This summer I completed a self-propelled thru paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. It took me 43 days, and most of it was done alone in the Atkinson Traveler that I made last year. I even ran into a familiar face, Tim Smith of the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. He wrote a blog post about my trip as well. It was truly a trip of a lifetime, and was a great chance to get acquainted with the waterways of New England, and to put my spirit and gear to the test. I am so glad that I committed to doing it, and am already missing it. Thank you all for your help with the boat and all of the questions that you have cleared up for me, I could not have done it without you! In this video I review what I brought and how it worked. The canoe was pretty much perfect for the trip, and preformed very well in all the conditions that it was thrown into. If I had my balance there was no way for ANY water to get in the boat, even going parallel to 3ft waves on Churchill Lake on the Allagash! My review of the canoe gear is here. I hope to do a presentation about it this fall and post a video of that, I will keep you posted. There was some wear and tear on the boat which is to be expected, but there are some things about the construction process that only reared their heads after extended use: 1. The inside of the boat got wet (duh) but once it was really soaked and had a chance to dry out for a day in the HOT sun I noticed these bubbles that formed under the varnish. I peeled one off and it was raw wood underneath (many are larger than the picture). All that I can figure is that is an adhesion problem with the shellac flakes that I applied prior to using the Epifanes varnish (3 or 4 coats). BTW I had to reapply some varnish before the trip because areas of the planking by the seats seemed to have lost the varnish on them. Any ideas from all of the shellac people out there? 2. When the canvas had to get pulled of scrapped over rocks it seemed like there were areas when the shellac and the filler fell off leaving bare canvas. Some of this I patched with Ambroid Cement (which is the white in the picture). There are many places where this did not happen and it just glanced off the shellac, but this suggests to me that the filler had some problem with really working into the canvas. Thoughts? 3. My boat has somehow gotten noticeable rounder on the bottom than the original plans call for, and this was frustrating on the shallower streams. When I got back I decided to go against forum advice and try some boiling water anyway. I weighted it down right side up on my porch and poured boiling water over the places where the ribs bend the most. I did this several days in a row and left it weighted for about a week and a half. It definitely flattened out, though I am expecting a lot of rebound over time. It was 4 days ago that I took the weight off, and no big spring back yet! The water may have made the bubbles worse, but it is hard to tell, and as far as I can see the canvas did not have an adverse reaction to it.