My name is Randal Monge,
I’ve been building skin on frame kayaks for 40 years. I learned from Oliver Cameron an elder from Ambler Alaska, on the Kobuk River. He taught me the skin on frame technique of building a native type canoe kayak for carrying supplies up and down rivers. Living in Idaho I built many Fishing and duck hunting type kayaks with a more open cockpit designed for fresh water lakes and rivers.
After reading Adne & Chappelles “Skin Boats and Bark Canoes of North America” I became inspired to learn more about the Native Aleutian Iqax. Reading the book “The Starship and the Canoe” by Kenneth Brower introduced me to George Dyson. He who was living in a tree house on Vancouver Island and building the Beautiful Biadarkas. ( the Russian Name for Kayak) and his dad was a top Government scientist working on The Orion project, designing a spaceship powered by our old nuclear bombs. Interesting to say the least.
Moving around the western states following carpentry jobs, I ended up in Santa Cruz, Ca. Where I and Mark Pastick started Kayak Connection, a sea kayaking retail and rental business. Still pursuing my interest in the Aleut kayak. I started experimenting with my own designs. Later after selling out of the business in Santa Cruz I mover to Orcas Island and Started “Osprey Tours… Sea Kayak Tours with a Difference” By this time I have constructed a Fleet of Traditional Aleut kayaks. and ran both the kayak building and tour operation here since 1994. I am now retired from the Tour operation but still build custom Ordered kayaks and maybe a private tour now and then. If you can catch me here and not out on the water paddling in these beautiful San Juan Islands