Saturday, August 13, 2016

My first SOF workshop in Israel. or Dreams do come true

Avital beginning to get the forms ready for our workshop

Idit and Avital cutting the forms

many discussions regarding the dimensions of our kayaks, how wide to make them and  should we go on diet first

Girls having fun 

We decided to make a slightly larger cockpit for easier entry and exit

We bought cedar beams and did all the cutting ourselves with the generous help of Micha and his wonderful home shop

Its not so easy to cut a huge cedar log into the right size beams for a kayak

Now was the right time to take off the old canvass skin from my first SOF and expose the beautiful frame. this would also be used as an example of what we were aiming for

So after a few weeks of planning, cutting , organising and getting ready we eventually started our workshop. It was to be one full week of intensive work. We all took  a weeks vacation from our regular lives and met at 7am every day for a full day of kayak building

Rib mortices were cut with a router after the gunwales were measured

each mortise was checked for the rib size

we all helped each other

and everyone learned to use new tools

Yoram decided to build a Bairdarka

the rest of us all chose the Greenland kayak as described in Cunninghams book 

heres Avital cutting the kerf to get the ends of the gunwales together

Eyal reading up on the next step

Danny started out building a Baidarka as well but then changed to a Greenland kayak

when the gunwales are spread you can begin to see what your kayak will look like

We used my old SOF as a reference for  size , 

Everybody worked together and we all helped each other

Noam is pegging his deck beams

making sure the kayak is straight

Yoram steaming ahead on his bardaika

lashing the gunwales together was a lot of fun too

this kayak has a lot more complicated parts

Innovation and transference of tools from the operating room  to the workshop.That`s what happens when a doctor builds a kayak

Yossi trying the fit of his Masik

look how happy everyone is

Adding the stern and bow plates

now thats a nice joint

beginning to get the ribs in place

Ginady works very precisely

and this is the result

Yosi only cut 2 fingers, 

decks almost finished

Yosi adding stern stringers

At weeks end we just about finished the decks

Noam thinking about his kayak.

Organizing a kayak building workshop for 10 people is a huge undertaking. From the initial idea, getting the people , ordering all the materials and coordinating everything takes a lot of cooperation. We were lucky to have an exceptional group, everybody pulling together and helping each other. We managed to finish the decks and in the near future working on weekends we will finish our kayaks. It was a fantastic week and a great experience for everybody who took part.
We worked mostly from Robert  Morris`s book, building  Skin on frame boats, as well as from Ch
ristopher  Cunninghams  Building the Greenland  kayak.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Alaska, once again

Waiting for the bus to take us and all our food and equipment  to Whittier . We bought food for 14 people for a week, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, bread and cheese and of course Tahini from Israel and Turkish coffee, We can survive in the wilderness without cell phones internet and tv but not without Tahini

Once we got kitted out with drysuites, kayaks and gumboots , we loaded up the sea taxi and set out for our drop off point

The 2 hour trip took us away from civilization and further out into the Great Outdoors of Alaska. the scenery gets better and better the further out you go and we saw a whale on the way too.

Soon we were unloading on Dual Head, our home for the next 2 nights.

We set up camp quickly and then went for a short paddle in  Whale bay. No whales were seen and we came back to a rainy campsit

The long days and  almost no night makes one loose track of time 

Dual head has a perfect beach for a large group, we had our kitchen at one end and the sleeping quarter at the other , just to be safe from bears

Paddling in Alaska is like being in a postcard, the scenery is amazing wherever you look

Impenetrable forests  and steep cliffs, make finding camp sights a difficult mission

Rae caught an amazing large salmon which we gutted and cleaned  and then fried in tons of butter. How delicious

When we found glacial waterfalls we felt comfortable drinking the water, surface streams needed to be boiled or purified

Double kayaks fully loaded are very heavy and so its all hands needed to move then to and from the water

Chenega glacier is close by and easy to get to, you can sit for a long time just looking at the ice 

The rock formations are equally inspiring

One whale in the distance got us all excited

After living in the rain for days on end I learned how to get in and out of my tent and keep it more or less dry

After a few drinks it became the easiest way to measure the tide

Breakfast in the rain

Fruit salad

Off we go again, still raining

Beautiful blue icebergs along  the way

Rain for 6 days, we got used to it pretty fast and became expert in putting up tarps for eating under

Paddling through the ice sculptures you see all kinds of animals, heres a whales tail

near the glacier the sea is full of ice, making paddling a bit more challenging

Tiger glacier in the distance  while going down Icy Bay, no words needed here

On the last day the sun came out for a couple of hours while we were having lunch. This caused a lot of us to instantly lie down and have a good nap. At the same time all the mosquitoes came out too,
We had a wonderful trip, even the overcast rainy days didn`t dampen our spirits, in fact if the sun had shone it would have been too hot and the insects would become unbearable.
Alaska by kayak is an unforgettable experience, so far away from our daily paddling lives, so different
and so much more challenging. Teamwork in the group made this a successful  fantastic trip.