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The 12 Month Canoe Season by Jean Gregoire, Notre-Dame des Pins, Quebec, Canada

By Jean Gregoire

My canoe season starts at the end of spring when I clean and wax my skis to store them for the summer. Then it is time to  clean and wax my canoe. But before  I can put in the water there is still some  work to be done  on the canoe that was started in the fall.

In the last years I have managed to build  a few canoes , a kayak  and even 2 rowing hulls Every second year or so  to the growing  disapproval and despair of my wife I start another project.

-Oh no ! Not another one this year, what will you do with all of these canoes…»

This whole passion started several years ago when my brother not knowing what he was sparking gave me Ted Moore’s Canoecraft as a Christmas present. I was a canoe enthusiast at the time but not a canoe builder. The book stayed in the book shelf  for several years, came along in the boxes as the family moved from one place to another. Then we found our house not surprisinly by a river. I fished out Ze book from a box and the empty basement found its vocation

So the year goes by : paddling in the summer and during the long winter evenings I go down in the basement. I put some good music on . This part is essential for my own wellbeing. My canoes have been built under the hospices of Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, U2, Bruce Springsteen,  Pink Floyd,  Bryan Adams…

Evenings are spent truing the frames, stripping the hull to be, sanding, glassing, varnishing and most important :  dreaming ! Once in a while friends come by . They are quite fascinated by the construction process. It is in fact hard to believe that  a pile of  wood will become a magnificent  vessel in a few  months. Now they have become familiar with this passion of mine and they expect an invitation to the christening ceremony which is now a frequent summer event.

What can I say but : Thank You

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