Thursday, January 24, 2013
The joy of open water
I was born and raised on Chesapeake Bay. I was sucking crab claws at 2 months old, from what I am told. From catfish to spot to Bluefish to striped Bass and drum, to trot lines and pots for crabs, to oysters and cherry clams, I am a pure blood Chesapeake guy. My family has always been into older wooden powerboats, usually Owens cabin cruisers. I had a beautiful 1929 Vineyard motoryacht that was my pride for a while. Waterfowl is a religion on the bay among the old timers - a title I grow closer to owning every day it seems. That brings us to canoes and decoys.
Have you ever seen what a gifted waterman can do with a block of wood, a few wood tools, transforming wood into something so beautiful and lifelike that it fools ducks and geese into thinking it is a brother? Have you ever seen the work of a serious craftsman who builds wooden boats on the bay? From crab boats to canoes, the Chesapeake is home to some of the finest boat makers in the world. These aren't guys who make wooden things that don't sink - these are old-world craftsmen who build art that serves a waterman and his family for generations.
I'll be leaving my beloved Chesapeake when I reside full-time in the Citadel.
I received an email and a link from a man who will become a new neighbor in Idaho. He makes canoe/kayak hybrids. In Idaho there is lake Coeur d'Alene and all the sports it offers. There are smaller lakes and marshes and streams. And there is this guy who makes canoes that the old craftsmen I know here on the Chesapeake would nod and consider one of their own.
I know what it is like to be a mile from shore in a semi-enclosed canoe or sea kayak with nothing but a paddle and a healthy case of "Oh F me!" when a squall comes up and you are suddenly taking 4 foot salty swells in the kisser. I know what sort of boat you need to survive.
I invite you to visit the website of Wahnooyak canoes if you want a serious watercraft that will last for your children, and beyond.
And - they prefer gold as payment. That should tell you even more.
I will own one of his works of art. I will enjoy the beauty of Idaho from within one of these fine boats. Mrs. Kerodin will have one also.
Just look at the work they do, even if you don't intend to buy. Surely you can simply appreciate the work of an artisan.
Here's the link.
Posted by K at 9:54 PM