Mallaig and District Canoe Club Mallaig and District Canoe Club Touring


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2017 Touring Calendar - .pdf touring calendar to print here

 

Date

Location Organiser Grade Comments

March 25th.

Loch Ailort

TL A Warm up for the season

April 9th.

Loch Leven

RS A

 

April 16th.

Rescue Day N/A JJ Essential drills

May 13th./14th.

Handa Island KB B  

May 21st.

Loch Sunart PS A  

June 15th./18th.

Mull - South Coast * TL B Loch Spelve to Fidden TRIP FULL

July 9th.

Inverie PS A  

July 14th./16th.

N. coast of Skye * MK B  

July 29th/30th.

Lismore * BS B  

August 12th.

Eilean Shona circuit JS A Includes walk on island

August 25th./27th.

Torrin JS All  

September 23rd/24th.

Crowlin Islands * RS B  

 

       
         
         
N.B. Club paddles are covered by SCA 3rd. party liability insurance. In the interest of safety, if you would like to offer a Club paddle please contact a Committee member with your proposal first. Paddles organised by Club members that are not on the Club Touring Calendar will not be covered by our SCA insurance and should state this when proposing to other Club members. Members organising a Club paddle should make all members aware of the Club Guidelines for Touring Participants (see below). Contact details for Committe members can be found on the Contacts page.

*  denotes overnight wild camping

TL = Tony Laidler 0771 7341 610 tlaidler@btinternet.com
JS = Joan Smith 01687 462206 smith.joan@hotmail.co.uk
MK = Mike Kingswood Tel 07887 522811 makpaddler@gmail.com
RS = Ruth Sime 01855 811624 ruth.sime@hotmail.co.uk
JJ = John Jenkins Tel 07787393967 JohnRichardJenkins@gmail.com
KB = Kirsty Bloom Tel. 07475 255229 kirstybloom@gmail.com
PS = Peter Sugden 01687 450 716 sugdendesign@gmail.com
BS = Bill Scott 01397 704 665 elvireandbillscott@hotmail.com

N.B. Club paddles are covered by SCA 3rd. party liability insurance. In the interest of safety, if you would like to offer a Club paddle please contact a committee member with your proposal first. Paddles organised by Club members that are not on the Club Touring Calendar will not be covered by our SCA insurance and should state this when proposing to other Club members. Members organising a Club paddle should make all members aware of the Club Guidelines for Touring Participants (see below). Contact details for committee members can be found on the Contacts page.

The following guidelines should be read by anyone wishing to participate in or organise a club trip.
They can also be downloaded as PDFs:

Guidelines for Touring Participants
Trip organisiation
Kit List

GUIDELINES FOR  TOURING PARTICIPANTS

Mallaig & District Canoe Club runs a number of kayak trips which are published as a Touring Calendar for members and posted on the Touring page of the club website www.mallaigcanoeclub.co.uk/touring.html. While the trips are organised for the benefit of members, a warm invitation is extended to paddlers who haven’t been before. Hopefully you will enjoy the trips so much that you will join the club!

Calendar Trips

Touring Calendar trips offer you the opportunity to experience some of the finest sea kayaking in the world in the company of like-minded people. It is an opportunity to gain experience, explore new areas and meet new people. As with any outdoor pursuit there is an element of risk, so it is important to study the information below, understand the basis of your participation and not put yourself or other paddlers at risk.

BCU awards
The club does not require members to hold any awards in order to participate in club events. However, members are encouraged to gain awards if they so wish and this can be a useful way to measure one’s ability and to become involved with club coaching activities. Details of the awards scheme can be viewed here.

Trip Gradings
In order to give you some idea of the type of trip and conditions you might experience, trips are graded Pre-A, A, B or C. They can vary from a short paddle on a sheltered inland loch to the exposed headlands, cliffs, crossings and tide races among some of Scotland ’s rugged coastline and islands. Complete beginners should attend club pool sessions, club rescue days, pre-A trips and/or some training with a qualified professional or outdoor centre before attending club trips of grade A or above. The club may run bespoke beginner coaching sessions in the summer (Pre-A grade). Please ask the Coaching Secretary for more details. The next step is go on some Grade A trips so that you can judge your capabilities against other paddlers and minimise the risk to yourself.

 Grade Pre-A paddles are for you if you haven’t paddled before or have just done some sessions in the pool. Pre-A trips will be involve learning and developing skills on a short paddle and will usually take place on a weekday evening in the Mallaig area while the nights are light.

 Grade A paddles aim to be in sheltered water with no long open crossings. You should be capable of paddling 20km (12 miles) per day in Force 2/3 conditions and have previously paddled as a member of a group.

