Sea Kayaking Georgian Bay - Skills Development Expedition

Updated: Oct 29

Dates: September 11th Optional skills training day. September 12th-20th travel and expedition.

In September 2018 I took a personal trip to Georgian Bay. It's always been a place that intrigued me, with the multitude of islands, unique geology, and remoteness. What I found was all of that and more. As an Instructor Trainer for the American Canoe Association it hit me that this would be an AWESOME place to do an expedition-style skills training.

Highlights

  • Amazing opportunities for learning, and I mean REALLY learning navigation skills. This area has literally thousands of islands to navigate, and a 10 degree magnetic variation to make you pay attention.

  • From surfing to rock gardening, ALL of your strokes and maneuvers will be tested. Ever wonder what a bow rudder or side-slip was for? Now you'll know.

  • WARM(ish) water! Yes it's a great place to practice your rescues and rolls.

  • ACA Level 2 though 3 Trip Leader Training & Assessment options.

  • ACA Level 3 Instructor Development and Certification options.

A view from the cockpit. Lots of navigation to be had!A view from the cockpit. Lots of navigation to be had!

Prerequisites

We require everyone on the trip have at least level 2 skills in coastal kayaking as laid out by the American Canoe Association. Perhaps you have taken a few classes and done some personal trips/or have passed a level 2 assessment course. We will be offering level 2 assessment courses during the summer season if you are unsure of your skills.

Paddling up rapids and current. Practicing eddy turns.Paddling up rapids and current. Practicing eddy turns.

Itinerary

Friday: (New for 2020) Optional pre-trip skills day. During our fall 2019 trip we found that with the daily travel requirements of being on expedition, coupled with sometimes irregular weather, it was difficult to fit in foundational skill training during the trip. Friday will be the day to refresh on the basic skills and rescues.

Saturday/Day 1: Start our drive* from Wisconsin. We'll take a van, kayaks and gear. If conditions are right we'll stop at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, for a tour of the area. Camp.

Day 2: Arrive in Killarny, Ontario. Visit Killarney for last minute needs and pick up permits from the Park. Begin training and paddling.

Day 2-7: We'll be on expedition. Expedition skills covered will include:

  • Level 3-4 Skills in paddling & rescues.

  • Navigation

  • Rock Gardening & rough water skills

Day 7-8: Off-water. Debrief. Begin return travel to Wisconsin. Stay at a motel or camp along route. Possible Pictured Rocks paddle en-route. (Last year we had a surf day instead. VERY fun!)

Day 9: Arrive Cornucopia, WI.

*To be a part of this trip you must cross the border with your equipment. This means you can either drive yourself to meet us at our put-in, or travel in the van with us.

The overall feel for the trip will be laid back, learning, and exploring both sea kayaking and the area in which we are traveling. Making miles is not the goal. We will be on the water a lot with side trips and break-out groups for those with varied skill levels. (E.g. one group may head out to play in the surf while the other works on navigation.)

A rainy day on Lake HuronA rainy day on Lake Huron

Included

  • 1:5 instructor ratio maximum. 1:4 likely.

  • Transportation to & from our base in Cornucopia, WI.

  • Camping and parking fees during drive route and for duration of trip.

  • Food while on expedition. We will provide the camp kitchen. Participants assist cooking. Look forward to baking!

  • Instruction. This includes your certification/assessment needs.

  • Tents, kitchen tarps.

  • Navigation charts and equipment and all teaching materials.

  • Rest up! You get a free nights stay in our group bunkhouse before and/or after the trip.

Not Included

  • Kayaking equipment. We have limited sizes in plastic single skeged and ruddered kayaks available. We assume many people will want to bring their own gear.

  • Other camping gear/sleeping system/comfort items.

  • Personal charts of the area. (We will supply a few shared charts for the group, but you may want your own.)

  • Food to and from put-in. Yes we can stop for poutine along the drive;)

  • Motel stays before or after trip. This would be a group decision on whether to camp or stay in a motel. We will pay for camping.

Tuition & Fees

$1050+tax. We need at least 3 participants minimum to make the trip go, with 8 max.

Book Now or call to book (715) 953-2223

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