The 811 Ally 16.5′ DR folding canoe – built, transported, and on the river…within 1 1/2 hours!


From this:

Florio – ‘all the pieces appear to be here’ – Image © Helen Jones-Florio

To this:

The 811 Ally is on the truck and ready to roll! Image © Helen Jones-Florio

To bliss:

811 Ally on the Wey. It doesn’t get much better. But, then again, the Wey isn’t the River Gambia. Image © Helen Jones-Florio

Our Ally Canoe building is getting faster. We’ve been practicing for our ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source to sea African odyssey’

The first time we put the canoe together, it took us nigh on 5 hours (despite the man in the demo video, from Bergan’s of Norway – who make the canoes – taking 20 minutes to build his. But, how many times has he done it though, eh?). Ok, so we had a tea and biscuit break in between…nevertheless, it took a lot bloody longer then 20 minutes!

In our defense though (and from reading some of the Ally Canoe forums on-line), and not wanting to sound like a workman always blaming his tools, the demo video that comes with the canoe isn’t great – detail or camera angle-wise (as in, ‘where exactly did he just put insert that chine rod?’) – and the instruction booklet isn’t that great either (i.e. it doesn’t clearly state that the inner rods are all numbered – that bit was trial and a lot of error – until Florio’s dad/the father-in-law, Rodger, pointed it out after about the 4th hour). And, is there even a bow and a stern? Both ends look exactly the same! For all we know, we’re paddling back to front and vice versa!

So, even though we know that we can beat our own ‘world record’ of 50 minutes to build  – eventually – we’re still doing much better than 5 hours!

And, we LOVE the 811 Ally – now we just need to put it to the real test, on the River Gambia.

More canoe tales coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by

The Florios

9 days to go on our Kickstarter campaign – 88% pledged! Thanks to all who have jumped on boar. Rewards for all who do. Check it out

Click on image to support our KS page-Deadline 15th Oct. 2012

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About River Gambia Expedition 2012

Jason Florio, FRGS: award-winning photojournalist. Helen Jones-Florio: expedition & photography producer. 2009: The couple co-led the West Africa expedition 'A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey' - the first circumnavigation of the small West African country, by foot, with two donkeys and a cart. Resulting in the award-winning series of portraits of Gambian village chiefs (Alkalo's) www.floriophoto.com (under 'Projects') http://930kmafricanodyssey.tumblr.com/ 2012-13: The couple co-led their second West Africa expedition - 'River Gambia Expedition - 1000km source-sea Africa odyssey' over-landing for 400km and canoeing the River Gambia for 720km https://rivergambiaexpedition2012.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Adventure, Carbon footprint, Culture, Documentary, Environmental, Expedition, Fundraising, Guinea, photography, Photojournalism, Portraits, River Gambia, Senegal, Sponsorship, The Gambia, tradition, Travel, West Africa and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The 811 Ally 16.5′ DR folding canoe – built, transported, and on the river…within 1 1/2 hours!

  1. dakub says:

    Wel it doesn’t have to be 20min, anyway great that you can do it together!
    Good Luck!!!!!

  2. Pingback: A hare’s breath away from our target – and 9 days from flying down to West Africa for the River Gambia Expedition |

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