This past weekend the 4th annual Georgian Bay Storm Gathering took place and once again it was a real blast. You might call me biased (as I’m one of the organizers) but my benchmark for a successful outing with my kids is the lack of crying and tears. Using that metric, I would say that the Gathering was highly successful.
If you have never attended before you will find that it is different then other symposiums in a couple different ways. Firstly, it’s all about having a good time; if you are not having fun then something is wrong. We also work really hard to make the learning sessions as informal as possible. It’s about what you want to learn and your chance to finally work on your rough water “bucket list” of skills.
Over the past several years the weather for the Gathering hasn’t been the best. Typically we would get at least one absolutely calm day where we need to make our own fun pretending we are out in raging surf or sliding down rock faces. This year things turned out to be quite different when a low pressure system formed over the
Of course high winds meant it was difficult to do any teaching as nobody could hear a thing. After a quick survey to see who had paddled in those conditions before (5-6 people), the goal of the morning was to take all who wanted to get out on the water to experience it. We split the group up into smaller working pods and found calmer places in the several different channels along the shoreline. Some of the keener groups jumped in and worked on surfing or boat control around rocks while other groups took their time sticking their nose out in the wind and quickly coming back to the safety of the channel.
At the end of the day it was exactly what the Storm Gathering is about, an opportunity to get paddlers out doing what they always wanted to do in semi-controlled conditions.
Below is a collection of photos I took throughout the weekend:
Thanks to David Unrau for posting the video above.
Summer has somehow slipped into history and the Fall paddling season is just ahead of us.
If you live in the Great Lakes area of Canada/US then you are going to want to look into attending one (or both) of these events this fall.
This is a brand new event being held in
It’s being described as, “a fun, invigorating sea kayaking instructional event for students looking to gain experience “in conditions” on the
The list of guest instructors is quite impressive and represents some of the best instructors in
Session topics throughout the weekend include surfing, long boats in current, open water navigation, rock gardening, rough water rescues and incident management.
If you are thinking of going then you had better jump on it today as it’s over half sold out already.
More info: galesstormgathering.com
The Gathering is taking place for the fourth year on October 13-16 in
I will come clean and tell you that this event is organized by me in partnership with White Squall Paddling Centre so you are welcome to take it with a grain of salt when I say that this event is awesomely awesome.
Like the Gales we will be working through a wide selection of rough water paddling skills including working with waves and surf, towing & open water rescues and rough water paddling.
We have a whole pile of facilitators coming in from across
Finally, we will also have our infamous dock launching competition once again. The dock launch never fails to provide a lot of laughs in the audience towards to those who land on their heads. Good times.
It looks like registration is going quite well and there are only 5-6 spots available so get on it if you haven’t already.
More info: georgianbaystormgathering.com
Photo Credits: Top photo: Virginia Marshall, Middle Photo: Rob Dale, Bottom Photo: Virginia Marshall
I recently just got this email that I thought I would pass along about the second annual Ontario Greenland Camp which is taking place mid September.
Any reports I heard from participants last year said it was fantastic with some seriously high quality instructors.
Hello Fellow Paddlers!
We just wanted to send out a quick note about this years Ontario Greenland Camp. It is again at
Camp Tamarackin Bracebridge . It is only a little over 2 hours from Ontario and is going to be a blast! We currently have 21 spaces left for the event that we are looking to fill. Toronto
If you are looking to learn to roll or can roll and want to learn some fancy Greenlandic variations and tricks to add to your repertoire this event is for you. Last year we had 53 guests come and 50 left rolling!
Who: This year Cheri Perry, Turner Wilson, Maligiaq Padilla, James Roberts and Dympna Hayes are mentoring the event with a bunch of extra assistants coming along to help too! Click here to find out more about the mentors.
Camp Tamarack, Bracebridge Ontario
When: September 10th, 11th (Arrive on Friday night) or September 9th, 10th, 11th (Arrive on Thursday night and participate in an extra day or either paddle building or semi-private instruction)
Why?: This is probably the best chance you have this year of learning to roll or improving your rolls. Also because it is SUPER FUN!! Last years event was a great success and so much fun, many people went away with new friends they've been paddling with ever since. We had paddlers of all abilities; some who started the weekend not wanting to go upside down and left with a roll at the end. Others who are so into Greenland rolling they sleep with their stick ended up perfecting that forward finishing roll or hand roll they've been trying to get forever.
How Much: $340+tax for the event - (Thursday evening arrivals with the extra day of private instruction with Cheri and Turner or paddle building with Tom is an extra $200+tax)
All instruction, accommodation and meals included from Friday night's dinner to Sunday's lunch.
View Photos of last years event.
Photo credit: Ontario Greenland Camp
If you are looking to get some more sea kayak training under your belt before the 2011 paddling season ends, check out the duo certification course going on this October in
The first 3 days will be spend on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia working on navigation, rock hopping, on water leadership, surfing and tidal paddling.
The last 2 days will be spent on the Shubie tidal bore learning about advanced tidal paddling, rescues, tide race paddling and more leadership activities.
The coaching staff includes Scott Cunningham (Paddle Canada Level 4 Instructor Trainer), Christopher Lockyer aspirant level 4 coach and guest coach Nick Cunliffe who is a BCU level 5 sea coach.
Nick’s name might be familiar. He is the same coach on the Kayak Essential’s kayak instruction DVD series that I reviewed last week.
If you are interested in participating, you had better jump on it soon as registration closes August 25th and there are currently only two spots left.
The cost is $900 which includes food, camping, a course manual, Paddle
There is the registration info.
Photo credit: committed2thecore.com
Want to be a world record holder? Get yourself out to Denholme, Bradford in the
The £5 registration fee includes the shot at group glory, activities and boat demonstrations throughout the day and a complimentary hog roast at the end of the event.
It’s being organized by