Day 35: Voice of the North

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February 4, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Have you ever been to Lake Superior?  It’s gorgeous.  I once hiked across the shoreline of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula between Marquette and Munising, stopping to marvel at Pictured Rocks and taking in some natural splendor all along the way.  There’s an untouched beauty up there, likely because it can get bitter cold for much of the year, but the sights and sounds make any temperature worth exposing yourself to.  Today’s project aims to capture Lake Superior in its natural glory and share the experience with you and I.

Marlin Ledin is no stranger to Superior.  A few years ago, he spent a week on the frozen surface of the lake in order to record the sounds of the constantly-shifting, freezing and re-freezing ice.  He discovered the solitude and splendor of the lake, and realized that there was so much more to discover than winter had to show him.  He’s now gearing up to embark on a 4-6 month-long sailing journey throughout Lake Superior, capturing the entire experience on video (including an underwater camera, as well as one attached to a weather balloon tethered to his boat).

I’ll be using my sailboat and dingy to sneak into small coves, my climbing gear to get footage from treetops, an underwater camera, a weather balloon with a camera attached for that true birds eye view.  I’ll be recording the sounds of storms, birds and moose, ice, industry, and interviewing people. I’ll be keeping journal entries, and writing a book about my journey afterwards. I’ll be writing and recording music in natural amphitheatres and unique places, recording songs during storms, and among wildlife.

Amazingly, Marlin’s funding goal is a mere $1,000, but the man has been living on his 20-foot sailboat, Voyager, for years, and has done a truly commendable job on a shoestring budget.  Single cabin, wood stove, solar panel, sail, and presumably lots and lots of fish.  I’d love to take this trip with him, but I’ll settle for his retelling when he come ashore.  I can’t imagine what wonderful things he’ll witness in those northern waters, but I’m really looking forward to finding out.  Good luck, Marlin, and safe sailing.


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