CARLING TWP. – It might be getting cold but there’s still time for some fun on the bay.
Michael Clarke assists Kathy Kennedy into her kayak Friday at the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering.
Taylor Swim/North Star
Last weekend, the fifth Annual Georgian Bay Storm Gathering was held at the Snug Haven Resort. The event brought close to 60 intermediate level kayakers together to develop a wide range of skills including tripping, rolling and rough-water rescues.
Running from October 11 through to October 14, attendees received expert instruction, a cozy accommodation and regular evening social events.
Dympna Hayes, the owner of Learn to Kayak and one of the guest instructors for the event, said paddlers have a variety of potential seminars to attend.
“They have instructors from all over Ontario and the states, and it’s teaching rough water paddling skills. So what I’m teaching here is rolling because when you’re out there in rough water you should know how to roll,” said Hayes.
The waters in the bay were cold throughout the event, but the kayakers stayed enthusiastic. Some felt it would have been preferable for the lessons if the water was even rougher.
Hayes said that serious kayakers need to have many skills, and so the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering teaches attendees a wide range of skills. To be an accomplished kayaker one should have knowledge of everything from weather patterns to navigational techniques.
Events like the storm gathering also reflect the very social nature of kayaking.
“Kayakers are a real social group. They get to know each other real well because if you’re out for five days on a trip with someone you’ll get to know that person,” Hayes said. “If you’re out paddling you have to trust the person you’re with. If you trust them, you get to know them as a friend. Kayaking makes you use your brain, your body, and you get out there and enjoy nature.