Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maliceet Paddle

Here are a few photos of the Maliceet paddle I just finished this evening. It is made of the same stock (cherry and ash) as the voyageur paddle that I posted a couple of weeks ago. I haven't weighed it yet but it measures 59" long and has a 28" blade. The finish this time is a combination varnished blade and oiled shaft and top grip.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Rivers and a whole lot of rain

On Sunday June 12 myself, Grant, Thorsten, and his dog Yagger drove the 2.5 hours to the Torch River for a day of paddling. The forecast called for a chance of showers that was only supposed to amount to two or three millimeters of rain. Boy were they wrong! It absolutely poured on us, we were like a bunch of drowned rats. There were thunder clouds all around us but none were close enough to cause us to get off of the water. Now the grid roads in this area were a bit rough on the drive up, when they were dry. But the whole time we were on the water i had a nagging concern in the back of my mind that they would get worse with the rain. A couple of years ago while paddling the same river it rained so much that the roads turned to slop and we had to wait for an entire day for the roads to dry out before they were even close to being passable. Luckily, though, we had used the put in on the north side of the river where the roads were somewhat better and after a bit of slipping and sliding we got both vehicles off the dirt track that runs from the grid to the put-in and back onto the road. There were lots of wildlife on the river that day, we saw 4 moose, a couple of deer, bald eagles, and many ducks.

Yagger wasn't at all happy about the rain.

Even though it rained for most of the day I still think we got luck with the weather, it could have been windy as well.

It absolutely poured.

The sky over the Torch River.

The following weekend, June 18th, I joined a small group of paddlers from La Ronge for a day trip on the Montreal River. The day started off relatively nice with only a few drops of rain and a bit of a tail wind. As the day progressed the wind got stronger and seemed to switch directions. As we were nearing the take-out the clouds darkened the thunder began and without warning, for the second weekend in a row the rain came down like crazy. It rains so hard that the surface of the water became blurred. Again, the wildlife was abundant, this time we saw 3 moose, bald eagles, and many ducks.

Martin and Ellen paddling in the rain.

The Montreal River from the top of a high embankment.

Martin's hand built 15 foot Bob's special weighs 35 lbs

Rachel and Cam


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Here are a few photos of a traditional voyageur paddle I just finished. It's based on the paddles displayed in Frances Anne Hopkins painting "shooting the Rapids" The blade shape of these paddles tends to be long, narrow, and curved as apposed to the more modern paddle with the same name which tends to also be long but has straight lines and is much wider. My version also has a modified northwoods grip. This time I chose to use ash for the shaft and cherry for the blade and grip. The paddle weighs 24 oz and has a blade the measures 32" X 4.5", the over all length is 63". It is a very long paddle so it will be interesting to see how it paddles. The finish is oil-varnish, which I have not used before so it will be interesting to see how well it stands up to the elements. As with all my paddles the edges of the blade are very fine to allow for silent paddling.

The overall length is 63". The blade is long an narrow at 32" X 4.5".

Here's a close up of the modified northwoods grip.

Shooting the Rapids by Frances Anne Hopkins