This is the typical view scape you’ll experience at the Rossport Island Sea Kayak symposium June 21 – 24, 2012. It’s a great early season event, designed for new to intermediate paddlers, especially sea kayakers although we’ll also have Stand up Paddle board and Canoe sessions.
On water there will be lots of instruction including rolling, Greenland paddling, stroke improvements, rescues as well as tours throughout the Rossport area for all levels of paddlers.
The event is based from the Lake side provincial park so we’re mostly all together in one area to share experiences, meals, learning sessions and Saturday evening live music. Major demo reps will also be there to describe, allow you to test and buy boats and paddling gear.
Sporting new suspension bridges and tent pads, and with recently improved boardwalks and stairs, the Coastal Hiking Trail in Pukaskwa National Park is in better shape than ever. But this route along the Great Lakes’ longest undeveloped coastline remains tough and rarely travelled.
The easiest way to tackle the whole 60 kilometres from North Swallow River to Hattie Cove is with Naturally Superior Adventures. Their five-day hike begins with a boat trip to the trail’s southern end. From here the trail flirts with the Superior coast, tracing the headlands and coves, and occasionally breaking out of the Boreal forest at rocky outcrops to deliver superb views across the great lake.
Along the way, you’ll see pits excavated by early First Nation residents, and if you’re lucky you might get a glimpse of the woodland caribou that live in the park, especially near the southern end. Campsites are in coves and at white sand beaches, perfect for a cooling dip after the daily 10 to 15 kilometres of hiking.
And because the trail runs along Superior’s eastern shore, there’s a sunset show almost every night.
We’ve cut and pasted the following article by by Geoff Peach from the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (lakehuron.ca):
Researchers have found that rising water temperatures are kicking up more powerful winds on Lake Superior, with a range of implications affecting currents, biological cycles, pollution and ecosystems on the world’s largest lake and its smaller Great Lakes siblings.
A wide temperature differential between water and air makes for a more stable atmosphere with calmer winds over the relatively cold water. However, as warming water closes the gap, as in the case of the Great Lakes, the atmosphere gets more turbulent.
“You get more powerful winds,” according to Professor Desai from the University of Wisconsin. “We’ve seen a 5 percent increase per decade in average wind speed on Lake Superior since 1985.”
One of the factors influencing higher water temperatures has been less winter ice cover. Reflective ice lessens the amount of solar radiation on the lake. Once the final ice-melt has occurred, however, the large lakes turn into dark surfaces that absorb solar radiation to the maximum of any natural surface. This absorbed solar radiation is the primary agent that warms the lake. The relative timing of final ice-melt to the summer solstice — the season when the sun provides most radiation — is therefore a key determinant of the degree of warming of lake waters (Rouse, 2009).
A result of longer periods of higher surface water temperatures is a weakening of the water–air temperature gradient. This has the effect of destabilizing the atmosphere above the lake, enabling faster wind speeds across the lake surface (Cruce, T., & Yurkovich, E., 2011).
There are some interesting implications for higher wind speeds off the lake, including movement of airborne pollutants to the shore, increased lake-effect streamers in winter, potentially stronger alongshore currents, and wind movement of sand on beaches and dunes.
Increased sand movement and dune erosion could present problems to communities who do not have well managed dune systems in place. This is particularly important for many of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay’s dune systems because they are made up of finite sand deposits where no new source of sand is present should the existing sands get eroded away. Erosion of beaches and dunes can be caused, or made worse, by high impact recreational activities, development pressure and poorly designed beach access.
The Coastal Centre has been working with several municipalities and community groups to establish measures that will help prevent beach and dune erosion, and this will become increasingly relevant under a higher wind regime. As researchers learn more about the changes affecting our region, coastal communities will need to consider the implications and adapt where necessary.
Recognize the place where this picture was taken? I’ll give you a hint: it’s right in front of our Rock Island Lodge. OK so that wasn’t much of a hint as it was a give-away. Speaking of give-aways (made up word)- click on the image to be directed to order your free 2012 calendar (and it’s actually a nice calendar with nice outdoorsy images).
When you get your calendar there will be instructions on how to enter to win next summer’s outdoor getaway contest. I can’t speak of all of the details but I can tell you that part of it includes a stay at Rock Island Lodge as well as either; sea kayak instruction or SUP lesson.
Last weekend we held our 11th annual Gales of November Photography Workshop and the weather did not disappoint. Eleven hearty souls (plus one spouse and dog) made their way here for an extended weekend of photo-taking image creation and some peer sharing as well.
Pro photographer Rob Stimpson was here to share his knowledge and inspire creativity not to mention just encourage students to view things in a different light (pun more-or-less intended). Thanks to Ron Goodlin for sharing his photos with us. This two-time workshop participant claims he’ll be back next year too.
If you are interested in joining in for the workshop in 2012 it will take place the first weekend in November. More details found here…
After our crazy storm here a week ago Monday one of the power lines near Michipicoten First Nation went down. Since there is no road access to that area crews were called in to rebuild the tower on the Harbour docks and then they had it airlifted back into place. You can read the news article here…
Apparently the winds were recorded at 101.8km/hr- so at that speed it would take just over 2 hours to fly to the Soo from here.
Here are 2 pictures from Joel Cooper. The first one is the rebuilding of the tower on the harbour docks, the second is of the helicopter at the airport.
The blueberry picking season in our area is more than fantastic. They grow in plethora just north of town in an area officially known as the Magpie Terrace Conservation Reserve, which is so much more appealing than the locally known name which is the “Fume Kill” or the “Badlands”. The area was susceptible to the emissions from the old iron ore mine and was the subject of a fire many years ago. As a result blueberries, which are a successional species, grow everywhere. As all good things come to an end the forest will be reclaimed by tall grasses, small shrubs and eventually bigger trees.
The blueberry picking season is coming to a close but there is still some good picking to be had. Just don’t confuse blueberries for the Blue Bead Lily. They are mildly toxic and wouldn’t taste very good in pancakes either.
How many times have you been sitting in your kayak and you wished that you could reach your hatches? Oh sure you could invest in a sea kayak that has a day hatch but then you have to match it with effective torso rotation so you can reach around behind you. Enter the next generation of folding sea kayaks- this one folds right behind the front hatch so that you can reach forward to obtain whatever prize possession you feel absolutely critical of the moment. Of course this way means you need to have a bit of flexibility in the ol’ hamstrings but your balance would be kept in tact.
This particular feature is unique to fiberglass and kevlar models and is all the rage on Lake Superior’s cobble shore.
There are not many occasions where we cross our fingers for inclement weather but the Gales Storm Gathering is one of them. In the past we’ve hosted our Surf Superior Confluence here at the mouth of the mighty Michipicoten however we’ve decided to put that weekend on hold and partner up with the folks from Go Kayak Now and their gathering in Marquette this year. The plan is to turn it into a roaming gathering and we will be the host for 2012.
So if you are an intermediate paddler looking for some surf and crazy conditions, you should consider joining in on the fun. Here are the fast facts:
When: Oct 8, 9, 10 2011
Where: Marquette Presque Isle Park/Menominee
Who: Shawna and Leon are the Guest Coaches from Body Boat Blade.
Tons of Great Lakes Talent:
Sharon and Alec Bloyd-Peshkin
Doug Van Doren
What: Preliminary course offerings for the symposium are as follows.
Long Boats in Current 1 & 2
Open Water Navigation
Surf Kayak 1 & 2
Sea Kayak Surfing 1 & 2
WICKed (Women In Canoes & Kayaks) Rough Water Paddler