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Great Lakes Article:

Sea kayakers to gather in Muskegon
By Howard Meyerson
The Grand Rapids Press
Published May 11, 2007

Kayakers from around the Great Lakes region will gather in Muskegon County over Memorial Day weekend for the 18th annual sea kayaking symposium.

The event, sponsored by the West Michigan Coastal Kayakers Association, is scheduled for May 25-28 at Camp Pendalouan on Big Blue Lake in Muskegon County. It will offer clinics for beginning and intermediate paddlers as well as children.

"We also have track for recreational boats," Karl Geisel, registration chairman for the event, said. "Those are boats that are shorter than 14 feet and do not have flotation or bulkheads. There are some things you just cannot do with them that you can do with sea kayaks."

Sealed bulkheads add buoyancy and provide dry spaces for storage. Flotation keeps a kayak from sinking.

Both help during the on-water exercises when paddlers practice their exiting and self-rescue techniques, two of many clinics which will be offered.

Jon Turk, who spent two years navigating the North Pacific rim in a kayak, will be the featured speaker May 26.

The price for the symposium is $120 for American Canoe Association members and $180 for nonmembers.

ACA membership is available at the symposium. Food and lodging are available on site for an added fee or camping is allowed for free.

Other classes offered include advanced rescue, Greenland and Euro-style paddling techniques, basic navigation, fitting out a boat, women's clinics, dressing for paddling and boat repair, to name just a few.

Dealers also will have a wide assortment of demo-boats on hand that symposium participants can try.

"We have quite a few families coming this year," Geisel said. "Our kids program is already full."

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