Naturally, at some point, my interests in kayaking and sawmilling would collide, and the result of this is kayak logging. Lots and lots of logs end up in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Some of these are pretty nice sawlogs for a small mill like mine, and every now and then some nice logs come along in a way that I can actually get at them and salvage them.
Last winter, my friend Brian and I tried to salvage some very nice cedar in the whitewater section of a nearby river. We had a pretty exciting adventure, but ended up finally losing the log. Recently he called me up with news of more logs in a lower, flatter and tidal section of the same river. Today, we geared up and went to investigate.
By the way, kayak logging, or any kind of log salvage work like this, even for someone with as much experience at it as I have, is an extremely dangerous undertaking. Logs shift and roll, saws bind and kick back and there are a thousand ways to get hurt or killed outright. Do not try this yourself! If you decide to ignore this advice and do try this yourself, don’t tell anyone that you heard about from me! My advice is to stay safely at home and read about it on other people’s blogs.
There were some old growth cedar chunks stuck in this logjam, along with a really nice, straight and clear Sitka Spruce log about 80 feet long and about 32″ at the butt end. We decided that the bottom 40 feet or so would be worth saving and set to work.
Unfortunately, the longest saw we had with us had only a 24″ bar on it, and this log was more like 26″ or so at the part where we needed to buck it off. In the end, I cut out sort of a window block to effectively make the log a small diameter. We eventually got it cut through and, miraculously, it did not have some hidden branch underwater pinning it in place. We finally got it loose and tied up to shore nearby. We added a couple of the old growth cedar chunks to our log raft and called it a day, visiting the shaggy cows nearby on the way back to the boat ramp.
Next stop for this project will be pulling those logs up to the boat ramp, loading them on a trailer and taking them to the shop to mill up into lumber.