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Where Water Meets Land Level 1

Friday, July 19, 2019, 9:00 AM until Sunday, July 21, 2019, 4:00 PM
Grand Marais, MN
Grand Marais, MN  
Jeff Forseth
952-807-5381 (p)
Skill Building
Registration is required
Payment In Advance Only
Cancellation Policy:
Class size:
Minimum 4, maximum 6

No refunds will be given for this event. Registrants who are unable to attend have the option of finding another qualified and approved participant to take their place.

If class size minimum is not met by July 5, 2019 and class is cancelled, a full refund will be made.
Available Slots:
Where Water Meets the Land Level 1:
Introduction to Rock Gardening

This is a three day introductory class to ‘Rock Gardening’ and a combination of journeys and skills development (learning/refreshing/building), to build confidence where the water seems to be more active. This will be a great class for those who feel timid or uncertain about paddling close to shore and for those who already do it, but want to improve their skills and learn new techniques. We will also work on developing your rescue strategies for these areas. This course will be led by 2 ACA instructors:  Michelle Forseth (ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor and BCU 4 Star Leader), Jeff Forseth (ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor and BCU 4 Star Leader)

Friday and Saturday class will be full day, Sunday will run until mid afternoon. As much as we would like, however, we can’t be on the water from dawn ‘till dusk, so let’s enjoy the picturesque town (a little) by having dinner together on day 2 at (or delivered from) one of the famous Grand Marais Dining Palaces Sven and Ole’s (pizza), Hughie's Taco House, My Sister’s Place(burgers, salads), etc) and a little evening time to browse the shops, roam the streets and shore, or hike the local trails and Geocache.

All of these days will involve a progression of skill building and journeying:
  • Day 1 class will be in the Grand Marais, MN vicinity
  • Day 2 we will continue on building upon our skills, by embarking on  a day trip in the vicinity that bring us to new waters and challenges
  • Day 3 may involve a shuttle as we complete a one way journey with opportunities to play with our new skills, from Twin Points (or Split Rock) to Gooseberry Falls State Park, or a round trip at one of many iconic locations along the North Shore.


Possible skills work will be

  • Turning in and out of the wind
  • Rescue strategies for near shore
  • High and low bracing ability. Comfort with some edging.
  • Efficient forward stroke.
  • Group positioning and dynamics awareness. 
  • Gentle breaking waves on sloping shore
    • Forwards/backwards, in/out
    • Landing/launching
    • Paddling parallel i.e.: bracing
    • Gentle breaking waves on steeper or rocky shore [i.e.: rock gardening]
    • Navigation (theoretical and practical)

Costs will include:
  • ACA insurance will be covered in cost

Costs not included will be:
  • Camping and reservation fees will be on your own; you will make the reservations
  • Meals will be on your own (you must have a packed lunch for each day)
  • Transportation is on your own
  • Additional ACA participant fee of $5 for non ACA members (payable on site)

This is an ISK Level 2 (except when working near shore, waves will be <1ft) with paddling distances up to 16 miles. If wind and waves exceed these parameters, there is a large inland lake alternative, which will give us opportunity to work on navigation skillsThe location for base camp will be on the north shore of Lake Superior (Minnesota), and will involve base camping at the municipal campground, other nearby campgrounds or other lodging in or near Grand Marais, MN.
This class is not appropriate for beginning kayakers
  • Confident wet exits
  • Assisted rescue ability both as swimmer and rescuer
  • Paddle float or other self-rescue

Equipment requirements include:
  • A kayak in good, serviceable condition, and suitable for the intended activity
  • Flotation in both ends of the boat - bags or bulkheads
  • Full Perimeter deck lines
  • PFD to be worn at all times when in or on the water
  • Wetsuit or dry suit. The water will be cold, so a wet suit at minimum is required, but wearing a drysuit is strongly urged
  • Readily accessible warm, dry change of clothes

Helmets will be mandatory.