This prompt showed a girl in a rowing boat in the middle of nowhere. It struck a cord. Not Sepia , or even old photographs, but the thought of Far And Away kept ringing in my head. I knew the pictures and the story. Several years ago the Man was given a vision, build a boat for Far and Away. And this is the journey.
The Man paddling his Odara in the Bowron Lakes, north of Prince George, British Columbia is Far and Away from home, work, automobiles, stores, theaters, television, and noise.
She - Odara - dinna always glide through the water like a sleek water nymph. In the beginning, she was just a vision. Thin strips of wood, sewn together with fine wire, until the Man began to see her lines take shape. A fragile vision she was in those early days as the Man carefully and precisely added strip by strip.
Strip by strip, holes drilled, wire sewn and tied, until the hull was formed. Then hours of quiet sanding - more than one way to be far and away - until Odara was ready for that first coat of epoxy. Her bones would settle and be firm.
Sleek, she looks now with her hull shimmering with its final coat of epoxy - yet still fragile for the trip in the Man's mind.
Now the deck takes form and is balanced atop the hull, bewhiskered with tiny thin wires.
She is starting to look almost regal, gleaming with epoxy, hull line marked.
Fibre glass laid over the deck, waiting for the wetting of resin.
Glassed deck and hull. Still lots of work, but hard now for the Man to contain his excitement and dream of Far and Away - but Odara is still in two separate pieces - deck and hull.
She doesn't look so pretty now. Bound together with straps, ropes and tiedowns, but she is becoming the whole Odara as the deck and hull are glued fast.
Yes! Deck fits to hull, and Odara is nearly sea worthy.
The cockpit flanges and the seats are built and checked for fit --- and, of course, the Man sands and buffs and sands.
Odara's three cockpit design demanded that every clamp in the Man's collection be used to attach the cockpit flanges. Looks like she was being attacked by a swarm of boat eating snapping eels.
It was worth it. The triple cockpits look great, once the clamps were dispersed.
The seats are in, hardware attached, and the Man has put the final touches of paint on Odara. After over a year of the man being far and away in his shop with dreams of he and Odara being Far and Away, now is the time for Odara to be a boat.
Man presented Odara, a triple cockpit Osprey kayak, to the world on her maiden voyage on a small lake near the shop where dreams were made.
A family outing on the river. A shakedown cruise before heading to the Far and Away.
To the Man, any day in his shop or on the water with Odara can be far and away. Together they have plied the San Juans, watched whales (way to close), traveled the 70-mile Bowron Lakes circuit, and shared the water of the lakes and rivers with family and friends. Any day on the water is Far and Away.
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© Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications
Paddle now onto see where other Sepians have gone.