General News

Oh my. It looks like another group of kayaks got in trouble with Johnny law over the weekend when they were caught trying to smuggle in 297 pounds of marijuana worth around $178,000 from Mexico into the United States.
Here is something you don’t see every day, a helicopter dropping off sea kayaks to some remote location at the start of a trip. I have no idea of when or where it was shot but it was uploaded to Steve Ruskay’s YouTube account who has been a long-term sea kayak guide in northern Canada and Greenland for Black Feather for many years. All I can say is that there is a lot trust put into the strength of those deck lines or end toggle not to break!

Film Trailer: The Last Baidarka
Thursday, 24 October 2013

I stumbled upon this trailer for the soon-to-be-released film, The Last Baidarka after somebody shared it on Facebook yesterday. It looks really interesting. From the description: In June of 2013 I had the wonderful opportunity to interview traditional Alaskan kayak builder Mitch Poling. I first met Mitch at the Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium 2010 in Trinidad, CA, where he gave a presentation on the revival of the Chugach baidarka. Mitch spent part of his childhood in Chenega, Alaska, a small village where the traditional seal-skin covered kayak (known by the Russian term "baidarka") was still being used for hunting and travel. The art of skin-on-frame kayak construction in Alaska was almost completely lost, as new technology was introduced and fishermen turned to using outboard motors and plywood boats. In 1964, a tsunami wiped out the village of Chenega and destroyed the remaining baidarkas. Fortunately, one kayak was left intact, safely stored in a museum in Cordova. Using this remaining specimen, Mitch was able to revive the practice of traditional skin-on-frame kayak construction in Prince William Sound. Look for the full-length film to be released sometime in November. More info: dashpointpirate.typepad.com  

Seven Kayak Facts You Didn't Know
Tuesday, 01 October 2013

Here are seven random fun-facts or stories related to kayaking that you likely haven’t heard of. Kayaks have been used many times in battle Back in World War II, the British Special Forces first conceived the idea of using kayaks during military raiding missions and they proved to be quite useful due to the fact that they were fast, quiet and easy to fold and store when the mission was over. Jump forward to today and you will be pleased to know that, kayaks and canoes have been used for special mission by the US Marines, British Commandos, and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. Some publically available examples of their use in military operations include early reconnaissance missions by the British in the 1982 Falklands War and a 1992 raid in Somalia where US Marines snuck into the country unannounced to set the stage for a full-force siege.   In 1932, Oskar Speck paddled over 50,000km in a kayak Arguably one of the greatest kayak expeditions you have never heard of started back in 1932 when Oskar Speck decided to take the bus to the Danube River in Ulm, Germany and start paddling towards Cyprus. Over the next 7 years he continued working East paddling over 50,000 kilometers and eventually making his way to Australia where, September 1939, he was promptly arrested on suspicion of being an enemy alien (after all, Australia was at war against Germany at the time). He was sent to an internment camp where he stayed until the end of the war in 1945. There is no word Oskar participated in any other major kayak expeditions after the war but several artifacts including compass, personal diary and video clips he took are now on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Image credit: wikipedia.org   Pope John Paul II loved to kayak Back around 1949, a young Pope John Paul II (before he was the Pope of course) was introduced to kayaking when he was working at Saint Florian's parish in Kraków, Poland. He fell in love with kayaking so much that he…
Over the years we have covered several examples of shady people using kayaks for shady purposes including using their kayak as a drug mule, a get-away vehicle, a transportation method for border jumpers or a method to fake your death for insurance fraud. What could be a first for kayak related travel; deputies in Wahpeton, North Dakota believe that a kayak played a key role in helping a burglar steal a safe on from the local bar. It seems that the thief used a stolen kayak to help float the safe across the local lake to his waiting car. The article doesn't make any mention to the size of the safe but our crack investigation team put together this artist's representation of how it could have looked from shore. Thank goodness the thief had the foresight to wear a lifejacket. More info: kfgo.com Flickr photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant  
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