Thunder Bay: Sailing and Exploring Lake Superior

Hillcest ParkThunder Bay – A City Superior by Nature

Nearly three months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most populous cities in Northernwest Ontario that is Thunder Bay. There, visitors have an opportunity to explore Lake Superior and learn the interesting facts and history about this North America largest fresh water lake. Fortunately, Thunder Bay has not made itself into the tourism trap, and I believe it is worth exploring in the summer.

My sailing tour in Lake Superior officially started on my first afternoon at the peaceful Marine Park Terminal with a local tour operator Sail Superior. My tour guide, Greg, is very knowledgeable about the Thunder Bay and Lake Superior. During the 90 minutes tour, not only he told us the facts and ship-wreck stories in a comedic way. He is also a professional sailor, and his next generations are all inherit professional sailing techniques from him. He brings us many fun and adventure stories about his sailing trip across the Atlantic and trilling journey of sailing under the bad climate halfway through the Lake Superior. The whole afternoon, I was immersed in his journey of fun, adventure, and thrilling. I have learned that when sailing, Mother Nature can provide huge support while can be our largest enemy. He told us that just a week ago his sailing crew met a thunderstorm after his yacht passed the barrier and all the guests are required to get down into the cabin. For very long time, they watched the lighting overhead on the lake. To be honest, I wish I could have that thrilling experience (I know, I am a freak…).

As we sailed towards the barrier, a group of yacht passed us in opposite direction. We were told that those yachts were in for a sailing competition. At Lake Superior, you will find multiple yacht sail around one after another and each was prepared to face the strong wind. There are no judges and to this day, I still unsure how the winner is going to be rewarded. For those competitors, sailing competition is the time to indulge their hobbies and spend times to continue experimenting new sailing techniques.

We sailed passed the barrier where the strong wind and tides kick in. There we saw several cargo vessels that is used for transporting mines, grains and iron ore to the other parts of the world. The Sleeping Giant was merely inches away but still takes three hours to reach. Greg also briefed us about an old house on one of the islands where a family relies on self-sufficient method to live till today. We listened intently on his stories and get to know that Lake Superior is not only rich with resources, but is home to all kinds of life, events and chapters.

I was in Thunder Bay for only two days, hiked the waterfalls and then drove up to the Hillcrest Park to have a 180-degree view of the city. I sat on the bench on the hilltop for over an hour until the twilight kicked in. I did not explore too much of the city other than those two places, since this trip is not for travel, but more about enjoying where I was and celebrating my two years in Canada.  My last vacation was nearly a year ago.

Thunder Bay is far from my first choice, but it was a great place to escape.  In Thunder Bay, I did many things that have not done in years (details could be another story), and that nostalgia of familiarly of my wanderlust is finally back. I was not only exploring Thunder Bay, but say Hello to the world of travel again.


Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

2 thoughts on “Thunder Bay: Sailing and Exploring Lake Superior

  • November 29, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Glad you got that taste of freedom again. Cant wait to be on the road again. Would love to hear more about it, especially Ontario itself. Cheers for the post

    • December 1, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks Andy! Look forward to reading more of your post about China!


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