Maiden voyage of the Qajapak

Truth be told it was a while ago that she took to the waters of Prior Lake. The launch is a moment of truth for the builder. A time filled with apprehension, relief and excitement. Perhaps it was a desire to covert these feelings that delayed me sharing the...

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Hilleberg Tarra, my ultimate kayak camping tent?

How many times have you bought lower cost, lower quality gear and ended up replacing it with higher cost higher quality gear? The history of my kayak camping gear comprises a litany of examples of this behavior. Recently I swore I wouldn’t buy cheap gear again, I...

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Plan B

Plan A was to visit Devil’s Island in the Apostles. A progressively worsening forecast put the kybosh on that idea. With a forecast predicting five to seven feet waves with the wind on our nose, temperatures in the low teens for a high and the potential for...

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Skinning the Qajapak

Qajapak is an Inuit word which loosely translated means fat kayak. This seems a very appropriate name for the Recovery Qajaq. With the frame completed I spent a couple of days learning how to sew the skin onto the Qajaq. I used 9oz ballistic nylon which I purchased...

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Recovery qajaq frame completed

Next I start the process of skinning the qajaq. I am using a nylon fabric from the Skin Boat Store. The sewing technique I am planning on using was demonstrated by Maligiaq Johnsen Padilla at the Michigan Training camp. He used a stitch that is hidden, so in theory I...

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A Qajaq journey of discovery

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...

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Custom Tuilik by Comfort Paddling

Paulo Ouellet is a man on a mission to create traditional paddling gear that is comfortable to wear. He has created a unique take on the Inuit tuilik. This week I received a custom made tuilik based upon the multitude of measurement I filled out on the Comfort...

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The Gathering

I could tell within fifteen minutes that I was going to have a good time at the 2013 gathering. At times I am dense, but over the years I have learned a hard won lesson, that many times one's attitude and mood are a decision. On the drive to Alexandria I had decided...

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Kayak Rodeo

This year was the third annual Inland Sea Kayakers (ISK) Picnic and Rodeo. The ISK is a Twin Cities based sea kayak club with 250+ members, and this year I am acting as president. Last year I won the event and rather than compete again this year I opted to photograph...

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Qajaq Harpooning

Here is Minnesota we are luck enough to hold an annual Gathering of traditional paddlers. Ostensibly organized by the Northern Lights Qajaq Society, this event is kept alive by the passions of a few dedicated local paddling enthusiasts. I was lucky enough to attend...

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Greenland Rolling in the UK

I recently returned from a trip to the UK. During the trip I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a couple of days afloat. The first day was spent paddling with my father in the vicinity of Plymouth Sound, enjoying the fast tides, salty water, rock gardens and...

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Flexibility – A key to Greenland style kayak rolling.

Rolling a kayak is almost passé these days in Minnesota. We have more people rolling than I can ever remember. At the end of this past winter’s pool season we lined kayaks up sideways across an entire full size swimming pool and everyone (20+ people) rolled, it was...

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