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Boat School students complete project for BBC!

In boats made here, the BBC will repeat an incredible river expedition!

Instructor Ben Kahn checks one of the Powell Journey oars.

By Brian J. Cantwell

Seattle Times outdoors editor

A new TV documentary about John Wesley Powell’s famed exploration of the Grand Canyon has come to Washington for authentic — if ill-suited — wooden watercraft.

LONG BEFORE any modern-day, quinoa-gobbling Californian had the notion, John Wesley Powell may have been the first nonnative to advance the concept of sustainability in the American West. As an early director of the U.S. Geological Survey, he fought — unsuccessfully — to curb the 19th-century homesteading frenzy until the government could ensure there was enough water to go around (which there wasn’t).

However, the one-armed Union Army veteran’s big claim to fame was an adventure in which he brought a pocketknife to a gunfight. So to speak.

What he brought was a handful of alarmingly ill-suited wooden boats on the first recorded exploration of the Grand Canyon’s wild rapids…

And there’s a Northwest connection. The BBC commissioned the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, in Port Hadlock, Jefferson County, to construct for the program three replicas of Powell’s boats.

Click here for PDF of the article (the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has paid a fee to the newspaper for this PDF distribution).

Read the entire Seattle Times article.

See a screen shot below of the Seattle Times online with a photo of student, Gina Bonneau, working on the Whitehalls.