Birch voyageur paddles

Douglas Ingram

Red River Canoe & Paddle
Some of you may have been following that I recently made a bunch of Birch Voyageur paddles for a cross Canada Voyageur trip currently under way. I thought that you might like to see a couple of photos.
I had some problems uploading the photos. I tried a few times, but each attempt failed. I'm trying again now. I significantly reduced the file size, I hope that this helps.

A bunch is 24 millieux (middle men) and 3 Governail (sternsman) The Governail paddles are 72" long overall. Enough for a whole crew with replacements for possible breakage enroute.


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Yes, Birch was chosen for historical reasons. Adney had documented as being one of the woods of choice. I'll weigh on of the paddles that I kept for myself next workday. I hadn't used it before, and have been very impressed with it. It makes a very nice paddle, and seems to stay the way that you shape it. A particular blessing when carving a single piece paddle.

The Avant was going to use one of the governail paddles, I believe.
Doug's paddles

Watched episode 2 of "Destination Nor'Ouest" yesterday. The "voyageurs" are having a hard time, Mud portage and the Talon portage, and it shows... Physical exhaustion and mental stress don't mixe well. In the previous episode, two men almost came to blows because they disagreed about hassling a porcupine.
The birchbark canoe is taking a beating: leaks like hell and birch hull covering split in two when they were pulling it across a beaver dam.
The paddles don't seem stressed or bruised at all, I think they're handling the situation very well, better than the crew or the canoe...
Haven't seen or heard anybody complain about Doug's paddles...

Interesting show.

Thanks for the update Louis!

I'm looking forward to seeing the show. I'm glad to hear that the paddles are holding up well.

I kept one for myself. I quite like having it around.


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Destination Nor'Ouest

I have not heard of any showing of this journey on US television. Does anyone know whether it has been released to PBS or other US channel? What is the full name of the program, who produced it and how does one get in touch with a distributor?

I would very much like to see the documentary. Thanks for any help locating it.

Destination Nor'Ouest

Thanks for the reference Martin. I am afraid my high school French does not help much but I will figure it out.