words :: Ned Morgan.
When we herded the cats and finally figured out a week everyone could set aside for a SUP/kayak trip this summer, the last week of August was it. A late-summer trip offers the advantage of no bugs, but throws down the wild card of high winds and storms.
When a squall hit us on our first morning as we paddled from the Chikanishing Creek put-in (in Killarney Provincial Park), we pulled over to take cover on Sly Fox Island. The Bay remained rough for the next two days though the skies cleared and the temps stayed warm. Gusts up to 35 knots kept us sharp as we snuck in and out of inlets and lees, inching east along the labyrinthine outer shoreline of Phillip Edward Island and eventually into the shelter of Beaverstone Bay and Point Grondine Park.
Our MEC gear and Blu Wave boards helped us navigate this exposed, wild waterscape in comfort and style. Here’s a rundown of some key pieces.
MEC Scully 50 Dry Duffle
Unstrapped from a roof rack, tossed in a cargo hold, and tied to the deck of a SUP— just another day for this rugged expedition dry duffle. Big enough to hold our solar array plus lots more, the 50L version fit perfectly on the deck of our Blu Wave Catalina 14.0 EXP. The low-profile rectangular shape is stable, stackable and makes it easy to find small items. The upper flap unzips to reveal a wide roll-top closure that can be sealed to keep water out, or strapped out of the way for use as a conventional duffle. Multiple lash points let you secure the Scully to any surface. We also demoed the 30L version which was the perfect size for lots of clothes plus sleeping bag/pad.
Dry Bag for SUP TouringDry Bag for SUP Touring
MEC Sun Dodger Wide Brim Hat
The burly woven nylon Sun Dodger is the ultimate summer paddling hat if you want extra-wide UPF 50+ sun protection (and we all need that, don’t we?) plus DWR finish to keep rain at bay. For hot days, a mesh lining manages sweat and the darkened underbrim reduces glare. Thanks to the foam-stiffened brim, the hat floats. And if you’re looking for more of an around-the-backyard type of lid, check out the MEC Roam Bucket Hat. Both hats are unisex.
Paddling HatPaddling Hat
Eureka! Midori 2-Person Tent
The Midori 2 is priced lower than most of its peers but we could find no diminution in performance. It may not be quite as compact or light as an MSR backpacking tent, but unless you’re fastpacking, that won’t matter. It will sleep 2 in comfort (unlike many ultralight 2-person tents). And if you’re soloing with the Midori 2, you can spread out a lot and throw in all your gear. Mesh walls keep the bugs out and keep you cool. And the waterproof “bathtub” floor and 68-denier-poly rainfly are reassuring when bad weather hits.
Premium DetailsPremium Details
Fathom Anguilla Equalizing Full Face Mask
Comfortable, quick to engage and easy to use, the Anguilla gives you a wide-angle view of the underworld while its full-face design allows natural breathing through the nose and mouth. The extended snorkel lets you breathe easy in choppy conditions, and a soft silicone nose gives you the option to equalize if you venture below the surface.