Zack is the founder of Such A Nice Day Adventures which operates in the Thunder Bay area extending east to the United States Border and West to the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. Zack is a born adventurer who fell in love with paddling sports from a young age thanks to many family canoe trips. It wasn’t until Zack came to Lakehead University where he found his passion for kayaking. Zack has an outdoor education degree and stumbled upon kayak after tackling an ill-prepared trip on the beast that is Lake Superior. SAND is about connecting people to the water and cultivating a deep love for the lake and the landscape.
SAND Adventures offers courses, day tours, expeditions and is evolving each season. Sand Adventures is based out of Rossport and Thunder Bay. In Rossport, the company operates out of Superior Outfitters where courses and rentals are offered. The mission statement of the company is “animate the wonders of Lake Superior through traveling on the lake”. Connecting people to the lake and teaching people about how Lake Superior is a sensitive environment despite its vastness are important tenants that Zack brings to the company.
The Lake Superior Starter Course
This course is all about teaching people the proper skills to navigate the harsh environment of Lake Superior from paddling strokes, to rescue skills, to seamanship. The first day is spent in the water developing the skills to prepare you for the day trip on the second day.
SAND Adventures also offers expeditions on Lake Superior. Silver Islet to Rossport (8 days), Nirivia Basecamp tour (5 days), Slate Islands (5.5 days). Expeditions are a great way to spend time on the water exploring relatively untouched islands and shorelines along the lake.
SAND Adventures also offers educational opportunities that the Thunder Bay RAP team has had the opportunity to take part of. SAND adventures want to branch out from being a company that exclusively does tours and, and get into environmental consultation to make a difference in the health of the lake. In 2019, RAP contracted SAND adventures to go out on the lake and look at the Jackfish Bay RAP site. The team went out every other week for 16 weeks. They went out on kayaks and flew drones and were able to see the aesthetic differences. They used Secchi disks, took temperature readings, qualitative observations about foam, discoloration, algae presence, and smells. Bringing awareness to the public is an important part of the work to bring more eyes to what can be done to improve the quality of the water. The north shore is a relatively isolated environment.
COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we live we our lives. Many businesses and activities came to an abrupt halt in March 2020 and some still face setbacks. SAND Adventures and Lakehead University are hoping to put on a field school once public health guidelines and the university’s guidelines permit. Lake Superior is a miraculous place as the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Getting students out on the lake to interact with the lake and look at water quality indicators that can help monitor changes over time is a great way to develop a greater appreciation and deeper knowledge. The field school won’t be happening this year, but hopefully, it will happen sooner than later. Zack has worked with the Lakehead Outdoor Recreation department through leading sea kayaking courses and expeditions.
SAND Adventures has been safely able to operate this year. COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep everyone safe and able to experience the lake. COVID-19 limited the amount the company was able to operate in 2020, but every year since its inception the company evolves. Zack has a crew of experienced kayak instructors who help him facilitate a bustling summer schedule full of fun and adventure. Although, kayaking is not exclusive to the summer months. Zack has done ice kayaking where they break through ice or carry their kayaks across the ice to open frigid waters in the winter.
There is something truly spectacular about seeing the lake powered by your own body. Kayaking is a great way to explore while building a connection and deep appreciation to the lake