Saturday, April 24, 2010

Season's First Paddle

The season's first canoe jaunt is always a moment I eagerly look forward to. I was lucky enough to escape up north for a brief weekend getaway last week and took advantage of our early spring to hit the cottage lake a month before usual. Under mixed sun and cloud and a brisk spring wind, I was able to try out the newly completed Maple Northwoods along with some other favourites to initiate the 2010 paddling season.

Activity on the lake was non-existant with most cottages still closed for the season. I was able to spot a small flock of Common Goldeneye ducks and a lone solitary loon was wailing in the distance. Tranquility that'll be surely gone when the G8 Summit and all the accompanying security invades our tiny lake in June. Before then, our nearby neighbours will have a very unpleasant surprise when they arrive to open up their place...check out their dock and boat shed. Never underestimate the power of lake ice!



Wildpaddler said...

Hi there Murat, I've been following your blog for some time, you've got some good stuff on here. Question about the centre yoke in the above photos, where is the design from? Is it a particular tribal design?


Bob Holtzman said...

Nice photos. What's the lovely canoe?

Dave said...

How did you like the Northwoods paddle? Did it handle as you expected?

Murat said...

The canoe is my 14 ft cedar canvas built with Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoes back in July 2008. It was finally painted and launched last summer.

Before the build had begun, Pam let me take home the cherry portage yoke and I ended up decorating it with a Maori tribal pattern. I ended up free drawing the patterns taken from Captain Cook's illustrated journal of 3 Maori paddles he encountered on his journeys to New Zealand. Here's the image source I used...ended up using the bottom paddle pattern for the yoke.

While the filler cured over the winter, I ended up decorating the seats and cherry decks with patterns from the top paddle in the above illustration.

Maori tribal art and tattoo patterns are very easy woodburning patterns that seem to compiment the tone of cherry wood nicely.

Murat said...

Forgot to add that the paddle handled very for solo paddling, likely because it had been thinned quite extensively. It was most comfortable while kneeling right down in the hull and holding the grip at the secondary location between the two "speed bumps" on the grip, Northwoods style as was intended.

I feel it is well balanced but carving it out of a lighter weight wood instead of maple (yellow birch maybe) and leaving the tip a bit thicker would make me a more confident about preventing the tip from splitting, a common problem with thinned maple, or so I've read.

As part of some preventive maintenance, I plan to seal the end grain of the tip more thoroughly with varnish while still oiling the rest of the paddle.

BADGER® Paddles said...

Wonderful shots... such beauty!!! The design on the featured paddle is incredible! Always enjoy reading your blog.... thanks!

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