 Grade B paddles are in more challenging waters and may include tidal streams, exposed headlands, sections where no landing or escape is possible and open crossings. Participants should be capable of paddling 25km (16 miles) per day in up to Force 4 conditions with waves up to 2 metres in height. You will be confident at self rescue and rescuing another person and have some knowledge of navigation, trip planning, map reading and generally what you may be expected to encounter.

Grade C paddles include all the elements of Grade B and in addition may have long sections where no landing or escape is possible and/or long open crossings. Grade C trips are often multi-day trips with overnight camping. You should be capable of paddling 35km (22 miles) per day in up to Force 4 conditions on consecutive days and have the skills to cope with Force5/6 conditions should they occur. You should be confident in breaking waves, surf and stronger tidal streams and be willing to paddle in the dark if necessary. You must have your own personal safety equipment (see RECOMMENDED LIST) and know how to use it. You should be an independent paddler with all the skills required to be a valuable group member.

If the trip involves overnight kayak camping (not single day trips from car based camping) the grade will include an asterisk i.e. A*, B*, C*.

Bear in mind that Trip Gradings are only an estimate and that changing weather and sea conditions can very quickly increase the seriousness of the trip.


TRIP ORGANISERS   (see also TRIP ORGANISATION below)

Trip Organisers are volunteers who give up their time, free of charge, to act as a contact point for paddlers who are interested in paddling in a stated area. Organisers are not accepting responsibility for other paddlers or for instructing them as part of the trip. These are NOT guided trips run by qualified instructors.

  • Organisers will generally issue details of a meeting place and time and a suggested route from their knowledge of the area. Tidal conditions and distances involved make it important to be ready at the correct time. If you are late don’t expect other paddlers to wait for you.
  • Be aware that the organiser may have to change or cancel the trip due to weather conditions or for other reasons, so check nearer the trip that it’s still on.
  • Please be aware that Organisers may refuse to let you come on a trip because they are unsure of your competence/fitness/equipment or because the trip is oversubscribed.
  • Participation is always at the discretion of the organiser.

Communicating with the Organiser

  • If you want to join a trip and don’t know the Organiser, please let them know what experience and/or paddlesport qualifications you have, as well as any medical issues that may affect your paddling or become relevant in case of an emergency. If possible refer the organiser to an experienced paddler who can comment on your abilities.
  • We don’t a have requirement for participants to be qualified, so it is important that a trip is within your capabilities.
  • If you are interested in a trip please contact the organiser beforehand to get joining instructions. Do not leave it to the last minute as trips may be changed due to impending weather or other reasons.
  • Please do not turn up for a trip without having previously contacted the organiser.

Your Responsibilities

The Club places the highest priority on running trips safely. It is your responsibility to be properly equipped (clothing and safety kit) for safe paddling. Training in rescue procedures is essential and we urge everyone to practice this at least annually.
Most sea kayaking fatalities (fortunately very rare) are due to hypothermia caused by immersion. Unless conditions are very benign, you should wear either a drysuit or dry cag and dry trousers or a wetsuit and cag. In calm, warm conditions when  T-shirts are in order, you should carry immersion clothing, as conditions can change quickly.

Be aware that an Organiser may refuse your participation on a trip if you turn up without adequate immersion clothing.
See FULL LIST OF KIT REQUIRED.

On trips you are responsible for making your own decisions and for your own safety. You are responsible for judging if any medical problems you suffer from may affect your safety on the water. If you have any doubts consult a doctor. Weather and water conditions will affect what you can cope with at your own skill level and physical condition. You should do your own planning, listen to the weather forecast, check tides and make sure you are happy to do what the other paddlers want to do.

On the water
Each paddler on a trip is responsible for their own safety first, the safety of the group second. Do not paddle knowingly into danger expecting that someone else on the trip will sort your problem out. All paddlers go on a personal journey, but when in a group, that journey is shared with others. Everyone on a paddle should get used to looking out for each other and act in a way that enhances the safety of the group. It is inevitable that on club paddles, levels of experience will vary. We should all therefore help and encourage less experienced paddlers and demonstrate responsible behaviour ourselves.
There are a few basics:

  • Always let the trip organiser know your intentions; if you wish to take a different route, okay this first and agree a meeting point. Everyone is responsible for everyone else.
  • Keep a check on the group, count heads, alert others if you think there is a problem - maybe they haven't spotted it. The more challenging the conditions are, the closer together we need to paddle.
  • We should always be in communication distance whatever the conditions. In calm weather, this could be by radio only but agree this in advance.

Other sources of information
You will find guidelines for trip planning, kit recommendations and much more on the club website at www.mallaigcanoeclub.co.uk/planning.html and www.mallaigcanoeclub.co.uk/contacts.html


Please familiarise yourself in particular with what is recommended to wear and to take in the way of food, drink, clothing and safety equipment on a trip. If you come unsuitably equipped you may not be permitted on the trip.


