community. learning. adventure.

“This place will change your life”

July 15-19, 2020

lisa deziel


Lisa Deziel


Paddling Bio

Growing up in Canada, I developed an early love for outdoor life, especially spending time on the water. Canoeing since I was a child, I transferred my skills to the sea kayak over a dozen years ago while living in South Florida, where my backyard included the Atlantic Ocean, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys. A few years ago, I moved to Sleeping Bear Dunes area and have been enjoying the Great Lakes since. This will be my third year at GLSKS – my second instructing.  I have spent many years exploring the waters and guiding trips in the Everglades and the Florida Keys and have guided, paddled, and camped around the world, including Wales, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, the Great Lakes, Antarctica, New Zealand, and Central America. I am comfortable in sea and surf kayaks, canoes, and on stand-up paddleboards. I currently work and guide with Uncommon Adventures, Prescription Paddlesports, and Aurora Expeditions. Having spent my professional life prior to being a kayak guide as an academician, my greatest pleasure is to see my students achieve their goals in a positive and supportive environment



ACA L3 Coastal Kayak Instructor

BC L1 Coach



ACA L4 Open Water Coastal Kayak

ACA L2 Canoe

BC Four Star Sea Kayak Leader

BC Three Star Canoe


Who am I?

Aren’t we all still trying to figure this out? I have spent my professional life as an academician, most recently as dean of a College of Pharmacy. Kayaking and camping became my way of alleviating stress and provided me with quality reflection time. I came to realize that life is short and I wanted more time on the water and in the woods than I could afford with my job. So… I retired and while this was bittersweet, it was the right decision for me. Michael Gray (Uncommon Adventures) convinced me to move north and I’ve never been happier (except that I miss the warm saltwater and the marine life that comes with it, including the sharks and crocodiles). I’m loving time on the Great Lakes, especially the opportunity to teach kayaking and watch the progress of our students. We love adventures and travel the world to find them. I am a proficient fly angler and we spend a month or so each fall in the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area chasing trout. Since moving back north, I have taken up both cross country skiing and ice fishing. We look for sea kayaking adventures around the world and were fortunate to spend time guiding in Antarctica and then experiencing some world class kayaking and fly fishing in New Zealand just prior to the pandemic. We are hoping that we will again be able to kayak, camp, and fish in remote backcountry areas again this year. 

My GLSKS Story

I feel very fortunate to have experienced the GLSKS. What an amazing opportunity for sea kayakers of all levels to improve their skills, meet other kayakers, and have a great time on the water! I first attended GLSKS two years ago as a participant and it opened my eyes to the types of paddling available on the Great Lakes. The organizers of the event are supportive and focused on ensuring each participant gains skills in a positive environment. This goes for instructors as well, and I certainly appreciate the mentoring my role models have provided me at this event. I look forward to using my skills to help participants improve their kayaking and have as much fun on the water as I do! 



Uncommon Adventures