Quick Trip Report: 2012 Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Last week I had the pleasre of attending the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium which took place in Grand Marais, Michigan. It’s a fantastic sea kayak symposium that attracted 146 students and instructors this year from across the US, Canada and international.

A couple of highlights for me included helping to lead a day-trip to the fabled Picture Rocks on the south shore of Lake Superior . If you haven’t been there before, it’s well worth the journey as the 200 foot tall sandstone cliffs have leached out iron, copper, manganese causing the rock face to be streaked with many different colours. It’s gorgeous.

Erik in the Cave

As a paddler, you would like the pictured rocks due to the numerous sea caves and arches scattered throughout. Some were only big enough for one person while others could handle 30 or more kayaks no problem. The weather was on our side that day and with little wind we were able to get in really close to the rocks.

Friday, Saturday were typical classes that you would find at symposiums and they were all really fun to teach. Friday I got to help out with an all-day rough water kayaking clinic with Danny Mongo from Werner Paddles, Mark Pecot from 41° North Kayak Adventures and Ray Boucher from Naturally Superior Adventures. Even though there was absolutely no wind we decided to make our own fun and with a lot of imagination, the water was really rough...

Two People, One Kayak

Saturday I had the absolute joy to teach with my new found friend, Andrea Knepper who runs an at-risk youth program in the Chicago. We had a great time running several, stability and bracing courses on Saturday. I’m not sure if the students in our classes had fun or not but we sure did so I guess that’s what really matters.

Here is a quick slideshow from Flickr highlighting some of the shenanigans that we got up to this year.

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.

Strategic partner

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