Last week I had the pleasre of attending the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium which took place in Grand Marais,
A couple of highlights for me included helping to lead a day-trip to the fabled Picture Rocks on the south
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...
Saturday I had the absolute joy to teach with my new found friend, Andrea Knepper who runs an at-risk youth program in the
Here is a quick slideshow from Flickr highlighting some of the shenanigans that we got up to this year.
I just got an email about a very cool event taking place here in Toronto in a couple of weeks. They are looking for volunteers (or donations) so if you are available, get in touch and help out.
The event: Nine kayakers with disabilities will be paddling sections (like a relay) of waterfront from Port Credit to Harbourfront, Toronto, a total of 25 kms.
When: Saturday July 14th, 2012 (raindate 15th).
Why: We are raising awareness of kayaking for people with disabilities and fundraising so our programs can be developed further in Earl Rowe Provincial Park, Alliston and Harbourfront, Toronto.
We Need: support kayakers to paddle with our disabled paddlers. The support paddlers must be competent, able to tow and do rescues.
This event is to raise awareness of what opportunities people with disabilities have, what they can do. It is also a fundraiser so we can develop our programs.
Update: Check out their website at handsacrossthewaterinitiative.
This past weekend was the annual MEC Toronto Paddlefest and once again it was a hugely successful event with over 618 people pre-registered and approximately 120 people walking in and registering on the spot. That doesn’t include the 60 or so instructors, boat helpers and staff running around keeping the machine running smooth. With those numbers, it’s easily one of the biggest events of its kind in
This year I had the pleasure to teach a bit on the water but to also teach a bunch of on-land sessions including weather, navigation and technology in the wilderness. Over the years I have taught lots of symposium kayak sessions so it’s sometimes a nice change for me to get out and stand on dry-land every once in a while.
This was the first time that I was asked to run a session on technology in the wilderness and they wanted me to talk about personal locator beacons as well as more recreational focused devices like the SPOT or the Delorme inReach. I decided to expand the session topic a bit and try to put this technology in a bit more context by also exploring the Canadian Search and Rescue (SAR) system and explain to people how that monster works and what exactly happens when you hit that SOS button or activate your PLB. It made it a bit more interesting then just listening to a sales pitch about gear as you could get that by going to your local store and talking to the sales lady.
Of course teaching and running clinics are fun; but for me the real attraction of the weekend is hanging out with the other instructors who come into
Special thanks for Mountain Equipment Co-Op for putting on the event once again.
Here is a mini slideshow of some of the photos I took over the weekend:
Alex Matthews just posted a great report on his first visit to the Golden Gates Sea Kayak Symposium which took place in San Francisco a couple of weekends ago.
If you have been looking for a reason to get yourself out to Nova Scotiato do some kayaking you finally now have one. Registration just opened up for the Atlantic Paddle Symposium which is taking place this year at Liscombe Lodge on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia on May 11-14.
The instructor list this year looks pretty stellar and includes the likes of Sean Morley, Mark Scriver, Matt Nelson and Andrew Westwood. Last year I had the pleasure of teaching at the symposium when it was held in Newfoundlandand planning to teach at it again.
If you are thinking of attending my suggestion get in on it early as they have an early bird draw for those who register by January 15th.
Visit their website for more information.