Alex Martin Completes First Solo Circumnavigation of Lake Winnipeg in Record Time
Taipei, Taiwan, August 23, 2018. - Eighteen-year-old GEARLAB athlete Alex Martin finished his Lake Winnipeg sea kayaking journey without a hitch and ahead of schedule. Martin embarked on a first-of-its-kind solo expedition to circumnavigate Lake Winnipeg on June 27. The goal during the audacious expedition was to raise awareness about the critical need for sustainable watershed management in the region.
The 1,750-km sea-kayak journey was planned to take two months, but Martin took the sea kayak community by surprise when he landed on August 3, at Grand Beach Provincial Park. Most lengthy open-water expeditions are fortunate to complete 50 km a day on average; Martin sometimes covered a mind-boggling 100 km a day. Could his gear have played a part? He reported the Nukilik and the new test paddle Kalleq were highly efficient, clog free, lightweight, and reliable.
Along the way, Martin stopped in communities around the lake to share stories, promote the campaign, and photograph the lake in its dynamic state along the coast. His tales from the expedition included 10-foot waves, a determined stalking bear, rogue storms, and teaching kids along the way about the sport of sea kayaking. (Martin's stories can be found in his recap interview.)
He paddled the shoreline of a number of areas recognized for their importance in the lake's ecology, including the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pimachiowin Aki, Fisher Bay Provincial Park, and Kinwow Bay Provincial Park. Sadly, he had to report on large algae blooms due to warm waters, shallow waters, erosion-caused mudflats, the invasive zebra mussels, and littered coast lines.
In addition to visiting 12 local schools to speak about water conservation and stewardship, Martin has partnered with Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: Manitoba Chapter, and the First Nations group Pimachiowin Aki.
For updates on the trip, visit the Lake Winnipeg Circumnavigation Campaign on Facebook.
- The original article is released on SNEWS.