’ and at Warrington + 85’.
  • In most places, the Mersey is flood dominated, so the flood last shorter but is faster than the ebb. Keep this in mind – the way back downstream is going to take longer.
  • Sand banks – if you are going to cut it fine (like we did 😊) take a trolley.
  • It is best to inform Holyhead Coastguard of your plans (phone or VHF Ch 16) – they like that. Not just for your own safety, but also to prevent unnecessary RNLI shouts. On our trip, a “concerned member of the public” apparently found it necessary to call the coastguard when we were happily cruising past the ferry terminal in calm conditions. The Coastguard knew we were on the water and were able to make sure we were not in distress.
  • When paddling the lower Mersey, it is mandatory to contact the harbour control (Mersey VTS, VHF Ch 12), tell them of your plans and reassure them that you will stay clear of commercial traffic. Big ships will almost certainly radio Mersey VTS if (if) they spot kayaks (usually labelled “canoeists”) and if the VTS can just reply “yes we know they’re there, all is fine” then this will make us look like pros.
  • Below are the tidal profiles from our paddle (from Navionics). These are cropped midnight to midnight, with our start time (about 10:30 am) as the crosshair. You’ll see Liverpool to Eastham behaves mostly “textbook”, but higher up it gets really funky, with an extra rise and fall at the end of the ebb thrown in, then a very fast (bore-like) rise and a slow ebb. So, there is a quite small window to paddle Fiddlers Ferry upstream – between 12:33 and 14:09 (in this example). They look very different on neaps when the tide doesn’t get to Warrington at all.

Sources used:

Sunday Morning Sessions 10:00am until 12:00 midday and Junior Club 1.00pm until 3:00pm

Sunday Morning Sessions 10:00am until 12:00 midday and Junior Club 1.00pm until 3:00pm

These sessions have been running successfully with strict controls on numbers for some weeks now, but we have still been able to get 5 groups of up to six on the water.  Today the sessions took a step forward with the use of “ski school” numbers for group members to muster around with their equipment.  Strict social distancing and use of hand sanitiser are required at all times with no more than 6 allowed in or around the compound at any one time.

How it works – members book on to a relevant session using the LCC booking page… (you need your website username and password).   Sheltered water leaders & key holders all need to book as well so that we have no more than 30 people on site at any one time.   People are allocated to groups of similar ability and craft (you can suggest these when you book).   Bookings close 24hrs before the paddle but the session does rely on at least 5 experienced group leaders volunteering to lead groups.  Everyone gets a list by email of who is in which group with a named leader.   When they arrive and the compound is uncrowded they can select equipment and carry it to their group number.  When everyone in a group is present they can launch and paddle off together.   On your return, you wait on the water for the group in front to vacate the compound and then you can land and put away your borrowed equipment, return to your car and then leave.

More details of paddles on our club calendar with links to the LCC booking page…

A reminder:

  • Please stay at home if you have any Corona virus symptoms.
  •  All paddling with the club MUST be pre-booked to enable track and trace / to control numbers (records to be kept for 21 days)
  • Please use the QR code on the posters at the compound to register attendance at the venue with your NHS COVID-19 app
  • Use your own hand sanitiser both before and after paddling.
  • Keep at least 2m social distance at all times.
  • Do not mingle or chat with others from another group of 6
  • Please leave the car park as soon as you have returned and put away all of your equipment.

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