Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shooting Rapids in a Big Dugout

In 1926, during a national craze for daredevil stunts, Al Faussett built a 32-foot spruce dugout canoe and successfully piloted (or perhaps just rode) it solo down Sunset Falls on the Skykomish River in Washington. The falls drop 104 feet over a distance of 275 feet -- quite a drop! -- and Faussett wisely carved his canoe, Skykomish Queen, with a great deal of rocker for maneuverability. For details, see this nicely-written article on History Link: The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History.

Speaking of running rapids in dugouts: I recall a spectacular chase scene in the Robert De Niro film The Mission, in which Portuguese and Spanish soldiers pursue Guarani Indians down the Iguaza River in what is modern-day Brazil. The Indians are paddling dugouts, and their capabilities in heavy whitewater were most impressive. Wish I could find a clip of this scene on YouTube.

Addition, 13 Aug. 2012: Brazilian pal Silvio Antunha provided this link to YouTube clips of the Iguaza Falls, which play a role in The Mission, mentioned above: 


  1. Hi, my friend. I foun some you tube links for The Mission, in Portuguese A Missão:

  2. Pelase, see for Iguaçu River:

    See also, please: Hector Babenco's A Play in the fields of the Lord