TRIP ORGANISATION     (these notes should be read in conjunction with the main club guidelines above)

Trips are organised by individual club members who volunteer to give up their time, free of charge, to act as a contact point for members who are interested in paddling in a stated area. They are not accepting responsibility for paddlers or for instructing them as part of the trip. These are NOT guided trips run by qualified instructors.

All members are welcome to attend trips provided they have the appropriate level of experience for the trip being undertaken. The member who is organising a particular trip is known as the Trip Organiser.

Submitting a trip for inclusion on the Touring Calendar
Well before the club’s paddling season begins, the Touring Calendar organiser emails all members with a request to submit trips for inclusion on the Touring Calendar.  Members should provide details of the venue, duration, any overnight camping and the grade of the trip which he/she is offering to organise. Any club member may be a Trip Organiser. The duties include choosing a suitable paddling route taking into account:

a) the distance
b) landing and escape options
c) any headlands to be negotiated
d) open crossings – distance and remoteness
e) any tidal steams
f) the tide times on the date of the trip and the moon phase (neap or spring tides)

g) any overnight camping (car camping and/or kayak camping)
h) start point (put-in)
i) finish point
j) car parking at start and finish points
k) grading the trip (A, B, C or A*, B* C*)
l) maximum group size (if any)

Prior to the trip
The Trip Organiser emails the whole club two weeks before with details about the trip with a request that any interested members should respond. Only those members who have responded will receive any further information.

During the week immediately prior to the trip the organiser assesses the forecast and emails his/her thoughts and conclusion to the interested members. If the forecast is favourable the email will confirm that the trip is going ahead and may provide further details including the meeting place and time. If the forecast is clearly incompatible with kayaking then the trip will be cancelled completely. Quite often the forecast is somewhere in between these two extremes and it may be decided to wait and see and to email again when the forecast has been revisited. The trip may go ahead, be cancelled or an alternative option may be offered.

Experience required to attend a particular trip
Members are best placed to decide for themselves whether or not a particular trip is for them. If there is any doubt or if the Trip Organiser does not know the member, the following criteria can be examined:

a) the distance
b) landing and escape options
c) any headlands to be negotiated
d) open crossings – distance and remoteness

e) any tidal streams
f)  any overnight kayak camping
g) the grade of the trip

If a member has successfully completed previous trips which have the same criteria as the proposed trip then it would be reasonable to attend (given that members should always review the weather and sea state at the time of launching and reassess their decision if necessary).

If the member lacks experience in one aspect it might still be appropriate to attend. It is only by taking on new challenges that experience can be significantly increased. However if there are two or more deficiencies this may be a challenge too far and the member might be better to take part in a different trip which bridges the gap and provides a more incremental increase in difficulty.

The decision-making process can be carried out by the member thinking it through on his/her own or it could be prompted by the Trip Organiser if necessary.

Please be aware that a Trip Organiser may refuse to let you come on a trip because he/she is not satisfied about your competence/fitness/equipment or because the trip is oversubscribed. Participation is always at the discretion of the organiser. Please do not turn up for a trip without having previously contacted the organiser.

Medical declaration
Members should inform the Trip Organiser of any medical condition or disability they have, including any treatment they are taking or may need which the Trip Organiser should be aware of. Members may wish to make a note of these medical details and/or next of kin emergency contact details and keep it with them for the duration of the trip.

Oversubscription
MDCC is a thriving and welcoming club and whilst this is as it should be there can be a problem of oversubscription on trips. The issues with large numbers include the difficulty of keeping everyone together on the water, lack of parking at put-ins and limited room for tents at campsites. In view of these issues Trip Organisers may wish to set a maximum group size and this should be mentioned with the trip details on the Touring Calendar. This means members might not always be able to go on a trip of their choosing. Securing places on trips is on a first come – first served basis. This can be frustrating for those who are unsuccessful but there is no other practical method. It goes without saying that members should only book onto a trip they are sure they are likely to be able to go and, in the event that circumstances prevent them from attending, they should inform the Trip Organiser as soon as possible so there is a chance that someone else can take the place.

Additional trips
If a trip is full another member can organise an additional trip to a different area or to the same area on a different date. The club encourages this as a way of providing more paddling for members. No member should organise an additional trip on the same date and to the same area as a pre-existing Touring Calendar trip. This is to avoid potential difficulty with available campsites and put-ins bearing in mind the need for groups to remain flexible in case of changeable weather and conditions.

On the water
Trip Organisers are not responsible for the safety of club members, however it is incumbent upon them to remind members of the responsibilities which we all have. Many of these responsibilities are summarised under Your Responsibilites and On the water in the main guidelines above.