Part III. The Final Hurdles: (continued from A Qayaq (Kayak) Saga, Parts I & II)
When the delivery man gently put the crate on our garage floor, I thought about giving him a hug and a kiss, but what with the COVID-19 issues, I decided simply to give him a generous tip instead.
Ellen said, “It looks like a casket,” but I could sense she was already beginning to soften. Well, maybe that’s too strong; perhaps it was her general belief that when something has been truly been decided, there’s no use carrying on about it. Plus, I had already begun my plan to get her involved in the continuing saga by appealing to her new ‘career’ as a photographer. After all, she knew I ws going to write something for MillersTime about the kayak, and I had told her I would need some of her photos to accompany the post.
I decided to let the Qayaq rest a bit after its seven and a half month journey from its home in Greenland to Iceland to the US and finally to its new home in DC. But after two hours, it ‘told’ me it was “ready to come up for air” and get out of its cramped crate.
Despite Ellen’s insistence that I needed someone with carpentry skills to help me open it, I gathered my Red Sox hammer, a bunch of screw drivers, some tools I hoped would serve as levers, etc. and went to work.
It was a snap. Mostly. I only had to use a Phillips’ head screw driver and a bit of muscle, and the top was off. I called Ellen to bring me some band aids and join me in unpacking the interior of the crate as well as take a photo on my iPhone.
Although it was light enough for me to carry myself, I asked Ellen to help me remove it and help carry it into the house. “It’s not as big as I remembered,” I heard her murmur. We put it on the floor in the entrance hall, and Ellen walked around it as I cleared off the first place I thought it might go, under the front window in our living room beginning to think maybe this won’t be such a big hurdle after all. It didn’t seem as if it will dominate the room, which had been my fear.
We both kinda liked it there and decided to give it 24 hours to see if it and we were happy with the placement. I kept walking by the door to the living room, loving what I was seeing and delighted that Ellen was liking it too.
But at night, I couldn’t see it very well, and we both thought we might try another spot, one where the bottom didn’t blend in to the base and where more light was available.
We both liked this better, as the white off set the black, and you could see entire kayak when you were in our entrance hall or at the living room door. It felt better than the first placement, and we put some of the additional pieces on it, though we left two of the harpoons and some other artifacts off.
We agreed after another 24 hours that it needed to be raised a bit and perhaps the additional parts could be on the wall above it. We wondered if it needed a dedicated light above it.
I called our friend Vincent Sagart, the wonderful designer of our kitchen, who has a terrific eye and asked if he’d stop by and help us be sure we’re displaying it in the best possible way.
Don’t mention this to Ellen, but I’m wondering if it perhaps needs a whole room to itself.
Vincent will know.
Brian Steinbach said:
Looks great so far! And not that big at all. You made the right decision.
Mike White said:
Just a thought — you might consider whether or not this is just a model, or an actual kayak. Remember, early people were smaller than we are, and you can’t grow an awful lot eating wolf meat and frozen fish and not having the advantage of Ellen’s good cooking. You may actually hold something that paleontologists or other scientists with lots of initials after their names may be really interested in what you have in your home (a museum). Who knows?
You are correct that the Inuits were, are, generally smaller than we, but I don’t think they were quite small enough to get into this Qajaq.
It looks so interesting. I can’t wait to see more pictures. It really stands out more on white surface.
Alan E Manning said:
It looks great Richard. The pressure is on now for me to deliver.
Lydia Slaby said:
It’s wonderful! And the story is equal to the piece. Good good luck finding it’s right home…and I agree with you…once it’s “home” it will tell you in no uncertain terms. In your next piece, would you mind describing it further with more beautiful pictures from Ellen? I’m so intrigued — imagining reindeer bits and pieces, seal bits and pieces, perhaps a puffin beak or two? Plus the kind of wood? So intrigued.
Happy healing to your hands.
Glen Willis said:
I hope that white cover is over a radiator.
I have no doubt it is not. I trust Ellen.
That’s how I felt when I bought my model “Skipjack” at a Chesapeake Appreciation Day from the man who made it, 10 years ago.
Glen Willis said:
Of course I meant NOT OVER A RADIATOR
Paula Endo said:
How about having it appear to float on a clear acrylic base?