Following the Wake of History
Mr. Don Dana lives in Tiburon in Marin County. He is holding a model of an umiak.
An umiak is a "skin boat" made from walrus hides and wood.
It has only one mast, one sail, and a wooden rudder. It is 30 feet long, so it can hold a family and all the gear they might take along.
Recently, Mr. Dana went on an exciting expedition. He observed native sailors rowing an umiak in the Bering Sea.
The expedition began on July 31, 2006. The native sailors traveled along the east coast of Russia trying to prove that ancient people could
have migrated from Russia to Alaska by boat across the Bering Strait. Mr. Dana traveled alongside the native sailors in an aluminum motor boat.
They had planned to row for 6o miles, but, the trip lasted only four days. Bad weather, swelling seas, and other dangers forced the sailors to stop short.
Dana is satisfied with his first try, and hopes that he can finish next year.
"I'm amazed at what we did because everyone told me it was impossible."
The first voyage was frightening at times. Arctic waters are "very treacherous, the weather is unpredictable, and the
coastline is merciless. If you fell in the water, you couldn't live more than 15 minutes."
Read the whole article in the Marin Independent Journal.
Back to California! Coming to a New Land