The Capstone Project, Arctic Tern 14

BigandSmall

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Mar 2, 2012
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High school students are now required to do a project of some sort in their senior year in BC in order to graduate called Capstone. It's unfortunate because some kids just don't have any free time if they are competing for scholarships. No one needs extra work load when you're already swamped. Anyway my daughter elected to build a stitch and glue Pygmy Arctic Tern 14 (with lots of parental encouragement). She knew it would take well over the required time but it would be fun and there would be an awesome boat at the end of it all. She only got as far as the hull by the time she graduated, just no free time with keeping the grades up. Summer flew by and then 1st year university. When it was finally done it was May just in time for the water to melt here. It turned out so much better than I was expecting and it was a lot of fun helping. I got to sand, deck rig and varnish. She did all the structural work herself without too much nagging on my end. For the art she found the squid online but drew the rest on her Wacom tablet. We printed them on tissue paper and set them under the glass.

A big thank you to Nick Schade and Rod Tait for their instructional videos that they took the time to make and put online. I believe she listed both of you as mentors in her school report after constantly referring to your videos when Pygmy's instructions came up short. Also a big thank you to John Abercrombie who fielded all my questions and provided that voice of experience along the way.

Pics to follow
 
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BigandSmall

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The Build:
1st batch of pics
 

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BigandSmall

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Mar 2, 2012
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292
Location
Northern BC (FSJ)
The Build:
2nd batch of pics
 

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BigandSmall

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The first trip: Bowron Lakes, opening day 9:00 departure.

Day1, Brave Dave left ahead of us and we never saw him again. It was only the third trail that had snow on it. We made to campsite 12 on Isaac lake. Saw a toad along the way. Isaac was so calm.
 

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BigandSmall

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Day 3, Started the day with the drysuits on. Made it to "The Chute" by lunch. Ran the Chute to avoid the 1st portage on trail 4. The "rollercoaster" wasn't there the last time I went through. This time with high water from the melt and all the rain the rollercoaster was pretty impressive. The rest of trail 4 was snowed in. Alternated between dragging/post holing and wheeling/dragging the sparse patches. The second paddling bit on this river section was pretty rough too. Definitely not beginner friendly this time of year. Other than the one tree and a bit of snow the trail down to McLeary lake was decent. We got the cabin at McLeary lake. Sure was nice to have a wood stove that night to dry our gear.
 

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BigandSmall

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Day 4, Started the day all layered up for the Cariboo river section. Lanezi lake was not fun. Steady rain blowing straight in our faces. Started snowing briefly too. Tough day to keep warm with wet down insulation. Had planned on staying at Sandy lake but instead paddled on to Rum lake to be out in the valley floor instead of at the base of the mountain with all the fresh snow just above us. Saw 2 moose in the Cariboo river section. Paddled to the far corner of Unna lake and found the hidden Rum lake that I missed last time I did the trip. Long day adding in the extra distance. Our only camp fire tonight, it went but wasn't impressive with the hard rain.
 

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BigandSmall

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Day 5, Paddled across Unna lake to the trail head for Cariboo falls. It was a few km hike to the falls, pretty impressive with the high water. Paddled back up the Cariboo river to Babcock creek. 3 more portages today and then stayed at the cabin at on Pat's point. Once the woodstove went out the temp dropped. That big cabin was way colder than our tent.
 

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BigandSmall

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Day 6, Final day, final paddle out the Spectacle lakes to Swan lake, then Bowron lake. Got closer to a moose than I've ever been in the Bowron river section. Less than 15 feet, closer to 10 feet though. It must have been sleeping and I paddled right up to it without seeing it. My daughter had seen it and was quietly trying to alert me. It stood up towering over me so I froze and drifted by. I spun around and got the camera out to watch it give my daughter stink eye as she hugged the far shore. Certainly not happy with us anyway. We saw a beaver just after that but we didn't get the exciting tail slap we were hoping for. We arrived at the park dock around 4:00. Great trip!


The Tern did very well. I'm told that it tracks well, is faster than any of her previous boats and handled the rough river sections with ease. Goldilocks size for her apparently. It needs more varnish after that trip, it got lots of experience marks. It was so nice to carry, we hit 41lbs fully rigged.
 

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Natasha

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Dec 12, 2006
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Thanks for the trip report and photos. I did the bowron lakes nearly 20 years ago :oops: as a teen. Your report brought back so many fond memories.
 

LAM

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Dec 28, 2012
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Congratulations to your daughter! Her kayak is truly a beauty! Love the picture of it sitting on the snow. Love the artwork. Your daughter must be so proud, maybe almost as proud as her dad!! It must have been so exciting and fun for her to take it on the Bowron Lake Circuit.. Well done.....well done. Color me impressed

Lila
 

AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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I’m a high school teacher and I’ve been witness to a lot of capstones, some very good. Your daughter’s is above and beyond anything I’ve seen! Congratulations!

Cheers,
Andrew
 

BigandSmall

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A couple of other details, the boat is finished with Pettit 1015 Captains Varnish. The backband is an Immersion Research Reggie that we bolted on with a couple of brackets made out of aluminum. The seat is a Redfish pre-carved blank by Joe Greenley. We got him to shape the bottom of the seat blank to match the Tern. Money well spent as my daughter says that it's very comfortable and the fit is quite good. We left the cheekplates out of the build as they wouldn't have worked well with the seat.
 
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