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Paul, Emily, Aaron and Pat from the Loyola University Ramble Outdoors program.

It’s official! The Gales Storm Gathering 2015 will be held October 2-4. And by a clear majority vote of participants surveyed, we are staying in Munising, Michigan.

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Your input helps us to improve this symposium every year.

Also, huge thanks to Werner Paddles for contributing two half-price paddles to the winners of this year’s “most improved paddler” award. And to Kokatat Watersport Wear for loaning drysuits to two participants from the Loyola University Ramble Outdoors Program. Also thanks to Mike Looman, shipping manager for Current Designs, who brought lots of plastic boats for participants to use on the Menominee River.

We’ll be opening registration soon. Stay tuned!

If you attended the 2014 Gales Storm Gathering Please fill out this questionnaire, we would love to hear from you about how we did, and where we are going next.

Please fill out the survey at Survey Monkey.

For everyone who is attending the Gales we’ve created this document: GalesParticipantsAkarockstars.

This document details all of the schedule, location, meal times, and other details you might be asking about.

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Houston, we have a meal plan!

Sydney’s Restaurant, right next to the Day’s Inn, will be providing all our meals during the Gales. It’s pay-as-you-go at a cost of $8 for breakfast, $8 for lunch and $12 for dinner. All meals will be held on the second floor of the restaurant, which is also our meeting space (courses will be listed there, and announcements will be made during breakfast and dinner) and the site of the evening presentations. You won’t find a better deal in town, and we already did the hard work of testing the food for you. It’s awesome!

FRIDAY

Breakfast: 7 – 8:30 a.m.

  • Blueberry Pancakes
  • Sausage Links
  • Bagels
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt/Fruit
  • Coffee
  • OJ

Sack lunches. (Pick up after breakfast.) Choice of sandwich:

  • Roast Beef and Cheddar
  • Ham and Swiss
  • Tuna Salad
  • Cheese and Veggies (vegetarian)

plus fruit, chips and granola bar

Dinner: 7 – 9 p.m.

  • Fresh Garden Salad
  • California Style Salad
  • Fresh Portabello Ravioli
  • Rotisserie Chicken with garlic and lemon garlic and thyme
  • Broccoli and Carrot Medley
  • Steamed buttery new potatoes
  • Potato rolls
  • Cash bar

SATURDAY

Breakfast: 7 – 8:30 a.m.

  • Biscuits and Scrambled eggs
  • Bacon
  • Bagels
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt/Fruit
  • Coffee
  • OJ

Sack lunches. (Pick up after breakfast.) Choice of sandwich

  • Roast Beef and Cheddar
  • Ham and Swiss
  • Tuna Salad
  • Cheese and Veggies (vegetarian)

plus fruit, chips and granola bar

Dinner 7 – 9 p.m.

  • Veggie Lasagna
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pork Chops
  • Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Wild Rice
  • Cucumber Salad with fresh dill
  • Fresh Garden Salad
  • Steamed Tuscany Blend
  • Assorted Dinner rolls white and wheat
  • Cash bar

SUNDAY 7 – 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast

  • Stuffed French Toast with Berries
  • Sausages
  • Bagels
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt/Fruit
  • Coffee
  • OJ

Sack lunches. (Pick up after breakfast.) Choice of sandwich:

  • Roast Beef and Cheddar
  • Ham and Swiss
  • Tuna Salad
  • Cheese and Veggies (vegetarian)

plus fruit, chips and granola bar

gales

If you’re loathe to leave someone special at home, bring that person along to The Gales. There’s plenty for them to do during the day while you’re on the water:

Glass-bottom boat shipwreck tours offers two-hour rides with views of wrecks, lighthouses and the scenic Pictured Rocks shoreline.

Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore provides excellent coffee and meals, as well as a bookstore, gallery and gift shop. You can hang out for hours reading and using the free wi-fi at their comfortable tables.

The National Park Service Visitor Center features exhibits, maps and loads of information about local attractions.

There are also hiking trails, waterfalls, lighthouses and more. Check out this interactive map for links to those attractions and more.

lodgings

If you’re looking for lodgings right in the heart of Munising, you can take advantage of the special $85/night Gales rate at the Day’s Inn in Munising. This offer is actually good from October 1 through 6, so you can come early and stay late, if you like.

There’s also a campground nearby, with 116 sites and free wi-fi.

Other area lodgings include Scotty’s Motel right next door to the Day’s Inn, and other options nearby.

The Gales Headquarters will be at Sydney’s, a stone’s throw from the Day’s Inn, where we’ll gather each morning for breakfast and course assignments, pack our lunches and head for the water. That’s also where we’ll have dinner and socialize each evening, and where Jeff Allen will do his presentation. More information on the meals package is coming soon. But for now, go ahead and make your reservation so you don’t end up in an orange hammock in the woods.

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This year, we’re offering courses on the Menominee River, a large-volume river that allows sea kayakers to develop skills that apply to ocean paddling: breaking in and out of eddies, ferrying across current, surfing standing waves, and more!

To participate in courses on the Menominee, you’ll need a plastic sea kayak and a helmet. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a taste of the ocean right here in the midwest!

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If you’re wondering whether you’re ready for The Gales, we have a new opportunity for you to both find out and make sure that you are.
This year, Ladies of the Lake is offering ROUGH AND READY, a Pre-Gales Track, in Munising August 15-17.
Rough and Ready is designed to increase your confidence and skills in bumpy conditions. Like all LOL courses, the course will be fine-tuned based on where you are and where you want to go, but we promise to take you to the next level.
The goal of Rough and Ready is to prepare you, physically and psychologically, to attend The Gales. As an added encouragement, ladies who participate in Rough and Ready will get a $75 discount on their Gales registration, space permitting. (If you sign up for the Gales before Ladies and mention this offer, you’ll still get that discount.)
This track is limited to eight participants, so get your LOL registrations in soon and let us know if you plan to be in this track. Those who sign up will get additional information prior to LOL.

 

Registration for the 2014 Gales Storm Gathering is now open!

 

Register

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We were fortunate enough in 2009 to have Jeff Allen visit the Midwest for the WMCKA symposium near muskegon. Jeff did a coaches update with a lot of the midwest coaching crowd that still sticks with me as one of the big eye openers. I remember trying to do a scoop rescue on a completely incapacitated paddler (poor victim floating face down) in icy Lake Michigan water and then towing a raft until I thought my head would literally rupture.

Jeff spent a ton of time with us on rescues and sea survival incidents giving a subtle twist of the knife to a lot of age old thinking on sea kayaking paradigms based on his own work in Cornwall and abroad in the far flung oceans of the world. Jeff is one of those guys you hope to run into at an airport bar who gives you his lifestory, because he is way more interesting than you. Words like Royal Marine, kickboxer, commando, bouncer ping and whiz around the conversation before you realize you have met the inspiration for the Dos Equis guy, “the most interesting man in the world.” While this may seem hyperbole, it truly isn’t. And to boot he is a heck of a nice guy. All of this is to quickly say that one of the biggest joys I get in running this event is getting to spend time with paddlers like Jeff.

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Jeff has done a ton of very thoughtful writing for Ocean Paddler magazine, traveled Scandinavia, Japan, Ireland, South Georgia Island, Israel, and many other amazing places. He operates Sea Kayaking Cornwall with Simon Osbourne.