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Lake Victora Dhow

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  • David Ryan
    FBBB, If you d like to see a picture of me and Bob Wise floating on Lake Victoria in a dhow, point your browser to: http://www.crumblingempire.com/dhow.jpg --
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 2, 2003
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      FBBB,

      If you'd like to see a picture of me and Bob Wise floating on Lake
      Victoria in a dhow, point your browser to:

      http://www.crumblingempire.com/dhow.jpg
      --

      C.E.P.
      415 W.46th Street
      New York, New York 10036
      http://www.crumblingempire.com
      Mobile (646) 325-8325
      Office (212) 247-0296
    • Frank San Miguel
      David Very COOL! Thats some interesting looking joinery. Sounds like a great trip - can you tell us more? Did you get some more detailed pictures of the
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 5, 2003
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        David

        Very COOL! Thats some interesting looking joinery. Sounds like a
        great trip - can you tell us more? Did you get some more detailed
        pictures of the small craft? How are they built? Whats with the
        water bottle on the backstay? Or is that a backstay?

        Frank

        --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
        > FBBB,
        >
        > If you'd like to see a picture of me and Bob Wise floating on Lake
        > Victoria in a dhow, point your browser to:
        >
        > http://www.crumblingempire.com/dhow.jpg
        > --
        >
        > C.E.P.
        > 415 W.46th Street
        > New York, New York 10036
        > http://www.crumblingempire.com
        > Mobile (646) 325-8325
        > Office (212) 247-0296
      • David Ryan
        The fishing dhows where we were (Dunga Beach near Kisumu, Kenya) came in two varieties. One type is a cross-planked, very sharpie/dory like boat. The
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 6, 2003
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          The fishing dhows where we were (Dunga Beach near Kisumu, Kenya) came
          in two varieties.

          One type is a cross-planked, very sharpie/dory like boat. The
          construction is straight up plank on frame, with cotton felt and
          roofing jack for caulking. The largest of these are powered
          exclusively by oars, carry a crew of four and siene fish at night for
          small baitfish locally referred to as herring. These are processed by
          sun drying.

          The second type (seen in the picture) is called a "streamline". At
          its heart, it's a five panel stitch and glue boat, and has some very
          interesting joinery indeed. The panels are planks about an inch
          thick. The joints you see along the top plank are scarfs for both
          length and shape. Between the planks there's cotton felt and roofing
          jack, covered with bicycle innertube with a strip of sheet metal
          tacked over the top. (You can just barely make out the nail line in
          the photo.)

          Streamlines and the smaller cross-planked boats head out in the
          morning while the wind is offshore (from the East) with a crew of two
          or three. The two most important species are Nile Perch and Tilapia.
          We saw both types gill netting and longlining, but the flat-bottomed
          boats are better suited to gill netting because of their greater
          initial stability. By the late morning or early afternoon the wind
          switches to onshore, and the boats return. By the mid afternoon the
          winds is 10-15k, and the boats that come in late are really moving
          along!

          Both types use a big paddle braced with a rope as a rudder. Tacking
          is accomplished by pulling the sail around the front of the forward
          raking mast. That is a bottle on the backstay; it's there to scare
          away birds. Neither type has any sort of keel/center board, but the
          one we rode in did go to weather a little. The go like hell on a beam
          reach. Maybe the long, skinny hull provides the lateral resistance.

          A few disheartening facts:

          The Nile Perch was introduced to Lake Victoria about 40 years ago to
          improve the fishery. Although there is an export market for Nile
          Perch (not from the Nile and not a Perch), its introduction has
          radically altered the ecology of the lake. Nile Perch grow to 400+
          pounds and eat everything. I have read that as much as half the
          native species have been eaten into extinction by the Nile Perch,
          especially those species that fed on algae, changing the vary nature
          of the water column. Among these algae eating species, and of
          particular impact to the fishermen of Lake Victoria is the herring.

          Herring had provided the backbone of the indigenous fishery. Herring
          can be processed/preserved simply by drying in the sun. After that
          they can go to markets all over the rest of Kenya by truck. If market
          conditions are unfavorable, the dried fish can be stored until
          conditions improve.

          With the decline in the herring fishery, larger fish must be
          targeted. These are either be sold locally fresh (but the market is
          limited) or dried over fire (collecting firewood for drying has
          contributed to deforestation around the lake). While there is an
          export market for Nile Perch, the companies that own the filleting,
          freezing and shipping facilities have more influence over the market
          than the individual perch fishermen. For them choice is simple: sell
          at the price the processor will pay, or lose their catch to spoilage.
          Of course they could always stay ashore and try to drive the price
          up. But organization is weak among the fishermen.

          In December of 2002 Kenyan's voted the Daniel Moi out of power. In 25
          years of single party rule, Moi managed to transform Kenya from East
          Africa's leading nation to both one of the world's poorest and
          highest disparity of wealth. Will the new government do any better,
          or make a difference to the fisherman and community of Dunga Beach? I
          wouldn't hazard a guess.

          YIBB,

          David




          >
          >Very COOL! Thats some interesting looking joinery. Sounds like a
          >great trip - can you tell us more? Did you get some more detailed
          >pictures of the small craft? How are they built? Whats with the
          >water bottle on the backstay? Or is that a backstay?
          >
          >Frank
          >
          >--- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
          >> FBBB,
          >>
          >> If you'd like to see a picture of me and Bob Wise floating on Lake
          >> Victoria in a dhow, point your browser to:
          >>
          >> http://www.crumblingempire.com/dhow.jpg
          >> --
          >>
          >> C.E.P.
          >> 415 W.46th Street
          >> New York, New York 10036
          >> http://www.crumblingempire.com
          >> Mobile (646) 325-8325
          >> Office (212) 247-0296
          >
          >
          >
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          --

          C.E.P.
          415 W.46th Street
          New York, New York 10036
          http://www.crumblingempire.com
          Mobile (646) 325-8325
          Office (212) 247-0296
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