Canoe Sails (was: Electronics and Navigation Workshop - CANCELLED)


That dioes sound like a great, once in a lifetime, experience, Kirk. I don't know when they started the annual tribal "canoe journeys", but that may have been one of the early ones. Oh! I just checked the Interweb and found that the first one was in 1989, so the voyage '87 was a precursor, and perhaps an inspiration:

A few years ago the Canoe Journey went to Bella Bella, which involved rounding Cape Caution. Brian was skipper of one of John McC's canoes, with a single square sail, that joined the Journey in Victoria. They got a southeaster in the Gulf of Georgia and as the canoe was flying along with the wind on its quarter he phoned John to tell him what a thrill it was -- while steering with a paddle! <g> 'Hang up and drive!" <g> One of the stories he'll tell at the Workshop, I'll bet.

IIRC, Chapelle and Adney mention in their book (or I saw it somewhere else) that the earliest records of Indian canoes with sails, on the East Coast, were rectangular spritsails, with no peak to the head. But as far as I know there are no historical records mentioning canoes with sails at first contact.

I gather from what John has told me that sails have fallen out of favor on the Canoe Journeys, and Brian is something of a pioneer in (re)introducing them.

Here are some of the canoes John McC has designed:

On 3/15/2020 11:10 AM, Cap'n Kirk wrote:
In regards to the comment about first nations canoe having sails. I was lucky enough to have been asked ... to help escort 26 canoes from Port Hardy, at the north > end of Vancouver Island, all the way to
the Pan Am Games in Victoria BC
in ‘87. That included escorting them through Seymore Narrows. ... > Some of
their canoes were nearly 49 ft long and yes, many carried sail, several had two masts.  Almost all were unstayed sprit rigs. ...
I don’t recall if there’s evidence that they knew about sailing prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16 hundreds. Clearly Vancouver commented on them when he sailed through our waters and first spotted live first nations people at “Indian Island“  (That’s where it git it’s name) about 1776 ( as I recall).
John <@Jkohnen>
History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history. (Clarence Darrow)

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