Posted by: Bearskin | May 13, 2009

From UpNorthica: “Conundrum in the Canal”

Commentary from the the website Upnorthica:

The craggy, gelid waters of Lake Superior have sunk more than a few ships in their day. They’re also really cold. So anybody who would meet them in battle, paddling a homemade birch bark canoe, is either crazy — or is someone like Erik Simula. There’s a big difference.

The off-the-grid living forest ranger/wilderness guide/dog sled musher/boatwright (previously posted here) is paddling 1000 miles on what he calls his Arrowhead Journey. Yesterday presented his greatest challenge so far. Despite being covered with a spray skirt, Erik’s canoe became partially swamped as he paddled through the high bridge canal in Duluth. The Coast Guard were called in and towed the boat to safety after Erik and his dog Kitigan were brought ashore, courtesy of the Duluth Fire Department.

Simula maintains he could have self-rescued, but conceded to the help. I have no reason to doubt that; after all, what can’t this guy do? After this trip, he could probably go fishing for marlin with his bare hands, just to round out his resumé.

After only a cup of coffee at a friend’s and a gear upgrade from a sponsor, Erik Simula is ready to hit the waves again on the trip of his dreams. Way to go, Erik! BTW, maybe one of your sponsors could really be a help by re-stocking your pine pitch supply;)

(Bearskin note:  Erik is well-versed in where to get the stuff!)



  1. Glad to hear you are safe Erik. What an amazing trip

    Here at the Prairie Isle we will keep sending positive energy your way for a safe trip.

  2. Thx for correction, Maxx… duly noted 🙂

  3. I hope the rest of his trip is less eventful than yesterdays mishap! Oh by the way he was in the Duluth ship canal with the earial lift bridge not the “HIGH BRIDGE”! The high bridge connects minnesota to wisconsin and the lift bridge connects park point to duluth!

    • I would guess that from Erik’s vantage point in a low canoe the lift bridge was darn high. 🙂

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