The last paddle before Christmas saw DCC members take to the water at the docks wearing an assortment of hats. We even got chance to put up the tree. Due to covid restrictions the festive paddle was held at the docks, social distancing of course with one deer length between everyone, with Teigan and John getting ready to help Santa deliver his gifts. The best Christmas present was just getting a chance to catch up with everyone.
A peer paddle on Windermere, Monday afternoon, saw Trish, Duncan and Fran paddling in lovely conditions on the lake. This was captured by Duncan who took some great photos.
Several members turned up to paddle on this lovely Saturday afternoon. It was the first time since the 2nd lock down ended and it was great to back on the water with everyone social distancing and keeping safe. It made for an enjoyable paddle. The only draw back was the low level of the water in the dock but it gave a few daring folk the chance to paddle under the old support for the swing bridge. Not many have done this.
John and Alistair paddled on Wastwater in new 'Sit & Switch' C1's. The water was like a mirror as it was so calm. 'Sit and switch' is a method of paddling an open canoe where correcting steering strokes are not generally used. This means that all the time the paddle is spent in the water it is producing forward power. For a solo paddler this means you have to switch paddling side every 10 strokes or so - these boats have good directional stability - tend to go in a straight line. In a tandem boat when a paddler wants to change sides he shouts 'HUT' and you both change sides.
Whereas conventionally you would kneel in a canoe you sit in this case. Your feet are on a foot plate, often with a pull bar, as you find in race kayaks. This enables more efficient power transfer to push the boat forward. Sitting sacrifices stability for speed.
In North America there is a very large sit and switch race programme over varying distances and in specially designed classes of canoe.
(in the photo of the 2 sit and switch canoes the burgundy-coloured Wenonah canoe has a rudder!! It steers from the foot plate like a surf sky and while not accepted in competition it makes life very enjoyable when out on the water and is good for training C2 if your paddling partner is at work!!)
Two groups took to the water late Tuesday afternoon. One with Club member Tia deciding to try out a SUP board for the first time coached by John. As you can see she got the hang of it very quickly. They were just short of a bit of relaxing music to accompany the impromptu yoga lesson that John held on the water. New paddlers, a mother and daughter, enjoyed themselves out on the water with Fran and have decided to become members after having a few trial sessions. Fran also spotted the Pyramid of Furness dominating the sky line at the docks.
The sun shone on us all day for the first wildwater race of the season. 21 club paddlers of all abilities and all ages competed in this fun event. The Crake had plenty of water in following recent rain. This made the paddle up to the start at Penny Bridge a bit of a slog for some. Setting off at 1 min intervals the run down was some what faster with some taking less than 5 mins.
Many thanks to Andy and his many helpers for making it a ‘grand day out’ (and to all participants that made the effort so worth while).
Special appreciation to the Crake Croquet Club for letting us access the river via their property.
Look at the club calendar to see the other WWRs we are running in Jan. March and April next year.
Pictures of the start by Carols grandaughter Nancy who took some great pictures while her nana was at the start. Full album can be found here
One member and competitor on the day wrote
"Andy, Thanks a lot for organising the river race. It was very well organised, inclusive and managed. I know these are very difficult times to be organising events but credit to the club and the volunteers who manage to deliver it regardless of the challenges faced. I particularly liked the safety briefing and going through the course I realised how apt it was. Really appreciate your efforts.
Abdallah and Aban"
Wednesday 7th Oct. saw 5 mid-weekers at Brown Howe, Coniston for about 4 hours / 14 km of mainly gentle paddling and exploring. It stayed mainly dry with calm / wind/ squalls/ sun and clouds - a typical day in the lakes.
Brown Howe is one of only 3 recorded Cumbrian sites for the fairly rare native wild pear. The mid-weekers go out once or twice a month on lakes or canal. Contact John to go on his mailing list. Pictures by John and David.
“On 27th Sept. 10 novice paddlers and 4 coaches took to the water in glorious sunshine. The Leven’s slalom course was the venue for this river skills training session. Although the water level was low there was sufficient flow for basic training. The weir at the top of the rock garden provided more exciting water for the more experienced and a final adrenaline rush for the beginners! “ by John. Great pictures and videos by Sue, Fran, James & John who captured some great memories for folk to look back on of their achievements.
Over the years we have had many a club trips to Thirlmere. The conditions are always unpredictable and can change in the blink of an eye. This was a good day to circumnavigate the lake. It was calm and sunny most of the day but a stiff breeze built up as we reached the dam wall near the end of the trip - just to let us know we had been lucky this time!!
John organises these weekday tours once or twice a month on lakes or canal - if you would like to join his contact list for these outings send him your details. Pictures by Fran and John