Storm Gathering Not Quite a Storm but Still Fun

Tuesday, 20 October 2009
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Christine Utas Sliding off Red RockThe 2nd annual Georgian Bay Storm Gathering took place last weekend. Though there wasn’t really a “Storm” it was a good “Gathering” non-the-less. How is that for a good opening?

The plan was to provide an opportunity for 45 of Ontario’s best sea kayakers came together for one last hoopla before the winter ice comes in. The sad part was that Mother Nature didn’t really cooperate with us and conditions were pretty calm. By calm, I mean, pancake flat.

It was like Mother Nature knew that we were looking for wind and decided to tease us. For the past two weeks, the wind had been blowing really well then it died Thursday morning and stayed dead all weekend. What happened Monday after everything was over? Good wind out of the West with one meter swells. Ugh.

The slide off Red RockSince there wasn’t a storm, we had to make our own fun. We decided to paddle out to Red Rock Lighthouse which is about 8km off shore and see how many people we could get on that little island in the middle of nowhere. I don’t believe that Red Rock has ever seen that many kayaks. I can say with certainty that it has never seen so many mango Kokatat dry suits ever!

Out on Red Rock we decided to seal launch a couple of boats off the rocks. To keep the boats happy, we hauled out a couple of floor mats to cover over the rocks and make a slide. The drop at the end was about 6 feet which made going backwards off it interesting to say the least!

A special note of thanks goes out to the event sponsors. They donated items that we auctioned off. The proceeds from the auction went to pay for the fantastic instructors that were running the program.

8 Person KayakSponsors for this year’s Gathering included: Kokatat, North Water, Current Designs, Aqua-Bound, Seals, Salus, Map Sherpa, Exofficio, Georgian Bay Land Trust and Rez91 Radio.

We have already started some initial planning for next year. Now all we need is the wind to corporate and things will really get rolling.

Below are a couple of photos and a quick video that Rick Wise shot of Tim Dyer sliding off Red Rock. We put the call out to participants for more photos and video. I will post more as we get it.

Tim on the Slide from Rick Wise on Vimeo.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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