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Offical10th Annual SBIKR Page-Lake Erie

-- Last Updated: Feb-02-14 11:44 PM EST --

The South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous is celebrating it's 10th anniversary June 6-8, 2014. Based at South Bass Island, this is the premier kayak gathering on Lake Erie.

Paddlers from throughout the Midwest join more than 100 kayakers to paddle the Lake Erie Islands, socialize, eat and paddle some more. Attendees make their own reservations at South Bass Island State Park.

Our gathering is accessible by water or by ferry. Our Friday night pot luck has become a legendary affair and there are more than a dozen islands to explore. Paddle the needle's eye, make multiple island crossings. Visit North Bass Island, check out the rattles on Rattlesnake Island, see the remains of a lighthouse on Green Island.

Visit our official website:

Check out our T-shirt page to see this year's collectors logo. For more information post a message here or email emanohtol@yahoo.com



  • I will be at site 105
    I am looking forward to it as I have every year for a long time.
  • Options
    We"ll be there
    Site 135
    Barry Kathy
  • Whoo Hooo
    It wouldn't be the same without you guys!

    site #109
  • Sounds like fun
    Thanks for posting about this, I am going to check it out.
  • After a swing and miss last year..
    ..I snagged site 114. Just hope that by June the ice will have melted!
  • All are welcome
    Tell your kayaking friends and neighbors. This is the 10th year, so let's really pack the state park. We normally pack it anyhow, but lets go over the top this year!

  • Logistics?
    Is it relatively easy to take the ferry out to the island? Is it a long way to get from the ferry drop off point to the campground? The largest body of water I have ever paddled on was Grand Lake St Mary's or Lake Loramie which will be like a puddle compared to Lake Erie. I have not been paddling much for the past several years due to taking a detour and battling cancer, but I am well again and would love to make this weekend happen.
  • logistics
    -- Last Updated: Mar-19-14 1:03 AM EST --


    There are basically 4 ways to get to SBI State Park for the SBIKR. Last time I checked there are still campsites up in the park. The cliff sites are taken but the sites back in the trees are fine. Most hang with us at one of any number of campfires along the cliffs. Getting to and taking the Miller Ferry is very easy. It's the most direct shot and I've never known anyone bringing a kayak over on the Jet Express, those boats aren't really set up for hauling gear.

    1. Paddle over from the mainland. Most put in at the small sand/stone beach just east of the Miller Ferry. We drop our gear, park our cars in the free Miller Ferry Parking and walk back. All of your gear packs in your boat. You have the luxury of leaving the Island when you want. There is usually a large group that meets around noon on Catawba to paddle over, but if you're not comfortable with the distance or what could be rough conditions I'd probably not take this option. If it's super calm on the way home on Sunday, there is usually another group or several that paddle back to the mainland. Maybe your confidence will be up after a long paddle weekend.

    2. Drive on the Ferry with your car, boat and gear. You have an additional expense, but you have the luxury of bringing anything and everything you want and you have a vehicle on the island. Having a vehicle isn't necessary, but it's a convenience. There are shuttles that go between the state park and downtown. Only drawback is leaving the island. You have to get in line pretty early to leave if you want to be on a particular ferry (time). Just make sure you're ready to go early. If it doesn't matter when you leave, just know you may wait a while, bring a book and the ferry's are working overtime to get people and cars off the island. Some car/boaters just stay until Monday and you can pretty much get on any ferry you want.

    3. Carry your boat and gear on the ferry. Some just walk on with their boat and a set of wheels. The expense is less and you can get on any ferry you want. I can help arrange for someone to swing over to the ferry dock to pick you up (PM me and we can exchange info). The walk is longer than you probably want to tackle even if you have wheels. Leaving the island is easier because you can just walk back on and not wait in line with your car. By the end of the weekend you'll find or get to know someone who would be more than glad to drop you back off.

