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The Gales of November

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The Gales of November

• Credit: Rob Stimpson

Witness the Wrath of Lake Superior For Yourself



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The month of November breathes emotion into Lake Superior each and every year. For those of us lucky enough to be here to experience this phenomenon, it marks the time when fall is coming to an end, and winter wishes to encase the power of the lake and the lake fights this change of season with all the power she can muster. The "Gales of November" is one of the great, iconic Canadian experiences, and every year, adventurous storm chasers make the trip to the quiet autumn beaches of Lake Superior to see a wild parade of some of the most glorious meteorological nature has to offer.

These November stormsgiven the name "gales" through the lyrics of a song written and sung by Gordon Lightfootoccur when cold, dry air from Northern Canada converges over the Lakes with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. All this unsettled air is then given one more stir by the warm summer water of the Lakes. The result is one of nature's most unpredictable storm nurseries. Wind speeds easily reach 50 mph with gusts that have been known to exceed 100 mph. There's a reason that some people still call these storms "witches." And yet, seen from the shoreline and treated with respect, the Gales of November is an experience no one should pass up.

Capturing A Storm

Every November, photographers flock to this majestic coastline hoping to capture with the click of their shutter the immense power of every crashing wave. World-renowned photographer, Rob Stimpson, was the first to gather a group at one of the most iconic areas of the Lake Superior coastline to teach landscape digital photography to both the amateur and professional, during the Gales.

The course was designed to give participants the opportunity to not only learn first-hand from an award-winning photographer but to also be witness to the fiery nature of the largest freshwater lake in the world.

We are proud to present a gallery of five of Rob's favourite photos of the Gales of November:

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A Gales workshop photographer braves the 50-knot wind to get the shot.

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The colours of Lake Superior's wind-whipped waves.

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Driftwood beach captures the essence of a classic Canadian wilderness scene - raw and untamed.

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A long exposure captures the waves and the soft morning light of the mouth of the Michipicoten River. The warning beacon keeps sailors aware of rocks close to the channel entrance to the river.

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Dramatic late afternoon light fills the sky as waves crash into an island on Dore Bay

How to See It For Yourself

Algoma Country is home to some of the most scenic views around the Big Lake between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Wawa, Ontario and much of this picturesque coastline are Provincial Park areas, which allows tourists to truly see, feel and touch this beautiful natural phenomenon. While most tourists will have left the region by this time of year, the storm chasers, who dream of capturing the lake in her most wrathful state, know the secret of the majesty of the Gales of November.

Passing the Torch

Rob Stimpson has since passed this fall photography workshop torch to other outdoor and travel photographers.

The 2021 Workshop Will Be Hosted By Andrew McLachlan

Andrew McLachlan is a freelance photographer/writer from Ontario, Canada.

Fall GALES PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

October 21-24, 2021

The workshop is designed for intermediate to advanced photographers. It's about pushing your range of experience.

To Register for the workshop visit: www.rockislandlodge.ca

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Sault-Ste Marie is a 7 hour drive from Toronto

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