It all started as a dream to cross Lake Michigan. Jeff Guy, Kwin Morris and Joe Lorenz- three watermen with a passion – decided that one way to advocate and protect beautiful, natural resources of water like the Great Lakes, was to cross each one via stand up paddleboard.
Inspired by a love of water, a innate drive to challenge themselves and a wish to educate and inspire others about the Great Lakes, the trio completed their second mission, the crossing of Lake Huron, on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.
Ninety miles from Michigan to Canada for clean water
“It took us 28 hours to cross the 90 plus mile open water crossing. We battled some waves and rainstorms, but also were blessed with an amazing sunset and stars.”
Lake Huron’s Marine Sanctuary: Thunder Bay
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary covers 4,300 square miles of northwestern Lake Huron and is part of a national system of marine protected areas. The only sanctuary in the Great Lakes, Thunder Bay works to protect one of America’s best-preserved and nationally-significant collections of shipwrecks.
These shipwrecks due to Huron’s naturally cold, fresh waters are protected intact in varying depths of up to 200 feet.
On the last leg of their journey, the wind picked up and Joe, Kwin and Jeff were forced to press on through heavy chop and rain squalls. They had been paddling for nearly 26 hours straight and found themselves on the brink of exhaustion.
“The last ten miles we had a lot of side chop, which after 80 miles of standing up, caused our legs to be very wobbly!!!”
They were joined in those last 10 miles by a Canadian paddler who stroked out to meet them and urge them to the finish.
Finish they did. Their 90-mile adventure was a success to raise funding for the protection of the Great Lakes from oil pipelines of questionable integrity, invasive species, sewage leakage, pharmaceutical pollution, agricultural runoff, and people who think it’s okay to throw beer cans and cigarette butts wherever they please. The list of threats to these and other vital bodies of water is endless.
Donate & Help Protect these Natural Resources
If you would like to participate in Stand Up for the Great Lakes and the effort that seeks not only to preserve, not only the sanctity of these great bodies of water, but all rivers, gulfs and streams, you can can DONATE here.
If we, as paddlers, were to ALL use our voices and put forth efforts to preserve our favorite paddling places, who knows how far reaching our effects might be. I’m willing to protect my back yard. Are you?