River signals – be careful with these

Here are some you might see as they are in common use – they are not on Andy’s current list though:


tap head

In the UK, tapping the top of your head usually means “Come to me.” But in the US and among some boaters, it means “Are you OK? / I’m OK”


Upheld arm, or sometimes vertical paddle, means “Next one please.”  The paddle version is controversial – if you can only see the top of the paddle, how do you know if the user is signalling, or just trying to stay upright themselves.

The diving signal for “Are you OK? / I’m OK” is this:

OK O and K


River signals recap – advanced


Here’s some more:

Fingers doing a walking movement mean: lets walk round. Alternatively… getting out and walking round also signals “lets walk round.”

Shark fin in front of face: means “Go straight down the middle.” Alternative meaning (sea kayaking only) “dudu dudu dudud dududududuud….”

River signals recap – Traffic lights


choo chooStop

Stopping: “Talk to the hand.” Hand outstretched, palm flat, “Stop.” There are other “Stop” signals that some groups use: Crossed hands, like a scull and crossbones, or paddle horizontal above head, but we are choosing this “palm outstretched” one. When you see this, stop in an eddy. Preferably upstream of the person giving the signal. An alternative: see “Eddy out” signal.

Going: “Choo Chooooo” signal means “Safe / come on everyone!/Lets go!” Nevertheless, you are still allowed to give each other room, however funny a boat-jam might be.

For getting people to go one-at-a-time, try pointing at the person you want to go, and then point where you want them to go.

River signals recap – where are we going?

Go that way / Stay that side
Go there / Go that way / stay that side
Go that way / Stay that side
Go there / Go That way / stay that side
Eddy out (somewhere) (click)
Eddy Out - click me!
Eddy out (that side) (click)
Eddy out right - click me

Cath’s Mystical Magical Mystery Weekend

With a flutter in our hearts we appeared at the sheds on Saturday morning. Where are we going? What will we see? Will things ever be the same again?

At that moment we only knew it was to be the Lakes. First river, the Crake flowing out of Coniston. Everybody in and an enjoyable paddle for everyone. The less experienced getting experience of bumpier water and eddie hopping  as our convoy made it’s way downstream. Anybody claiming those Knickers by the way.

 Second river was the Kent. Again a nice river but filled with migratory sucker fish leading to a bumped head or two. Cleary the breeding season. A tree stump made portage necessary at one point but those who ran it looked stylish as the pictures will show.

 So an ideal trip, something for everyone. Thanks to all those putting in the groundwork and for safe leading.



On Saturday, Will, Cath, Penny, Sue et al did a “Real Ale Wobble” in mid Wales. This activitiy involves testing the strengths of various real ales, by checking if they really make you fall off a bicycle. Reports from Will M:

Wobble report – day 1

Wobble report – day 2

Polo news: Upcoming stuff

Sunday 25th Nov: Uni tournament at the docks. Players, supporters, photographers, cheerleaders, everyone. Meet at the sheds at 8.15am or head to the Watersports centre at the docks any time between 9am and 4pm. If you want to play, tell Claire P now – Hooray, quite a bunch of girls are signed up. And it looks like they are going to get plenty of games, cos they’ll need to play for the boys team too…

Wed 28th Nov: 3-5pm lu vs ljmu in the pool.

TBA: students vs everyone else. Bring it on!*

*what happened last time, eh?