Gearlab Athlete Alex Martin Plans First Solo Circumnavigation of Lake Winnipeg
Winnipeg, Manitoba. June 6, 2018. This month, eighteen-year old Winnipeg kayaker Alex Martin and Gearlab athlete, will embark on the first of its kind solo expedition to circumnavigate Lake Winnipeg. The goal during the 1,750 km sea kayak journey is to raise awareness about the critical need for sustainable watershed management in the region.
The 1,750 km sea kayak journey will take approximately two months and kick off on June 27 from Manitoba’s Grand Beach Provincial Park. Along the way, Alex will stop in communities around the lake to be able to share their stories, promote the campaign, and photograph the lake in its dynamic state along the coast.
Alex has chosen the Gearlab Nukilik paddle as the trip's paddle.
“The light carbon-fiber design makes it great for long distance paddling, and the replaceable tips makes it ideal for expedition trips,” Alex says. “Totally great on windy days!”
Developed over thousands of years by the Inuit, Greenland style paddles offer efficient power and precise control. As the first modern Greenland-style paddle with exchangeable tips, Gearlab paddles and accessories incorporate ancient wisdom and modern materials, fusing efficiency and technology into the best touring paddle on the market.
While Lake Winnipeg was circumnavigated by a duo of adventures in 1983, Alex’s solo trip will be the first known solo expedition. His trip will be tracked via Garmin inReach.
For Alex, the timing is critical. In recent years, harmful blue-green algae blooms have contaminated beaches, reduced water quality, and threatened the fishing industry.
“The trip will serve as an awareness campaign regarding the dire need for change in the way that the government and private corporations, along with people who live within the Lake Winnipeg watershed, think about sustainability in regards to Lake Winnipeg,” says Alex.
While circumnavigating Lake Winnipeg, he will paddle the shoreline of a number of areas recognized for their importance in the lake's ecology, such as the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pimachiowin Aki, Fisher Bay Provincial Park, and Kinwow Bay Provincial Park.
In addition to visiting 12 local schools to speak about water conservation and stewardship, Alex 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.