Sunday, October 19, 2008

YouTube Bark Canoe Footage

In my never ending search for more material on birchbark canoes, I've assembled some notable YouTube links below:

The most comprehensive video is telemarkfreak's fantastic video on his bark canoe build. Absolutely spectacular boat complete with beautiful winter bark etching and a technique I'll definitely be using - duct tape on the seams while gumming to give a clean, crisp seal. In addition, he built his boat in his garage on a building platform like mine and seems to have used a propane stove to boil water for the rib bending process.

A preview video of Earl Nyholm, an Ojibwe Elder, shows him and his colleagues wandering through the forest on Madeleine Island, Wisconsin in search of perfect canoe bark. Intersting for me was the harvesting a single sheet from a standing tree using a huge ladder and a helper on the ground to prevent it from buckling. It's part of a documentary entitled Earl's Canoe that I haven't fully seen, but looks interesting.

This one by tigertensing shows the maiden launch of an Ojibwe longnose style canoe. Great footage of the clean lashings and the gumming of the underneath of the hull. Like my boat, this one is made of panels rather that a single sheet so this video gives me confidence that my canoe can still be watertight with this construction technique. I had to chuckle at the actual launch at the end though because the the stern passenger nearly tips the boat as he plops himself down right as a wave slams against the side of the canoe...not the most graceful entry I've ever seen. Though they save the day with some creative back paddling for a pass by the shore. Shouldn't be one to jest however, as I'm sure I'll be the laughing stock of the lake if I flip my boat on the maiden voyage next summer.

Destination Nor'Ouest was historical documentary that aired back in 'o6 on French Canadian TV. It recreated the Voyageur experience as the group of six men and three women, with authentic period clothing and equipment, journeyed 2,500 km in authentic bark canoes from Montreal to Winnipeg. Haven't seen all 8 episodes but the trailer looks amazing. Watch for the shot when the massive Canot du Nord splits in half while caught up in some modern-day channel with a horrendous current.

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