Paddlefest 2012

After returning home from our East Greenland Expedition, Mark and I hopped on a plane to Minneapolis, Minnesota. We met up with Jeff and Michelle Forseth and had a wonderful time catching up with them before I headed north to Thunder Bay in Canada to instruct at Paddlefest 2012. Mark went to Wisconsin with Jeff and Michelle to run a BCU 3 Star Sea Training for the Inland Sea Kayakers.

This was my fifth time instructing in Thunder Bay, and Joe and Diane of Joe O’ Paddles had set up a full weekend of activities for the eager participants.

Saturday morning started with me running a Yoga for Paddlers session on the shores of warm Oliver Lake. After waking up our minds, bodies and spirits I took half of the group for a rolling clinic, while Joe took the other half for a strokes clinic. In the afternoon we switched groups and then ended the day with a casual rescue and recovery class.

Happy rollers enjoying the warm lake.

Learning to roll.

Learning the finer points.

Taking a break while enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Figuring it all out.

Joe’s strokes class.

Learning rescues.

Sunday morning started once again with Yoga for Paddlers, this time followed by a paddle on Lake Superior. I paired up with Diane in a canoe, and we slowly made our way along the shoreline. At the turn around point I switched places with Joe, opting to paddle his kayak instead of the canoe.

Thunder Bay’s new marina has lots to look at, including creative stone artwork of balloon animals.

Diane, Joe and Dawna at the marina with a nice view of the Sleeping Giant behind them.

After the paddle we went to Joe and Diane’s house where I did a rolling demonstration in the pool, followed by an interactive Greenland Rope Gymnastics demonstration in the front yard. We had a tasty barbecue and ended the day with an evening slideshow presentation of the East Greenland Expedition that Mark and I guided earlier in the month.

Monday’s schedule started mid-day, and I instructed private classes in the pool until the evening.

It was a wonderful weekend, and always fun to see the Thunder Bay group. Thanks everyone, and see you next year!

I’m now back in Minnesota with Mark, Michelle and Jeff, and later today we’ll be heading to the Traditional Paddler’s Gathering at Lake Carlos State Park.

Photos by Chris Johnston.

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