    4. I know some who have walked on the ferry with their gear and then loaded up and paddled around the point from the island ferry dock. Stick to the shore and you'll have about a mile paddle to the west and around the PIB lighthouse and then up the coast to the State Park. You'd land and carry your gear to your camp site like most. You also don't need to carry your boat to your site, many just leave them on the beach. In 10 yrs we've never had a problem.

    Misc. I've even seen some boaters rig their boat to their bike and pedal over from the ferry. Takes some extra ingenuity, but a set of kayak wheels can take you far.

    Post more questions here and check out our official site, lots of info and check out the 10th anniversary poly t-shirts.


  • Guess I waited to long
    I just checked the campsite and it says no available sites for tent camping . The bed and breakfast at $195 a night is out. Oh well.
  • Options
    1st timer
    I am coming for the first time to this event, from Canada.

    I will probably arrive on Friday morning with my car if anyone needs a lift over, Ill drive to Monroe area on Thurs night.

    I will probably stay till Monday morning. I guess I best look at booking a site for sunday night, I am sharing a site for the fri and Saturday night.

    Any suggestions for a newbie? I am looking forward to this!!!


  • Welcome

    Welcome we love visitors from the north. How far north if you're making it as far as Monroe? If you make it to Monroe, Catawba Island is a little more of an hour away?

    Check out the website for the basic agenda and you'll see boats going in all directions each day. The pot luck is the main gathering point and social activity, but you'll make friends for life over the weekend. We eat, paddle, eat, paddle. etc.

    Post questions here or email me,

    organizer. Site #109

    P.S. if you want to order a shirt see the shirt page on the website. I prefer pre orders and will only have a few extras.
  • Options
    From north
    Hey i am coming from Hamilton ontario. I had been thinking of camping in sandusky, but after ur message realize that is driving by the ferry! I hope to do some good paddling but with out winter i may be way outta shape! I really have no concept how far in open water i have gone lol, i can paddle my way surely but sometimes slowly in a head wind lol

    I would like a t shirt, do u have more info on sizing? Shoulder width seam to seam? Torso width? I could be a sm,med or large depending on if mens or womens sizing and even then it varies lol. Maybe ill take 3 one of each size lol.
  • Info.
    Yes, if you make it to Sandusky you've gone too far. There are plenty of campgrounds in the Port Clinton and Catawaba area if you wanted to camp the night before going to the island. I googled "campgrounds Catawaba Island" and there are a bunch on the mainland.

    The beauty of this event is that you can paddle 4 miles or you can paddle 40. We will link 4-5 islands and do a 20 mile day or you can simply paddle to the harbor and back to camp for an 8 mile jog. Or you can circumnavigate our home island for a 12 mile day. There is no pressure to pile on any more miles than your body will allow. See my post above about your ferry or paddling options.

    If you paddle over from the little beach near the Miller Ferry it is a 3 mile crossing and then another mile up the shore to the State Park. Most Island crossings are 1-4 miles apart.

    I wish I could tell you specific dimenions on the shirt. I do order some extras for sale on the island, but they go quickly. If you want a medium and it's too big or small find me early and you'll be able to exchange.

    I wish I could do men's and women's shirts but I get a discount for quanity ordering and the discount kicks in at around 40 shirts. If I split the kind of shirt then the cost goes up dramatically. From previous years smallish women are very happy in the small size shirts and I've never had a guy complain about his XXL.

    I'm assuming you've seen the shirt page on the website. Just email.PM me your name and shirt size, email and I'll add you to the list. I'll also have your email for future communication.

  • Options
    LOL I was just looking at sites and was wondering who was on 114 as they are there Thurs-Sun I am hoping to be there for that long to.

    is it worth the walk into those sites? Ill be moving around all weekend poss. LOL
  • Options
    lots open
    Hey I was just on the site, you probably did what I did on my first 2 looks, you forgot to switch from full hook up to non electrical

    lots in non electrical for all week! non with power! LOL no luxury ...
  • Sites
    If you haven't been to SBI State Park the from site 35 north to site 101 you are on a cliff overlooking the lake. From site #35 to the south the island levels off to the beach area and boat ramp.

