Book Reviews [42]

Baidarka – The Kayak

By George Dyson

$59.95 from Boat Books, ISBN 0-88240-315-X

A fabulous book about the history, development and redevelopment of the Aleut kayak. George Dyson has been often credited with resurrecting a legend and triggering a baidarka renaissance, and after reading this book it is not hard to see why. This passionate and personal account of the baidarka and the Aleuts leaves the reader longing to create and paddle as was intended so many hundreds of years ago.

Starting with the Russians coming to Alaska and their discovery of the Aleuts’ hunting skill with kayaks, this book is a complete evolutionary history of this fabulous kayak, with diagrams, sketches, lithographs and stunning photographs (many taken by renowned photojournalist Ann E Yow) which take the reader on an amazing adventure with the Aleuts.

The book also follows the story of the author as he researches and builds baidarka’s with amazing passion, and also includes brief plans for the baidarka, for those who become totally consumed by this book!

Complete Sea Kayak Touring

By Jonathan Hanson

$41.95 from Boat Books, ISBN 0-07-026204-7

Targeted at the kayaker who has some basic knowledge and wants to expand their paddling horizons, this book is also invaluable for the beginner and also has great tips for seasoned kayakers.

The book is broken up into four parts, ‘Touring Equipment’, ‘Techniques for Touring’, ‘Camping Equipment & Techniques’ and ‘Transport, Maintenance & Repair’, and deals with practical information on kayak selection, necessary gear, safety gear and clothing, paddling technique, rescues and recoveries, navigation, camping planning, provisioning and packing, travelling with kayaks and the all-important maintenance of your kayak.

A great little book that provides an abundance of information, and whilst it is primarily aimed at the intermediate paddler, it can be of benefit to every Club member.

Cruising the New South Wales Coast

By Alan Lucas

$52.00 from Boat Books, ISBN 0-646-23979-1

Titled “A sailor’s guide to the ports, anchorages, rivers and lakes of Australia’s First State”, this new fourth edition provides excellent detail on the features and characteristics of the entire NSW coast.

Although this book has been written for the ‘larger’ vessel, practical details on weather, tides, navigation and water depths are invaluable for kayakers, and informative histories on areas as well as historical photographs provide opportunity for in-depth exploration.

Plenty of maps with different scales are clear and accurate, and they photocopy well for lamination and carrying on deck.

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