Sunday, June 23, 2013

Leg Powered Paddling Technique

Many thanks to blog reader Dave who forwarded me the following short video clip of an amazing stand-up paddling technique...

Totally controlled corrective strokes keep the craft moving perfectly in the water. Noticed that the paddle being used is a "pole-grip" type which seems to lend itself perfectly for this type of technique. Not sure if this just one acrobatic paddler showing off, or if this is a developed skill used for practical paddling in the region.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 Poling Pic

Steven Hanton of has a great new pic on his facebook page featuring a  wood canvas canoe rigged up for some traditional portaging and poling.

Poling on the River Tweed

This pic is getting me excited about my own poling adventures planned for this summer

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Maliseet & Mi'kmaq Museum Paddles

Here are some new pics of two East Coast museum paddles courtesy of Lloyd of Canoe Canada East. They were posted over on the forums a while back. One of them is a paddle I've featured here before  (see posts here, here, and here). It seems the museum has changed its name from the York Sunbury to the Fredericton Region Museum. Either way, thanks to Lloyd's photography abilities, we now have 3 more clear shots of the delicate etching on this c. 1878 paddle.  

At the Halifax Maritime Museum, Lloyd took some shots of an ocean hunting Mi'kmaq canoe and antique paddle on display. The paddle has warped with time, but the flattened grip and carved drip rings are just visible in the shots. For some old time footage of how such a canoe was used in ocean hunting, check out my earlier post HERE showcasing a 1936 film, "The Porpoise Hunter". The style of canoe on display with its low rounded ends is virtually identical to the one in the film .

On a side not, be sure to visit Lloyd's Canoe Canada East site which features some great DIY canoe related projects. In particular, it was his tutorial on making a canvas portage pack that was a major source of inspiration & instruction for my own Woods No.200 canvas pack restoration back in '09.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Elspeth Soper's Blog: Visit to British Museum

A while back, I responded to a forum post over at The poster wanted feedback regarding constructing their own canvas canoe using traditional native methods of construction. I recommended the poster obtain a copy of Garth Taylor's 1980 book Canoe construction in a Cree cultural tradition. It visually documents the building of a traditional Eastern Cree canoe made using canvas as a substitute for birch bark - see my original write-up about it here.

The poster, Elspeth Soper, has a blog documenting the early attempts at construction and includes some of the frustrations with broken gunnels. A recent post showcases a research visit to the British Museum which granted an exclusive tour of the full sized and model bark canoes in their possession. One of models has a decorated Cree paddle with the historical hash marks and dot decoration featured in Garth Taylor's book.

British Museum Model Cree Canoe & Paddle

Lots of more pics of the bark canoes in their collection can be found at the full post here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oldie Moldy's Decorated Camping Boxes / Wannigans

Haven't been able to post frequently as of late, but after being offline for a while, I came across a wonderful thread over at featuring some decorated wannigans (camping boxes) made by Oldie Moldy.

The plywood parts are decorated with woodburned images from the book "Cache Lake Country" by John J. Rowlands and include some old-school trippers tumping their gear and wannigans...very appropriate. A word however from the maker - he acquired permission from the publisher before reproducing these images for his personal use. Check out the beautiful results below...

Building a wannigan was one of the winter projects on my to-do list, but never got around to it. Thanks to Oldie Moldy for inspiration and permission to repost his photos on the site.

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