    The sites towards the back of the park to the east where the road "Y's" is up another short hill. You can walk your gear up to your site and there are several cut throughts. Most leave their boats on the grassy bluff above the beach. On the map it is labeled "stone beach." In 9 years we've never had a problem. Some bring wheels and pull their kayaks to their sites.
  • Yes I made a mistake
    -- Last Updated: Apr-24-14 11:56 PM EST --

    Yes I didn't see how there was the option for hookup and non hookups. So yes there are lots of sites still available. It will be my first time there. looking forward to kayak this end of lake Erie. Being from Buffalo NY I have done a lot of the east end of the lake.20 miles a day sounds good to me, I will sleep well then.

  • That smells like me...
    ...I snagged 114 and added on the extra day in case I didn't feel like leaving on Sunday. This will be my second coming:)

    Looking forward to seeing Eric et al.

  • Options
    135, 109, 114
    Hey do you know who is on the other sites near you? Are they people your coming with?

    Im just sorting out my Thursday and sunday nites and just trying to not be in middle of no where alone.

    I was able to get on sharing for site 25 Friday and Saturday night.

    135 I see there are sites down there with people all weekend, 114 you have someone there thurs on 115 but only you down there if you stay sunday night

    then I could just take erics 109 for the thurs and sunday, it must be a nice site LOL....


    I have a car so need the parking spot :)

  • Options
    south bass
    LOL we should car pool, but Im going on Thursday to Monday...Im coming from Hamilton Ontario LOL

    Glad you will be making it now!

    tricky site!!!

  • Awesome
    Glad you snagged a site Byron. Meet at noonish at the Miller Ferry Beach?
  • SBIKR 39 Days Away
    Just pasting Eric's announcement:

    The Ice Fishermen just called me and said we can have our lake back. Ice is officially out on the western end of Lake Erie and that means it's time for the 10th Annual South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous, June 6-8, 2014.

    This year we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary of our gathering, and by all accounts we'll fill the South Bass Island State Park again. I looked last week and there are still some sites available up in the interior of the park. I've had several emails from paddlers saying the park is booked. On the ODNR website, if you select "tent" you also need to select the "non-electric" option on the website and the available sites will appear. If you just click "tent' and not the electric option, it will look like the park is booked solid. For those who nab one of those sites, you can leave your boats on the grassy bluff above the beach and nobody will bother it.

    I am also usually the hub for people wanting to unload campsites, wanting to share campsites or for people needing to connect paddlers together. So far we have not had any "confirmed" axe murderers at our event, so any connections I've passed along have worked out well. If you fit into any of the categories above, email me and I'll keep a running list and connect people who are looking to share, unload or need sites.

    We may also have a record number of SBIKR t-shirts this year, keep those orders coming and wear your shirts proud. "Hey regular attendees, get off your butts and send me your orders!" It's becoming quite a tradition to have some of the coolest t-shirt designs on the great lakes. Email me your size and number of shirts. See the t-shirt page on the official website: http://www.sbikayakrendezvous.com/T-Shirts.html

    Our Pot Luck is also a feature activity at our event. We have the park shelterhouse reserved for our group. The amazing spread that all of you produce rivals anything put out by Wolfgang Puck or Emeril. I will have at least two grills available and we can burn some meat together. There is a fairly well equiped grocery on the island for last minute vittles.

    Miscellaneous: The lake is apt to be cooler this year, so bring your cold weather gear. I am also working on getting a represenative from the national park service to come to our pot luck to talk about the proposed Lake Erie Water Trail. Check out the website for additional event info and agendas. If camping isn't your thing and want to attend Ashley's Island House would love to pamper you at their bed and breakfast.

