Posted by: denmanrandonneur | June 13, 2009

3 Weeks flew by!!!

Three weeks have flown by, but it’s been fun.  I have just finishing looking at the pictures posted previously and it’s been a good 6 months since I started building the kayak.  I had it finished and christened on May 31st ~ 5 months and 4 days since I started ripping the strips back in the middle of winter.  I’ve had it out 5 times now and am really pleased with it.  This evening I paddled from the dock where the ferry goes from Denman to Hornby Island (Gravelly Bay) and commuted to work.  I could get used to this very easily 😉  I’ve had it on the water for about 10 hours now and I’m starting to get used to it.  There is so much to learn, but it has been fun paddling around Denman over 3 outings.  The first time out after the christening was from the Hornby ferry, between Boyle Point and the lighthouse, and up to the Denman West ferry dock. A beautiful warm evening with glass like water.  On another evening I went from the Denman West ferry dock and made my way to Fillongley Park via the northern end.  It was the full moon and the tide was high so it was easy to slip between Denman and Tree Island.  I saw a ton of eagles fishing and ended the paddle with a big full orange moon rising. I’ve had it out a few times going between Fillongley Park and the Hornby ferry dock and I must confess that I have an amazing back yard.  I’m in awe every time I am out there.

I just uploaded the pictures and have a story for each one and I’ll try to keep things consise as it feels like a lot has happened.  Summer is definitely here!

Since I launched the kayak, its been sunny, hot and perfect summer weather with calm seas and big moons. Norie, Tai and I took it to the beach on May 31st and all took it out on the water.  It was a nice moment together and all had a chance to experience what we had created from an idea.  We all had smiles glowing.

Tai and Norie have been making mobiles in the workshop with things they have been collecting on the beach.  I wish I had a better picture, but Tai has made about 7 or 8 and these things are cool!  He sold his first one to Rollande this evening when she was picking up sushi.  Tai was so happy.  $5.00 is a still a huge amount to a 6 year old.  There’s one that I really like and won’t leave the shop.  He wants to sell them at the Saturday market with Norie, but Norie thinks he should wait until the Winter Faire.  Norie has been keeping busy with sushi and gardening at a few different places around the island along with family life.  Fillongley has been steady and it has been great catching up with people I haven’t seen since last fall.  One couple I’ve gotten to know quite well over the last 3 years brought me his “off cuts”.  Last night he pulled out the taped up bundle … teak, purpleheart, gum wood, eastern maple, ebony and a board that he got in Australia – I’m guessing it either austrailan blackwood, sycramore (sp?) and has a really neat pocketed eye pattern.  Last fall he helped me put up shingles one day and came over to the shop to see how things have come along.  He built a 46 ft sailboat and took 2 years off with his wife and took it down to Australia and New Zealand in it.  He now does the woodwork, cabinetry work for yacht and sailboat interiors, along with a long list of other talents.  He likes to bring up a carving when he’s on holidays and whittles on it a bit each day.  Someone I consider a friend and am glad that they will be living closer in the future.

Through a friend of a friend deal, I met a couple who want a dresser built along with some carpentry work around their place.  I’m actually quite excited about this as it would be my first commissioned piece of woodworking. We’re now talking about the wood selection and style and design.  It would be a nice summer project as I would want to have it finished by September as we’ve decided that we need a double kayak next and will try and start just after the kids go back to school.

The focus of the blog with probably change over the summer to accomidate the “life on Denman Island” aspect of it more.  When we start the double in the fall, I’ll reel it back in to focus more on the kayak side again.  Here are just a few of the moments that we captured with the camera, but I wish I could upload 50 more.  Enjoy …



  1. Mate! looks like you are having a blast!!! you haven’t gone ferrel, have you? ha ha ha! How’s the Island?


  2. Hi John,
    I followed the progress of your Cape Ann Storm build, both on the West Coast Paddler forum and on your blog. First, I’d just like to offer my congratulations on having created a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. It is inspirational. And that brings me to the point of my note to you. I am planning on building my first strip kayak and have almost settled on the Cape Ann Storm design. I live in San Francisco and would be paddling around the bay and nearby bodies of semi-protected water.

    I wanted to check with you on your impressions of the boat, now that you have had a few weeks to paddle it. Do you find it to have a reasonable degree of initial stablility, such that you can enjoy moments of being stationary without having to adjust your balance? How much does the boat weigh? Any thoughts or observations you care to offer on the overall build process?

    Thanks, and again, very nice job.

    Chris Foster

  3. Oh, and how does it track? Have you had it out in any good size waves?

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