Colchester Winery Tour TBD

2013 Paddle to the Winery Tour

Colchester Village to Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery

Approximately 10-kilometers along the lush shore of Lake Erie, Canada’s South Coast

Sunday July 21, 2013

 Itinerary Schedule and Event Information:

-        Weather and assessment of water conditions at 9:00am.

-        All participants to meet at Colchester Village, Ontario by 9:00am and off-load kayaks and gear onto the Colchester Beach. Once your kayak and gear is off-loaded please move your vehicle to the parking locations at the top of the hill to make room for others to unload.

-        Mandatory meeting and welcome for all participants near the Colchester Marina boat ramps at 9:20am. Each participant must attend this briefing!

-        For your convenience coffee and breakfast sandwiches and wraps are available right at the start location from 7:00am


-        After the welcome and briefing meeting we ask that all vehicle drivers transport their cars west to our finish at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, 7258 County Rd. 50 West.

-        All vehicles must be parked at Sprucewood Winery by 10:00am. There will be a designated parking location east of the main parking lot along the vineyards.

-        For you shuttle convenience one of the local Wine Trolley Tour Vehicles has been provided to return you back to Colchester Village and our start location. The Trolley looks like a San Francisco Cable Car Trolley and will add to the fun of the event.

-        Trolley Shuttle departs from the winery at 10:10am and can accommodate just over 40-people.


Start and on water departure from Colchester:

-        The goal is to put-in from the beach at Colchester by 10:45am. We ask that the group stay together and that no boat heads off away from the main group.

-        This year we plan to do a short salute to Colchester before we head off along the coast. If conditions allow, once we are all off the beach we plan to paddle over and into the Village Harbour and Marina for a group photo.

-        The tour along the coast to the winery departs Colchester by 11:00am.

 Arrival at the Winery:

-        Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery has a wonderful beach waterfront to welcome us.

-        Again, the hope is for a nice group photo of all participants at our finish.

-        This is “The” post paddle gathering everyone will enjoy. Wine, live music, food and great people gathered at a beautiful setting.

-        Food: You can pre-order a picnic basket from Sprucewood that will feed 2 or 3 persons for $25. To pre-order a picnic basket contact Tanya at the winery at 519-738-9253.

-         Also Chef Jeff will be preparing tapas and other nibbles for a small cost. (Or just bring your own snacks).

-        Cold Sangria is usually available.

-        Enjoy your food under the covered patio with live music. Stroll the vineyards or relax next to one of the ponds or the beach.

-        Wine tasting

-        It’s a great way to enjoy the ‘Bounty of Our County’ with old friends and new!

 Kayak Rentals:

-        Pelee Wings can provide rentals. Mike Malone of Pelee Wings can have a trailer load of kayaks and gear at the start in Colchester. Make your rental arrangements directly with Pelee Wings ASAP to be sure to reserve a boat. 519-326-5193

 Lake Erie:

-        Be advised that this outing is along the big open water of Lake Erie. Wind and wave conditions can change rapidly. Although every effort will be made to keep this safe outing participants must understand the inherent risks involved.

-        The lake should be a comfortable temperature this time of year.

-        The 10-km shoreline route may offer shallow areas where one may be able to stand up if there is ever a boat capsize.

-        The rule of the day will focus on good group dynamics of staying together and looking out for each other.

-        If there is any apprehension before the start of the event (or if you have never paddled this distance before) please forgo the on-the-water tour and just meet everyone at the winery.

-        If for any reason the event organizers feel a certain kayak will not be adequate for the lake conditions of the day you will be ask not to take part in the on-the-water tour.

-        If wave, weather and winds conditions become a concern the on-the-water tour will be canceled and everyone will be ask to just gather at the winery. (That call will be made by 9:00am, July 21 at the start location).




Requirements and Expectations…

Paddle to the Winery Tour, Colchester Village along the shore of Lake Erie to the Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. July 21, 2013


Participants must understand there are some requirements that are the law in Ontario:

-        Each person must have a proper fitting PFD

-        Each person must have a whistle or other sounding device

-        Each boat must have a heaving line (throw rope) 15-meters long

-        Each boat must have a bailing device, a hand pump and sponge work very well.

