I have spent some time on Lake Superior, including the Sleeping Giant/Silver Islet area, Rossport Islands, Slate Islands, Apostles, Isle Royale, etc.
I would probably have never went to any of those places if I had not first developed a confident ability to paddle and self-rescue in moderate conditions. Along with that, I also know when to stay ashore.
Sometimes we have worn drysuits even in August due to the cold water. Other times the water was warm enough for swimwear.
The bottom line is that you need to have confidence in ability to handle whatever conditions that mother nature might offer. A proper sea kayak is a good start, but knowledge & skills are what counts when paddling the inland seas.
URCHIN Portable Anchor
Gedi Convertible Helmet
Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
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