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Lakeland Canoe Club

Across Morecamabe Bay, Ulverston to Arnside

Mike Hayward
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Event details


wind forecast force 3 with force 4 gusts , decreasing as approach Arnisde. Be prepared!! Don't forget food/ drink/ sub screen and hat.


1. Morecambe Bay  From Ulverston to Arnside

2. Saturday 6th July     High water 9.06m at 15.44p.m.

3. Starting --- Canal Foot Ulverston at 7.15 a.m.

4. At least 2 vehicles to meet at Arnside promenade at 6.15 a.m. for shuttle


5. Trip leader: Mike H

6. Any special notes: 

Sea kayaks only.

Experience of extended paddling duration desirable

We should be in Arnside by  2.15pm. And then retrieve cars from Ulverston

LCC members only. No guests

LCC last did this trip 2015.

Wind and wave prediction looking good(Monday)

The unknowns are : the channel locations in the estuaries; the time of the turn of the tide at low water; the duration of slack water;

Trip report from last time  is below.


RSVP at least 2 days before the event

Guests by arrangement with organiser, prior to trip only.

Arnside - Hi Robin, yes it is 6.15 a.m.

Canal Foot Ulverston, 45 minutes later we meet Brian and John

7.20 set off paddling down Leven Estuary

8.00 Robin ‘we’re doing 8.5 m.p.h'.  but according to OS map we are on a sand bank.- shifting channels !

8.15 We pass Idridge Scar a small rocky outcrop in the Bay. Start to head south.

8.45 The haze obscures all land. The wet sand, water and sky blend in, making it tricky to pick out any features. Only the small waves generated by the wind help us distinguish between the ‘ bright white sand banks and water

9.30 The time of low water. But a shallow channel grounds us. We end up pulling the kayaks- Surreal! walking on water 10 miles from land

The 300m pull relents and we are able to paddle again on a bearing until Heysham power station emerges from the murk.

A quick increase in speed is needed to make the channel off Heysham before the incoming tide pushed us back to where we started.

Off to the  West we see a wave breaking over a sand bank, which soon disappears. Time for a bite to eat and 20 minute rest as we await the flow increase.

10.00 Now heading NE past Morecambe. The channel splits several times as we gently paddle making 7mph.

11.30 we stop on some mussel beds, for a bite to eat, by Morecambe. Our extra elevation enables us to see we have entered a dead end. After a 30 minute break we paddle against the tide making 2 mph until we can get the  correct channel. By now the bay is filling, sand banks are covered and strange flow create rougher zones where wind blows against current.

12.30 We approach Silverdale and get pushed East by the current

13.00 Now getting pushed  NW towards Grange over Sands. We are just discussing  how to paddle on the bore and the dangers associated with ‘side  suck’, when we arrive  a  band of waves – the bore is actually forming  right under where we are floating.  Oops  Brian and John have never been on the bore wave before , but soon gain in confidence.

Stop paddling start steering as we get a free ride on the bore wave for the next few km.

Eventually the bore fades as the water in the river Kent flowing down the estuary is so low, 1000’s of gulls lift into the air as the incoming flow disturbs their feeding.

14.15 we made it to Arnside.

It is so fantastic when a plan works out. What a variety of experiences in one trip. The GPS tells us we have done 33miles or  53 km all pushed by the tide. Maximum speed  9.8 mph paddling time 6.5 hours.

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