-        There are other items on the books…flashlight, flares spare paddle etc.


As a club working at being inclusive and promoting safe enjoyment for everyone involved a few extra expectations must be upheld…


-        Every participant must also wear a proper fitting PFD at all times. The PFD must be worn on the participant’s body properly, zipped up to fit.

-        Every participant must dress for water and weather conditions. Even on warm days with moderately comfortable water temperatures that are expected for the ‘Paddle to the Winery Event’ synthetic quick drying clothing should be considered. Cotton is never to be worn on the water!


Boats: Obviously as a club there is an obligation to point out that certain boats are not suitable. The sad truth is that some of the products sold today as “kayaks” are nothing more than beach toys! Due to safety requirements and in fairness to all other participants the club and / or event organizer will block any craft deemed inadequate.

Each event may have its own unique circumstances but events on the big water of the Detroit River and Lake Erie mandate we hold firm on this rule.

What is the optimum style of kayak? Reasons why…

-        Sea or Coastal Touring Kayaks. These kayaks are designed for open water. Normally they are longer and faster then kayaks designed for moving stream and river play. They also have built in safety features that are required on big open water like the Detroit River and Lake Erie. 

-        Examples: Sea and Touring Kayaks have built in bulkheads. In the event of capsize only the cockpit where the paddler is seated will flood. These kayaks also have air and watertight hatch covers to keep gear storage areas dry. Another safety feature on Sea and Touring Kayaks are deck lines. Deck lines aid in deep water rescue as a safe way to hold and maneuver a capsized boat and help a swimmer climb back inside.


Other kayaks that can be used if they meet specific requirements…

-        Recreation Kayaks. These kayaks may be a bit shorter than sea or touring kayaks. Often they may only have one bulkhead behind the seat. It is strongly recommended that an air floatation bag be installed inside the front section of all rec. kayaks.

-        Home made and traditional kayaks. Often these kayaks are very sea worthy, (in fact most modern sea kayaks are built from traditional designs that have been used by Arctic Peoples for millennia). However, these kayaks must have floatation bags installed for safety. Without proper floatation any rescuer trying to right a swamped boat filled with water could hurt themselves. There is always the real chance that a kayak without bulkheads or added floatation could sink.

-        Slalom, Downriver or river touring kayaks. These kayaks are usually in the 4 to 4.5-meter length. Added Floatation is a must!

-        Sit on top kayaks are welcome if they are at least as long as slalom boats. Often they have scuppers to drain away water. Just remember very short kayaks are slow and may have a difficult time keeping up with the group.

-        Folding kayaks, like Foldboat and Feathercraft with floatation. A sea sock adds to safety.



-        There is always a risk of swamping due to wave action on big open water. If the lake has wave action that the club or organizer feels may swamp an open boat solo and tandem canoes may be ask to stay on shore. If conditions allow, competent canoe paddlers are welcome.

-        Voyageur Montreal Canoe. The club canoe is welcome. The club and “in charge” members of the canoe will survey the conditions the day of the event.


SUP’s (Stand Up Paddleboards)… 

-        This may be a first for a club event.

-        There have been inquiries from SUP devotees. It must be understood that some endurance is required as the tour is 12 to 14 kilometers along the shoreline.

-        Also, SUP participants must find a way to carry drinking water and should be dressed for immersion.


Boats not up for consideration…

-        Big box beach toys

-        Excessively short and slow kayaks. (Very experienced and fit WW Paddlers could be an exception but must clear with organizer). 

-        Any boat that is too small for the paddler

-        Inflatable kayaks made of simple plastics that are for pool use.



If you have any questions contact Steve Lutsch


Phone: 519-974-2888


This is just a safety guideline. The goal is safety for everyone from participants to security and safety personnel while working at being inclusive as best we can so everyone has an enjoyable and fun time.