A brief visit to Maryport

Seven paddlers turned out for the Workington to Maryport Trip with – if we’re honest – fairly modest expectations; Workington has some fascinating industrial history, but it’s not renowned for it’s physical beauty. However, the weather was even better than forecast, with gentle breezes, blue sky and sunshine. Mike Heslop had recommended this trip and was the de-facto trip leader and sInce the weather was so good, we agreed with his plan to head offshore out to the the channel marker buoy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOut here the tide had strengthened to around 4knots, and we fairly raced towards Maryport, with crystal clear views across to Argyll and the Isle of Whithorn. We stopped on a sandy beach inside Maryport harbour and had lunch, (including Mike Sunderland’s Easter egg!), and then paddled slowly round the yacht harbour whilst waiting for the ebb tide to get started. An officious lady tried to spoil the day by telling us the marina was private property and we should have used our VHF to ask permission before entering, so we smiled and waved before paddling off ): A steady paddle back into bright sunshine and a strengthening wind saw us back at the cars.

Lakeland gain 11/12 points at Cheadle

Lakeland Canoe Club canoe Polo at Cheadle

On Saturday 18th March Lakeland Canoe Club, Frances, John, Mike P, Gemma, Jo and Mike H braved the snow to travel to Cheadle, South Manchester, for the final round of the Northern/Central Division 3 canoe polo matches.fullsizeoutput_372

Lakeland drew 2:2 against Shrewsbury, beat a young Derby Viking side 8:2.  and narrowly lost 3:4 in a friendly game against Liverpool.

Unfortunately, some other teams failed to make it so in a shortened tournament. The league rules give a 3:0 victory against a team that doesn’t show up, so Lakeland are hopeful of rising up the league table in the final standings.

Some further excitement lay in store for the journey home, when noises from the roof forced a stop on the M61 hard shoulder and climbing onto the top of minibus to tighten up the straps holding on the canoes, in the dark, in a blizzard, at -2.5oC.  Thankfully all made it safely home.

Two’s Company


It was a lovely looking day and the sun felt warm, in the car that is. Getting out of the car to take the boat off the roof I could feel a cold and a biting wind.

Dave and I had arranged to have a run down the Leven, it was looking low but enough water, just enough at 0.80.  With a lower level of water it was subtly different from my previous trips. Generally less powerful but some of the stoppers on the little reefs had a little more bite and more retention. It was a bit spicy on the hands.

Backbarrow soon arrived, the middle rock was visible, and the rapid run down the tongue, from the river centre/left by me and the right by Dave, the rock being avoided on both lines.

We then explored subterranean passages under the hotel, found a ladder down the right channel presumably up into the hotel – secret escape passages? We could not see the end of the left channel – head torch required.

Soon was the car was reached and addition of a few more layers.

Later in the day I looked out of a nice warm café at a blizzard  blowing down Main Road in Windermere  with a nice warm feeling for once we got the best of the weather – made mu treacle tart taste extra nice.

A morning’s paddling is still better than a day in the office.

A cold grey day with almost no water anywhere wasn’t a great start. But a new member, Kylan, was keen to test his polo skills in the great outdoors, so Mike, Phil and John W gave him a short run down the Brathay from Chester’s cafe. (Not enough water to try higher up, so Skelwith Force could be safely left for another day. The first challenge was to get past two fishermen who were stood waist deep in the river. Fortunately, they turned out to be two dead tree trunks, (should’ve gone to Specsavers John), so we carefully found shallow lines down to the rapid above Brathay pool. Some tiny wavelets here, but so many rocks showing that playing was almost impossible. We went down to the confluence and paddled back up to the bottom wave on the Rothay, which gave us some much needed challenge, surfing practice. We turned for home after half an hour or so, as Kylan was getting a bit too good…Moral A poor morning’s paddling is still better than a day in the office.