Friday, July 30, 2010

Packed And Ready To Go

As you can see, I am packed and ready to go!

My start date seems to be set at this coming Tuesday, August 3rd. I decided to wait the extra day instead of trying to battle the heavy long weekend traffic.

I got a little paint happy, and made my letters a little big on the side of the canoe. It should be visible from shore though. So if you see me paddle by, be sure to wave and say hello.

Also, I should point out that I will be starting with two paddles on the trip. The new and improved single blade paddle is in the canoe, and the newly build double bladed paddle is sitting on top. It has a rectangular oak handle and thin birch blades. It is fairly light for the material, but still heavier than what I am used to.

Keep checking back often, as I will be attempting to post every day. PJ has consented to meet me a various places along the river and trade me camera cards so that she can upload a few pictures from time to time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Samuel is in the News!

A local newspaper, "Yorkton This Week", ran a feature story all about Samuel and the Alpha 1 Adventure. It was on page A15 of the July 14th issue. It is so nice that the media are finally starting to pay attention to Samuel's awareness efforts.

I would like to send out a special thank-you to Chris Putnam, the reporter who wrote the story.
Thanks for your support, Chris!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Whitesand River

On Thursday July 8, I went canoeing with Samuel on the Whitesand River; we started at the bottom of the Theodore dam. The water was foamy and it stunk.

We saw some pelicans on the bank, a few great blue herons, and lots of ducks. There were a few bridges, and we had to keep watching for barb wire fences crossing the river.

I was using the small paddle but then I switched to Samuel’s medium paddle, I had a lot more control and we were going a lot faster, then I switched to Samuel’s big paddle, it was a little too big for me, but the medium one was about the right size. When I switched back to the little one it felt like I was trying to paddle the canoe with a stick.

The river was full of turns and if you stretched it out it would be twice as long, but the river was swollen, so paddling was not hard.

Then we got to a road that the river had overflowed and the water was flowing fast, I was a little scared at first but when I got there it was nothing, then we turned the wrong way and we were paddling over a field but the field ended so we went back to the river.

[Sadly, an elderly man recently tried to drive his truck across the overflowing Whitesand River and his truck was swept into the river. Two men are still missing. - Samuel]

A little after we started we lost track of the river, everything was so flooded that we had started paddling though the trees.

After that the river became very bendy, turning 180 degrees, there was a flooded field that we could have paddled across and cut off a half hour, but we decided to stay with the river.

When we got to the next bridge past highway 47 it was time to stop for the day so we called my mom to come get us. We also saw some odd birds that looked strange because their beaks were bent up.

The water overflowed the road at another spot so we paddled along the ditch to where mom was. While we were tying up the canoe Samuel found a tadpole that had all four legs, but still had a tail, after taking a picture of it we put it back in the water, loaded up our gear, and went home.
- Will

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Book Is Ready!!!!!

We have been waiting for 2 months, but finally Samuel's book is published and ready for sale. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the Alpha 1 Adventure ... For Life.

The name of the book is "Bint" and it is about a 13 year old girl stranded in the wilderness with her little Jack Russell Terrier, Bint. The real Bint is one of my dogs (Samuel's puppy's mother), and I am thrilled that she has been imortalized in print.

The book costs $10 (plus $3 shipping) and is available for sale on Samuel's web site. A sample chapter can be found here.

We would like to thank Custom Printers Ltd. for their generous contribution to the printing of this book.

Testing the Paddles

On Tuesday, we went out on Whitesand Lake to test the paddles. The River paddle worked great. It took a bit to get used to the technique, but there was a definite advantage to using this large paddle in specific circumstances.

The paddle that I had made for my main paddle did not live up to my expectations. I am going to get to work and build a new one with the improvements. First the grip needs to have a better angle on it. Second, the shaft diametre might be just a touch too wide. Third, the throat should have a longer taper. Fourth the blade was a little loud, so I will round the corners of the blade a bit more.

We saw several pelicans all along the lake, but there were certain places where a bunch of them would gather. This picture was taken at the Theodore Dam.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Third Paddle

Finally my medium size paddle is finished. My plan is that this paddle will be my main paddle, but I have not even tested it yet. I have put the paddle specs up on my site at

So far, my tentative date for the cross Saskatchewan canoe trip is August 1st.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Life Jacket

Anka sporting her new life jacket. This jacket seems a little small, and Anka is growing so fast, I think we will have to buy a larger jacket soon.