Quick Trip Report: Surfing and Teaching on Lake Superior

Wednesday, 01 September 2010
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Playing around after a rescue clinic. Photo Credit: David Johnston

Here are a couple photos from a trip last week up to Lake Superior last week. I had the pleasure of being invited to teach a Paddle Canada Level 2 sea kayaking course at Naturally Superior Adventures with my co-instructor; the very funny and hugely talented Rev. Bonnie Perry. Long-time readers will remember a piece I wrote a year ago when she was nominated to be the Bishop of Minnesota.


If you ever get an opportunity to teach with or sit in on one of her classes; jump at the chance as you won't be disappointed. Bonnie is super articulated and has spent a good amount of time thinking about instruction and how to be more effective. If you ask her where she gets her ideas, don’t believe her when she tells you that she stole it all from other instructors.

When the course was over a group of us decided to do a quick three day trip from Old Woman Bay (link to map) back to Naturally Superior. The trip was very relaxing trip but we did end up getting wind bound on day two. Getting stuck at our campsite for a second night ended up being a blessing in disguise as we were in a perfect spot for spending the afternoon surfing and playing in the 6-7 foot swells that were being kicked up due to the 25 knot winds.

Bonnie Paddling in the Big Swells. Photo Credit: David Johnston

That afternoon was the first time that I had been able to put my P&H Cetus LV through its paces in rough water/surf and I’m happy to report that it worked out perfectly fine. It caught and stayed on waves well and I felt very comfortable in it. I was also pleased that I decided to order the expedition lay-up with a keel strip as I put several new scratches on the hull when playing in and around the rocks. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind scratches. I figure that an unscratched boat means it doesn’t get used. It was just nice not to worry that I was going to do a whole lot of damage.

By late afternoon I was completely beat trying to paddle against the wind. With all the work it was easily one of my top three rough water/surfing days ever.

Click on any photo below for a quick slideshow:
[flickr set=72157624848594200]



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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