Happy New Year Everyone. We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Gales Storm Gathering will be held Oct 3, 4, 5 in Munising Michigan and Piers Gorge on the Menominee River.


Part of the joy of a traveling road show event like the Gales is going to different places each year. We thought long and hard about going back to Marquette, but in the end, we decided to pursue Munising Michigan. Munising gives a host of great options on Lake Superior such as Pictured Rocks national lakeshore, Grand Island, and a number of other awesome locations along the shore for surfing and rock play (conditions providing).

Photo credit: Ryan Rushton of Geneva Kayak Center.

But we also wanted to go back to the Menominee River for paddling in current to ensure that as many folks got to paddle in moving water as possible. The Menominee is such a great location to introduce sea paddlers to current, or to take paddlers who have already had some exposure to current and push them even further. Paddling a white water river in a sea kayak is definitely not an experience anyone forgets. Even if the wind doesn’t blow, the river will provide.

We look forward to sharing even more about what we have in store for 2014 with you as the year unfolds.


Announcing the 2013 Gales Logo wear, courtesy of Ibex.

This garment will make the warmest, non-stinkiest drysuit liner top with a cool logo, and pithy saying that will make you the envy of your friends.

We managed to secure a select number of Ibex merino wool tops at bottom basement prices. These tops normally retail at $110.00. And we are going to offer them with our new logo embroidered on the chest, plus our 2013 slogan, “My Home is the Sea” Along the back, and the sleeve reading: Rockstar. Cost for the top will be $70.00 + 10.00 Shipping and Handling.

The Ibex Top Will Embroidered with the Gales Logo Just like the Coaches shirt.



The Ibex description for this top is as follows:

The Indie Crew is the Swiss Army Knife of basic layers. Insulating ski layer? Yep. Impromptu bike jersey? Sure. Laid-back casual wear? You know it. All in the same day? Odor-resistant wool makes it possible. With 18.5 micron Merino wool mid-weight fabric in a clean fit, this is among our most versatile and wearable pieces. The modern adventurer’s new uniform? Indeed.

The lettering will be the exact same, but in black rather than in white due to the heather gray shirt. Supplies are limited in all sizes so order soon to take advantage of this stellar drysuit/drytop liner top!.

Below are the order form buttons below the text description of the item. Please email me @ go kayak now dot com with any questions.


Gales Wear Ibex Merino Crew Top Size Small $70.00 + $10.00 Shipping and Handling US Only


Gales Wear Ibex Merino Crew Top Size Medium $70.00 + $10.00 Shipping and Handling US Only


Gales Wear Ibex Merino Crew Top Size large $70.00 + $10.00 Shipping and Handling US Only


The Gales Storm Gathering 2013
The Gales Storm Gathering is a three day sea kayak training event intended to provide progressing beginner and intermediate paddlers a venue to challenge their skills with great instruction on the Great Lakes.

It is important to note that this event is more contingent on weather and marine conditions than any of the summer symposiums. Due to this fact we must plan courses and activities around the conditions. This means we can’t have pre-event sign-up for courses, nor guarantee that any single course will be available.

What we can guarantee is top notch coaching all three days and that appropriate challenge and stimulation will be provided. Thursday evening will provide a general forecast and an idea of overall conditions. But final day to day conditions will dictate which courses will run. The venues have been chosen to allow for multiple venues, outs, wind direction and fetch. We have relied on local knowledge to give us the best experience.

This agility comes at the cost of being able to tell everyone exactly what you will be doing on any given day. The best way to ensure you get what you need from the event is to use the meet and greet on Thursday to discuss your aims and desires with the coaches and work to sign up for courses recommended to you.

Below is a description of day to day activities for participants.

Thursday Evening

  1. 7 pm Instructor-Participant Meet and Greet Legendary Waters Resort
  2. Open Bar and Hors D’Houevre courtesy of our Sponsor Living Adventure,
  3. Meet your instructors, discuss course offerings.
  4. Quick slide show overview of the Apostle Islands from coach Joe Kochevar.
  5. Gales Weather forecast for weekend.
  6. Day 1 Course Signups


  1. Breakfast 7-8:30
  2. Final course adjustments
  3. Courses start at 9
  4. Dinner 6PM-7PM
  5. Forecast and course signup for Saturday
  6. Presentation Bonnie Perry 7:30


  1. Breakfast 7-8:30
  2. Final Course Adjustments
  3. Courses Start 9
  4. Dinner 6PM-7PM
  5. Forecast course signup final day
  6. Presentation Gail Green 7:15-8:00
  7. Presentation John Carmody 8-8:45


  1. Breakfast 7-8:30
  2. Final forecast and course adjustments
  3. Courses Start 9
  4. Courses END Noon

left outLegendary Waters has no more rooms available Thursday night, so if you haven’t yet reserved a room for all three nights (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), you may have to book a room somewhere else for the first night.

