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The GOSSIP

Number 215 / November 2009

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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• Sail the canoe without a rudder or a paddle by shifting your weight: forward to go closer to the wind and leaning aft to go away from the wind.
• At a later date, check the rig in heavier air for balance.
• If you add or subtract a passenger, this weight and its placement affect the balance. Repeat these manoeuvres. You may need to change the location of the leeboard thwart.

Full article here.

 

Bugis Outrigger Sailing Canoe Of Sulawesi (Tim Anderson)

The Bugis ethnic group of Sulawesi are famous for their maritime exploits. These exploits once included enough piracy to inspire our word "boogey-man" or "bogey-man". Today their huge fleet of wooden "Pinisi" ships carry freight all around the islands of S.E. Asia. Less known are their outrigger

canoes. Here's one particularly cute example of the "Lepa-lepa". Syamsuryadi aka "Syamsu" built it in 1999 for fishing. It carries one person and is one of the fastest canoes in the village: "as fast as a motorboat". He keeps it on the beach across from his house in the village of Sapolohe on the outskirts of the

shipbuilding village of Bontobahari, in Bulukumba district of Sulawesi, near Bira at the southern tip of the island. He kindly let me measure it and hopefully people all over the world will start building their own. Full article here.

 

Canoe Watch (WalterG)

Sailing or paddling your canoe quietly on river, lake, or sea, brings you often into close contact with nature's creatures. They often do not get overly concerned, especially if you don't go directly towards them and so you get to see them going about their daily business. Sometimes there will be incidents when you wish you had time to photograph it. Whilst watching the nature program Autumn Watch at this time of year, I remembered a Spring sail on a reservoir near where I live. It was midweek and I was the only boat afloat. It was a lovely morning as I sailed towards some low-lying islands and wetland. Here there is a small nature reserve overlooked by a hide - a small

hut for bird watchers.

As I nudged my Old Town Camper up a small creek, I noticed the water boiling ahead. This increased as I approached the limit of the creek, the silver flashes showing that I was herding a number of large fish into the shallows. Suddenly they turned and flashed past my canoe like torpedoes in the peaty coloured water, leaving one of their number floundering in the mud. I observed it was nearly two foot long as it wriggled back into the water and sped past to safety. It was quite an exciting moment for us all. As I

rounded a small Island, I surprised a pair of oystercatchers and their chicks. One of the parents leapt into the air circling round my mast, shrieking indignantly at the perceived threat and possibly offering to do me mischief with that pointed orange beak. Mom strutted fiercely at the water's edge calling to the chicks to hide, which they did very effectively, their sandy speckled fluffy down disguising them amongst the sand and pebbles. I withdrew and set off for a sail round the reservoir leaving them in peace. See sketch on the right.

Sometime later as I was sailing slowly past the shore, busily unscrewing the coffee flask and observing a Mallard duck and about six of her very recent ducklings, a dark shadow fell out of the sky like a grey blanket. A Heron, claws and legs extended, swooped towards the ducklings. Mother duck exploded in the water quacking and flapping her wings desperately. The ducklings scattered to all the points of the compass. The attack failed as my proximity, mum's defence and a bush that the ducklings shot under, thwarted the Heron who just managed with some heavy flapping, to heave itself onto the top of the bush. It recovered itself and ignominiously retreated. Mum gathered her scattered ducklings and preened her feathers back to normal. Meanwhile, one of the ducklings tootled off to examine this strange new world. Kids eh! See sketch on the left.

Look out there! That food chain keeps you on your toes.

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