The Adventure of Kayaking
The history of the kayak, a Inuktitut word meaning the ‘man’s boat’ or ‘hunters boat’, goes back over 4000 years and this ocean going craft was first originated by the native Americans of the far north. The “Eskimos” developed the canoe like watercraft to ply the, frigid, coastal waters in pursuit of the seals, walrus and whales that they depended on for their sustenance.
The original kayaks were constructed of oiled animal skins stretched tightly over wooden ribs that were, no doubt, made from scavenged driftwood. The different tribes of Alaska, Canada and Greenland utilized these vessels not only as devices for the hunting grounds, but were also used as transports for passengers and cargo.
Today’s kayaks are constructed out of modern space age plastics, fiberglass and resins. Some talented artisans craft beautiful wooden vessels and a few true traditionalists still use wood and skins. There are several contemporary configurations of the kayak; the sit on top, the cockpit and the tandem built for two. Kayaks are used in both fresh and saltwater, on rivers, lakes and for coastal cruising in the ocean.
There are those that want the exhilarating rush of driving through white water rapids, others who derive their pleasures from drifting on lazy streams and those who wish to travel to remote destinations along ocean shores. There has been a great deal of interest and a growing amount of practitioners of kayak fishing. Traditional kayaks are conformed to accommodate fishing poles, bait and tackle and the anglers fish for both fresh and saltwater species. A fish of any size can make fishing from a kayak the fun of a Nantucket sleigh ride