Ray Mears.

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Liam Kirkham
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Ray Mears.

Post by Liam Kirkham »

Next week in Ray Mears- Wild Food series Ray is exploring by canoe..


3/5 - Wetland

Ray Mears embarks on a voyage of discovery into the lost foods of Britain's Stone Age, a journey that draws on all his bushcraft skills and knowledge of ancient ways of life around the world. Wetlands were the highways of Stone Age Britain and a habitat rich in wild foods. Ray processes water lily seeds, tries spear fishing from a canoe and tastes plant matter from a pollen core thousands of years old.

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Ricks-Freestyle-Mind
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Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Is that a repeat of the one where he tried to make a canoe paddle? Or is it a different episode?

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Liam Kirkham
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Post by Liam Kirkham »

It is a different one Rick. It's a new series. I don't think this episode is as focussed on canoeing more on how are ancestors used canoes to hunt and gather food.

Good TV.

tape34
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Post by tape34 »

Yes it was all about food but at the end of last night's prog he did paddle off in a canoe (link to next week). Now I don't know if he is a regular paddler and although I have a canoe, most of my paddling is in a kayak of some type ..... anyway Ray Mears body position meant that he had hardly any freeboard and looked to me a bit extreme.
Any comments from the experts?
Pete Ball

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Jim
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Post by Jim »

Well, it is true that if you sit off to your paddling side you can reduce freeboard and increase rocker making it easier to keep your boat going in astraight line without resorting to cross deck shenanigans or switching hands.

I'm not an expert in a canoe, but it did look to me like he was overdoing it to show off to the cameras. What I would have to say though, is that he technique seemed very fluid so I suspect he is actually a pretty good paddler. My dad heels his canoe almost as far but when he paddles you see it dip as he paddles and bob between strokes, Ray seemed to be much more steady.

Did anyone with more experience/qualification see the closing titles of last nights program? I'd be interested to see if it was OTT or if I just dont edge enough!

Good program though, I was a bit disappointed last week because it was supposed to be about British wild food but he spent the whole hour with Australian aborignals covering basics and explaining why they and their techniques are a good indication of how British aboriginals must have lived. I was just starting to wonder why all their food experiments turned out good when they finally did one that didn't work out, and then the sea buckthorn juice was clearly nasty although Gordon made a brave face of it!

Jim

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Post by tape34 »

Jim wrote:Well, it is true that if you sit off to your paddling side you can reduce freeboard and increase rocker making it easier to keep your boat going in astraight line .....
More rocker would surely have the opposite effect, although I suspect that having the paddle closer to the centreline of the wetted area would give a more efficient stroke (for straight line paddling).
I fancy trying the clams on a hot stone.
Pete

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Post by Jim »

tape34 wrote:
Jim wrote:Well, it is true that if you sit off to your paddling side you can reduce freeboard and increase rocker making it easier to keep your boat going in astraight line .....
More rocker would surely have the opposite effect
Sort of aye and sort of no!

More rocker makes the boat easier to turn, given that it's going to turn if you paddle on one side anyway, having more rocker makes the j-stroke more effective. Perhaps this is why my dads boat rocks so much, he levels off for the power phase and edges more for the J?

Basically the J-stroke is reactive, nothing you do is preventing the boat from turning away from the paddle, it's more a case of turning it back towards the paddle, thus more rocker helps. It is true that the boat will also turn away from the paddle more easily but you should be using strokes with minimal turning moment anyway....

It also depends whether your boat naturally turns towards or away from the edge.

Jim

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RockRiver
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Post by RockRiver »

By edging the boat over that far you're increasing the boats tendency to turn TOWARDS the paddle side. as a a result you have to do less of a correction at the end of your stroke.

Get it right and you can go in a straight line using just straight power-strokes... Total efficiency.

By all acounts ray's not too shabby a paddler. some of the footage was filmed down at The Cuckmere esturey and meanders near eastbourne, sussex (all the stuff with the big chalk cliffs in the background.) with extra boats and Instruction for the crew and his botonist mate provided by Cuckmere Valley Canoe Club.

Whilst they were filming one of the juniors happend to be around and Ray took him for a spin in his boat..., the kid was absolutly made-up and is now a regular canoist. Nice one.
Colin S.
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Matto
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Post by Matto »

This style of paddling has come across the pond from US/Canada where it is sometimes called "Omering". The paddler kneels on the floor of the boat, rather than on a seat or kneeling thwart, and gets one gunwale right down to the water's edge. It comes from the original first nation style of paddling, and is also linked to what they (US/Candians) call "freestyle" (nothing to do with kayak freestyle - trust me).

The level of boat control they are able to achieve is quite amazing, I think basically because so little of the hull is actually in the water. I'm not sure I would want to try it in wind or WW, but it must be worth a go sometime.
Matto

tape34
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Post by tape34 »

Thanks chaps that seems to make sense, might even have a try myself .... when the weather settles down a bit!
Pete Ball

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Post by Matt Rees »

Reducing the hull area in contact with the water reduces the friction and therefore improves efficiency.

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jonl
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Video

Post by jonl »

I've just seen this video



Not much more to add

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Post by Adrian Cooper »

Matto wrote:The level of boat control they are able to achieve is quite amazing, I think basically because so little of the hull is actually in the water. I'm not sure I would want to try it in wind or WW, but it must be worth a go sometime.
There is a very good demonstration of 'Placid water Freestyle' on Kent Ford's video 'Playtime' by the previous world champ (can't remember her name). I had a go at this with a few mates one summer when the rivers were dry and I have a great resource private publication from Becky Molina in Florida which describes the core strokes.

From this and the work on the lake I conclude that you really need the right boat to do this. As with kayak freestyle, it is all about rotations and can be quite hard work getting a full size full weight river boat to spin with any degree of grace on flat water.

As to the tilting, the previous Ray Mears canoe building episode had Becky Mason paying a visit, she also had the boat right over on edge, an exageration of how her Dad would have paddled. Maybe Ray picked it up from her.

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Post by RockRiver »

Cheers for that link Jonl, just got to figure out how to get the video off the net and onto my laptop, shows some really excellent examples of what is possable in a canoe.
Colin S.
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Robin Ashcroft
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Shortening the Waterline

Post by Robin Ashcroft »

He was utilising a well established Canadian canoe technique, buy shortening the waterline - which you achieve by leaning - it is easy to turn and manoveur the boat. The angle wasn't that extreme for flat water/prevailing conditions although on moving water you'd obviously adjust accordingly, and yes, you would maintain more freeboard.

He was also using a very effective stroke, known as the "Canadian Stroke" this is basically the solo equivalent of the "J Stroke".

He struck me as being a highly competent paddler.

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Post by geordiepaddler »

i was in the ardeche when ray was filming that spear fishing episode



he is level 3 oc if ur interested but not to confident on large volume rivers

keyhavenpotterer

Post by keyhavenpotterer »

Thanks jonl for posting you tube link. Really enjoyed watching and learning. Could read a book forever and not take in those moves. Have just bought a Solway Dory Curlew class sailing canoe, so will be trying those moves with a sailing rig added!

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