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Here are some pictures of a little
coracle I made one day from scraps of 1/4" ply ripped to 1.5 in width, left over
moulding strips, bean poles and some old bed sheets, and half a gallon of found
latex house paint. Total cost: $12CDN, mostly for the screws, a paint brush,
glue, and a few sticks for the duck boards.
The duck boards were made to come out as a unit, sort of like
a piece of garden trellis, so that they could be laid on the ground to provide a
slightly raised sleeping platform, and the coracle raised on one edge by a oar,
to create a sort of lean-to.
I made two local, very short test runs, and scrapped the
kyack paddle in place of some oars, lashed to the rudimentary gunwales.
Packed a knap sack with junk food, cadged a lift and threw it
in the Fraser upriver from Hope. Though the river was low, there were still a
large number of whirlpools, eddies and many riffles. I made it to Strawberry
Island the first night, about 45 km, where it was just tidal, and and made camp.
On to Mission the next day, where tide, a head wind, hard rain, and wake from
large pleasure craft produced waves of 3 feet, and I decided I'd had enough. My
legs ached as I couldn't extend them, the coracle only being 6 foot long, my
butt being sore as hell, and the weather having gone from bright warm sun the
previous day, to cold rain.
I'm thinking of suggesting a challenge: the $20 boat race
from Yale to Mission. Or trying it next tme in some odd "boat", like a fridge
with the door ripped off.
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all images (c) Joseph Goldstein
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