-- Last Updated: Sep-25-12 6:26 PM EST --
If you are reasonably close, you may want to check out Superior Kayak & Canoe club out of Thunder Bay:
It would be a way to find people familiar with the area and conditions.
Another option in a week or two is the Gale Storm Gathering symposium (connected with the coach mentioned in the prior posting).
http://www.galesstormgathering.com/index.php/event-news/gales-storm-gathering-2012-and-great-lakes-coaching-week/. Be chance to try boats and get some instruction on conditions and skills needed for the area.
On boats, you will probably want a touring or sea kayak. Within this, there are many options depending on what you want (playful vs faster, carry lot of gear vs low volume, etc.). But in general, it will be 14 to 18 feet long, have bulkheads and hatches front and back, you'll wear a spray skirt to seal water out of your cockpit, etc. Within this category, there are many different options, so best choice is to work with a local dealer and see what you can test out.
Check past posts here for kayaks for small paddlers, as from time to time a list comes up. The Avocet LV composite is often on that list, but isn't cheap (it is my girlfriend's dream boat).
Reflective Hull Decals
Canoe Pack Liner
Rescue / Throw Bags
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