|Moments before the launch at Maple Bay,|
the Pacific Northwest canoe...and two children to give scale.
Image: Courtesy of Linda E.
Back home in Maple Bay (Vancouver Island), however, the conditions are perfect today for a memorable paddle. It will have to be, for us, a vicarious experience.
Today, our friend, Linda, is embarking on a voyage of discovery with teachers from our local Cowichan Tribes...in a most magnificent craft, a Pacific Northwest canoe. Amongst our Canadian First Nations people, there are three great art forms: plank houses, totem poles, and canoes. Culturally and spiritually, the greatest of these is the canoe - a product of elegant engineering and sophisticated joinery design, older than time itself.
Constructed of the centuries-old, massive trees, felled or harvested from the forest floor of Vancouver Island, these canoes are sturdy, ocean-going vessels, capable of transport and exploration. Ideally constructed of Western Red Cedar, they are strong, relatively lightweight, buoyant, and resistant to deterioration in the unforgiving ocean environment. Traditionally, three carvers would take about eight weeks to complete a 25 foot canoe.
Ten paddlers (or many more) and a steersman would propel the canoe through our island waters, and beyond to the coastal ranges of the mainland.
It will be an amazing journey for Linda and her companion paddlers...and we look forward with great anticipation to her story.