    See you on the water,
    Eric Slough
    aka: emanoh
    site #109
  • Meet you at high noon...
    ... I don't think it's nice, you laughin' at my kayak. You see, my kayak don't like people laughin'. Gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at it. Now if you apologize like I know you're going to, I might convince it that you really didn't mean it...

    ...oops, must be having a 60s flash back to some spaghetti western that I saw while under the influence.

    Anyhow looks likely to be the season of the drysuit:)
  • Thanks!
    What Suirnam said..... :-)

    I also have two updates. Vicky at Kayak the Bay said she has rentals if anyone needs a buddy kayak. http://www.kayakthebay.net/kayak-bay-ltd-home/#

    Vicky also said that there is an eagle roosting again in the small pond in the northwestern corner of the PIB harbor. Many people don't knoow this little pond is there, but you duck under a bridge and then it opens up into a 1 or 2 acre pond-like area. It's mostly lilly pads, but people are being encouraged to not paddle back into the pond, thus disturbing the nesting eagle. You can see the nest from the harbor, but please keep your distance.

    Emanoh, site #109.

  • High Noon
    Funny, very funny.

    If the waves are too big, just remember this one from the Outlaw Josey Wales.

    "Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."
  • Options
    Thurs & sunday camping
    I will be arriving via ferry on thurday 2-3 pm, and leaving Monday morning if anyone is wanting to share a site. I will be moving on fri/sat to a shared site.

    I can thus be available fri for anyone needing help from the ferry. my plan fri is to check out the wineries and the mine stores for crystals :)


  • Options
    im booked on 116

    cant wait, lets get some hot sun to warm up the waters a bit!!!

    wet suit tested yesterday!
  • water temps
    -- Last Updated: May-06-14 11:40 AM EST --

    I paddle east lake Erie a lot, right now water is around 37F. Just checked western lake Erie its in the 50F range. Seems like a big difference. I wonder what the water temps will be come June. Maybe I wont bother with the drysuit but bring my wetsuit instead. I didn't think there would be much difference in water temp from East lake Erie and West Lake Erie. Not a big deal just curious.

    Source: http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/

  • Options
    I will be bringing a wet suit for use to be safe. Better to have then to not.
    Guess depends on how far your paddling and the water conditions
  • Options
    Pot luck
    So any suggestions for the pot luck?

    Im sure with this size of a crowd there is quick the variety.

    Lets have some stats, What is the largest number of paddlers over the 10 years :)

  • crowd
    In about year 5 or 6 we had 150. We average about 120. Each year we have our regulars and we pick up some new attendees each year who come for 3-4 yrs and then take a few yrs off.

    The pot luck is a mixed bag. We can always use more "main" dish sort of items but lots of salads, dips, deserts. I always have a few small grills and people bring homemade sasuage, burgers, hot dogs, etc. The ethnic stuff seems to go over well.
  • Options
    Hey all,

    I just wanted to say hello my name is Andy and I will be staying at site 113 with a couple of my paddling buddies. I look forward to meeting everyone!
  • Welcome
    Welcome and make sure you make it to the pot luck to meet the gang.

    See you on the water.

    Eric, Site 109
  • Options
    Thanks Eric
    What a great weekend!

    thanks for all the hard work you do! Now lets get the numbers up and take over the whole camp site and keep out the partiers LOL
  • Posted pictures
    -- Last Updated: Jun-10-14 12:01 PM EST --

    I posted pictures from the event here on my webspace.


  • Pics
    Nice pictures Dan! It was good to meet and paddle with you.

    Too bad we didn't get a chance to get together and compare rolls again. I have been doing those on my own, it would have been fun to have someone that knows what is going on with them there to help critique and share techniques.

  • Next year
    Should be there next year so we can do some rolling then. Was a great time. Nice meeting everyone.
  • Grabbed site 131. Don't remember what it
    is like, but I am looking forward to seeing the SBIKR group again. Thanks for all you do Eric. Bill
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