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Monday, April 22, 2024
Niagara-on-the-Lake man along with friends paddleboards all the Great Lakes in one day

Three friends from Niagara recently set out on an adventure they will remember forever — paddleboarding all five Great Lakes in 24 hours.

Among the crew was Niagara-on-the-Lake resident David Postman, who joined friends Dan Dakin and Michael Taber for the challenge.

The three set out on Nov. 3 and managed to accomplish their goal by the same night, ending in St. Catharines.

They began around 7 a.m. on the largest lake North America has, Lake Superior.

From there they went through the US to Lake Michigan, then Lake Huron before coming back into Canada to get to Lakes Erie and Ontario.

All in all, their goal was fairly easy to accomplish, with a well-planned route.

“The Michigan route was a shorter drive than going to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada,” said Postman. “Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are all within an hour of each other so that route made sense.”

“We were hoping to find some surf out on the Great Lakes, but we kind of knew that you can’t really plan a trip like this expecting to get waves — it goes by the weather, not the day of the trip.”

The group hit the waters of Lake Ontario’s Sunset Beach in St. Catharines at around 7:30 p.m. when the sun was long gone, as friends watched them finish their journey.

According to Postman, who recently moved back to NOTL, Dakin was responsible for managing most of the trip.

As Dakin tells it, it’s like the start of a bad joke.

“A firefighter, a professor and a writer walk into the Gunslinger Saloon,” he jests, in a written story of his own about the trek.

As far as the group’s research could find, standup paddleboarding all five lakes in one calendar day hadn’t previously been done, Dakin said.

“But that’s not why we did it, and if someone else has done it before us, we would love to hear their story,” Dakin said. “For us, this was simply about getting out there and doing something that we knew would be an amazing experience.”

Dakin, a former journalist now in charge of communications at Brock University, is no stranger to organizing adventures.

He helped his wife Emily organize a journey along the Bruce Trail last year, which saw a lot of media attention.

The trio was supported by a number of organizations.

“Without their support this trip may not have been a possibility,” Dakin said.

“We’re fortunate to work with fantastic brands who support paddlers and are as adventurous as we are.”

Taber said he would recommend a trip like this to all paddlers.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the journey was the time spent with others who share the same passion and stoke for being on the water,” he said.

“Catching a wave, no matter how small or short it is, completely dissolves all other daily stresses.”

A YouTube video of their paddleboarding experience can be found at youtu.be/S2bzXRmHwZI.

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