Kayaks leaving Ramp Road

While at Ramp Road spotted a couple of Kayaker’s setting off through the lumpy surf to Hihi after over-nighting on the reserve.

Felt a little envious to tell the truth. Reminded me of when I paddled from Kerikeri to Auckland with a mate, many a moon ago, in a 3 hole Aleutian bidarka like this one in the picture below, complete with the traditional bow. Ours was 28 feet overall and the one in the picture is 20′ 6″, so being shorter it does not look as pretty. They are marvelous sea boats. Took nine days and was a lot more work than I thought it would be, even though we had good weather. We had headwinds nearly all the way. Lived mainly on Vogels Bread, peanut butter, lentils and brown rice. Those were the days.

An example under construction here.

Our boat was designed by George Dyson with aluminum frames and covered with a single thin skin of fiberglass which was more or less transparent. My mate had paddled down the Inside Passage from Anchorage to Vancouver with George Dyson so had plenty of experience. I supplied the brawn.

George Dyson is the son of the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson and mathematician Verena Huber-Dyson, the brother of Esther Dyson, and the grandson of the British composer Sir George Dyson. Dyson’s early life is described in Kenneth Brower’s book The Starship and the Canoe.[1] When he was sixteen he went to live in British Columbia to pursue his interest in kayaking. From 1972-1975, he lived in a treehouse at a height of 30 metres that he built from salvaged materials on the shore of Burrard Inlet.

More about Dysonhere and more about Aleut biadarkas here

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