Yesterday morning I was able to get away for a few hours of canoeing and fishing on the Bearcamp river. I was up and out the door early and spent a few pleasant hours poling upstream from where I put in, then drifting and fishing my way back down. When I got home I finished working on a new paddle by straightening the sides of the blade with a block plane, thinning the blade a bit, then sanding the entire thing. It’s made from a single piece of White Ash. Before I use it I’ve got to put some epoxy on the very bottom for toughness, apply several coats of linseed oil, and finally varnish it. My friend Don Merchant refers to my paddle (and the others I’ve carved that are just like it) as “the club”, because it’s big and heavy. But I don’t like a whippy paddle, so having a stiff and sturdy paddle suits me perfectly.