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Kayak vs. freighter

• Jun 5, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Four friends from Northern Michigan University (including one from Grand Haven) are in the midst of a kayak trip along the extensive shores of Lake Superior, and they’re blogging along the way.

Former Grand Haven resident Jared VanOordt, 21, and former Holland resident Ryan Busch, 24, join fellow kayak guides Drew Etling and Karol Rajski in the adventure, which they are calling Four the Water. They shoved off May 21 from Marquette.

In a recent post, the kayakers wrote of their encounter with freighters at the Soo Locks.

“So knowing we had to navigate the canal and locks came as excitement to us since none of us have had experience with locks,” they posted. “To spice it up a little bit (since we like it that way) through in that thick fog I was talking about and a couple of 1,000-foot freighters buzzing by. When the fog set in, we could not see the bridge that symbolized the Soo to us, so we paddled blindly along the coast. Eventually, through a break in the fog, we managed to spot the top of the bridge and we knew we were getting close.

“Just after that moment, a ‘ghost ship’ appeared (barely) in the fog and reminded us that we had to keep our eyes peeled. ... We navigated between freighters that were invisible until just a few hundred yards in the distance, as we paddled quickly to the other side.”

Etling noted, "We were playing frogger with the freighters."

The kayakers are partnering with the Superior Watershed Partnership on their trip. The SWP is the largest non-profit organization in the Lake Superior region. Its mission is to protect and improve the natural resources of the Upper Peninsula and the surrounding watershed. 

Connect to the kayakers’ blog here.

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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