It is hard to suppress the excitement that building the recovery Qajaq has evoked within me. Yesterday as my bobbin was weaving in and out of ribs and stringers, lashing together the fish bone like skeleton of my vessel, I imagined the ancient Inuit doing the same task. Probably they would have been sitting cross legged on a windswept beach. My air conditioned basement felt quite tame in comparison.
Wood, sinew, sweat and blood; the four core ingredients of this Qajaq recipe. Assembling the gunwales and deck beams on a picnic table on a warm sunny weekend at the Gathering entailed copious quantities of sweat. Tony accurately stated that few qajaqs are made without shedding blood. Incidents with saws, drills, knives and chisels have kept the box of band aids busy, creating delicate red stains on the freshly sanded timber.
Each stage in the build has been a small journey of personal discovery. Guided by the kindly advice of Tony and Don. My decision process has tended to favor the simple solutions over the complex. I have chosen function over form. Perhaps my decisions are closer to the methods of the ancients, with the addition, or advantage, of an occasional power tool.
This week I will be engaged in making a masik. Next week will probably be time to start skinning. I am sure each leg of the journey will continue to enlighten, educate and delight me. If you have never taken this journey I would recommend you consider it.