Fortunately, there are rooms available in several places a short distance away. Here are some recommendations:


Thimbleberry Inn B&B

38085 Pageant Rd, Bayfield

(715) 779-5757 ‎ · thimbleberryinn.com


Island View Inn and Cottages 

86720 Island View Rd, Bayfield, WI ‎

(715) 779-5307 ‎ · islandviewbandb.com


Lucy’s Place

120 S 6th St, Bayfield, WI ‎

(715) 779-9770 ‎ · lucysplace.com


Winfield Inn & Gardens 

225 E Lynde Ave, Bayfield, WI ‎

(715) 779-3252 ‎ · winfieldinn.com


Bayfield Inn 

20 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI ‎

(715) 779-3363 ‎ · bayfieldinn.com

Bonnie Perry

We are pleased to announce Reverend Bonnie Perry as one of our 2013 guest coaches for the Gales Storm Gathering. I (KEITH) have been privileged to work with Bonnie for almost 12 years through the West Michigan Coastal Kayaking Association Memorial Day Weekend Symposium. Bonnie brings a wealth of experience not only of the Great Lakes where she has done many expeditions, but also experience from her many trips to the coasts of England, Cornwall, Scotland, and Wales during her pursuit of the BCU 5 Star Sea Leader award. Bonnie is one of the few women in the world to earn this prestigious award, and even fewer in the USA.

There is nothing  Bonnie loves more than coaching and guiding sea kayaking in the wilderness. In addition to being a 5 * sea leader, she is a Level 3 Sea Coach, a 3 Star Assessor, a 3 star canoe paddler and a UKCC Level 1 Coach. In the American Canoe Association (ACA) Bonnie is a Level 4 Instructor Trainer and in Paddle Canada she is currently a Level 2 Instructor.  Bonnie is comfortable paddling and teaching with both the Euro and Traditional Blades. In addition to teaching in the US and Canada Bonnie has taught with Jeff Allen at Sea Kayaking Cornwall, England and interned with Gordon Brown at Skyak Adventures in Scotland.  Bonnie is a Wilderness First Responder and when she isn’t in a boat playing, paddling or coaching she is the Senior Pastor/Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago. www.allsaintschicago.org.

We look forward to seeing Bonnie in Oct.


As you may have noticed we updated our website, and our facebook creative. Based on the name “the Gales” and the events long and storied past, we wanted to create an image that said “fun”, not, “look out this is dangerous”. James as an animator and illustrator is all about fun. He delivered on that message. The event also delivered on that message. Our first two years have been lumpy water fun.

For 2013 we wanted to take advantage of some of the beautiful photography taken in Wawa Ontario 2012 while we were at Naturally Superior Adventures. We hunted through all of our shared images and chose a couple of standouts. Callum Gray one of our participants from Ann Arbor Michigan took a couple of amazing photos we were super excited about. It didn’t hurt that Callum had the key element, of light, dynamism, and most of all composition.

The image represented on our website and on our Facebook timeline represented the new direction for us. Keith Wikle’s Art Director friend from Agency Biggs-Gilmore Bryn Boulter (ironically from Wales) kindly offered his services and worked with the Gales staff to design our new logo as well. We were hoping for clean, simple, and iconic. And we feel he nailed it.

Big thanks to Callum for offering his photographic talent to us, and to Bryn for his work on our new look.

We will have some full size banners at Canoecopeia where we will have a booth for 2013 registration.


We are very pleased to announce our second guest coach and keynote speaker for 2013, John Carmody. John is one of a prestigious few who have earned the BCU’s Level 5 (top) sea kayak coaching award. John is also an Advanced Open Water Instructor and Level 4 Surf Coach.

John has been paddling for over twenty years in Maine and the Northeast, as well as the UK and Ireland. John brings a wealth of experience of open ocean experience as well as his focus on surfing and sea kayaking. John is a sponsored P&H paddler as well as a team Werner paddler. We are very excited about this year’s guest coaches and look forward to working with them on the water. We’ve been fortunate in our friends, and we hope to continue that being fortunate with Mr. Carmody.

You can also see John has all of his fingers which is a great sign for any qualified kayaking coach.

Our first announcement of 2013 is to announce our 2013 dates. Although they have unofficially been announced on the site, we wanted to get our formal announcement up.

The Gales Storm Gathering is going to the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin in 2013. After our fantastic year in Wawa, we weren’t quite sure how to top the beauty, the power, and the great participants. We want to ensure we surpass each year with a great venue, great coaches, and more time spent on the water enjoying the power of Lake Superior. With this theme, we are really excited about announcing that the Gales will be held in the Apostle Islands, Oct 11-13th 2013.

The Apostle Islands have long served as treasured expedition destination for sea kayakers. We will be posting about it’s varied and many splendoured treasures as the weeks progress. But suffice it to say for now, it offers some of the best training ground on Lake Superior for our particular brand of sea kayaking.

Stay tuned.

Don’t forget that our beloved neighbors are indeed a foreign country. Please secure your passport soon! They take around 4 weeks to process.

We are super excited to announce that Boreal Shores of Bayfield, WI has come on as a sponsor for the Gales!!!!  With a prime locale in Bayfield, gateway to the Apostle Islands, BSK is one of the top sea kayak shops in the Great Lakes regions.

Boreal Shores carries both Sea Kayaking UK and Tiderace Boats as well as a plethora of other top-notch kit in its’ retail location and on-line store.  If you are interested in test paddling a SKUK or Tiderace boat during the Storm Gathering, please let Chris or event organizers know!

Even as we ramp up to 2012, it is worthwhile to mention that the 2013 event will head to western Lake Superior and Boreal Shores will play host to the event!