The Last Baidarka of Prince William Sound – from Andrew Elizaga

I am very pleased to see this video from Andrew. This video is 20 minutes well spent. 

"In June of 2013 Richard Lovering and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview traditional Alaskan kayak builder Mitch Poling. I first met Mitch at the Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium 2010 in Trinidad, CA, where he gave a presentation on the revival of the Chugach baidarka.

Mitch spent part of his childhood in Chenega, Alaska, a small village where the traditional seal-skin covered kayak (known by the Russian term "baidarka") was still being used for hunting and travel. The art of skin-on-frame kayak construction in Alaska was almost completely lost, as new technology was introduced and fishermen turned to using outboard motors and plywood boats. In 1964, a tsunami wiped out the village of Chenega and destroyed the remaining baidarkas. Fortunately, one kayak was left intact, safely stored in a museum in Cordova. Using this remaining specimen, Mitch was able to revive the practice of traditional skin-on-frame kayak construction in Prince William Sound.

Mitch had an amazing amount of information to share in this interview, and generously took time off his busy schedule preparing for his latest trip to Alaska to show us around his home and workshop in Port Townsend, Washington. For those who are interested, the full transcript will be made available on my blog, It will contain a lot more technical information on kayak construction than is presented in the video that traditional skin-on-frame kayak builders might appreciate."