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The Gales of November

Photographers line up facing a 70 km breeze coming off Superior to capture the strength and power of the big lake

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 meteorology 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. During the Gales, world-renowned photographer, Rob Stimpson, gathers a group on one of the most iconic areas of the Lake Superior coastline and teaches landscape digital photography to both the amateur and professional. This course allows the participants the privilege 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 world.

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


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


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


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


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


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 is 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 passed Fall Gales Photography Workshop torch. Outdoor and travel photographer Glenn Springer now hosts the workshop with Naturally Superior Adventures. 

About Glenn Springer
Glenn is a freelance photojournalist, writer and columnist who specializes in outdoor and travel photography. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, featured in galleries, and local publications in Haliburton. He is also the founding president of the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club.


October 24 - 27, 2019

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

Learn more and register: www.rockislandlodge.ca

About Rob Stimpson

Rob Stimpson is an internationally published, award-winning photographer best known for capturing the wilds of the Canadian outdoors. He has photographed for many of Ontario's tourism agencies as well as Ontario Tourism and Ontario Parks for the past ten years. His work has appeared on the covers of parks guides, calendars, magazines and national ads for the province. Along the way, he has garnered numerous awards, including a Northern Lights Award from the Canadian Tourism Commission and Best Travel Photography Award from a recent Ontario Tourism Summit. In October 2012 he was nominated and accepted into the College of Fellows in the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. For more info go to www.robstimpson.com

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