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25 Free Photos of Canoes and Gondolas.

Ever think of where these names came from?  Boats have been instrumental in dispersing humans throughout the globe.  They also are rather important in finding dinner and getting it home. It was probably not a pleasure cruise that their inventors had in mind for these essential vehicles.

The first use of the word canoe by a European, originally from the Arawak word "canoa" in the Caribbean Sea, was by Christopher Columbus. Later Garcilaso de la Vega defined it as an open boat, but the British used it for all boats of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. This use of canoe to cover generically both canoes and kayaks is not so common in North American usage, but is common in Britain, Australia, and presumably many parts of the world — both in sporting jargon and in colloquial speech.

Early canoes were wooden, often simply hollowed-out tree trunks. This technology is still practiced in some parts of the world. Modern wooden canoes may be wood strip, wood-and-canvas, stitch-and-glue, glued plywood lapstrake, or birchbark built by dedicated artisans. Such canoes can be very functional, lightweight, and strong, and are frequently quite beautiful works of art. Many indigenous peoples of the Americas built canoes of tree bark, sewn with tree roots and sealed with resin. The indigenous people of the Amazon commonly used Hymenaea trees. In temperate North America, white cedar was used for the frame and bark of the Paper Birch for the exterior, with charcoal and fats mixed into the resin. A few modern canoe builders have revived and continued building birchbark canoes.

A dugout is a boat which is basically a hollowed tree trunk. Dugouts are the oldest boats archaeologists have found; in Germany dating back to the Stone Age. Along with bark and hide canoes, these dugout boats were used by American Indians. This is probably because they are made of massive pieces of wood, which tend to preserve better than, e.g., bark canoes. Construction of a dugout begins with the selection of a log of suitable dimensions. Sufficient wood needed to be removed to make the vessel relatively light in weight and buoyant, yet still strong enough to support the crew and cargo. Specific types of wood were often preferred based on their strength, durability, and weight. The shape of the boat is then fashioned to minimize drag, with sharp ends at the bow and stern. First the bark is removed from the exterior. Before the appearance of metal tools, dugouts were then hollowed-out using controlled fires. The burnt wood was then removed using an adze. Another method using tools is to chop out parallel notches across the interior span of the wood, then split out and remove the wood from between the notches. Once hollowed out, the interior was dressed and smoothed out with a knife or adze. (Source: Wikipedia).

A gòndola is a traditional Venetian rowing boat; for centuries the chief means of transportation within Venice. The gondola is propelled by an oarsman (the gondolier) who stands facing the bow and pushes, rather than pulls, a single oar. A gondola is long and narrow, with an asymmetrical outline to facilitate propulsion with a single oar, and a good deal of rocker (lengthwise curvature) to minimise the area of contact with the water. The oar or rèmo is held in an oar lock known as a fòrcola. The forcola is of a complicated shape, allowing several positions of the oar for slow forward rowing, powerful forward rowing, turning, slowing down and rowing backwards. Gondolas are hand made using 8 different types of wood and are composed of 280 pieces. The left side of the gondola is made longer than the right side to counterbalance the weight of the gondolier. (Source: Wikipedia).

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Canoe moored at Ocean View on Sconticut Neck, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
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Canoe moored near marsh at Ocean View on Sconticut Neck, Fairhaven, Mass.

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Ice bound canoe, Duck Lake Pond, Boise, Idaho, USA
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Annual canoe trip in Deer Rapids Virginia, USA
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After the annual canoe trip in Deer Rapids Virginia, USA
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Rental canoes at Fletcher's Boat House, Potomac River, Washington DC, USA
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Georgetown University girls rowing team on the Potomac River, Washington DC, USA
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Georgetown University girls rowing team on the Potomac River, Washington D
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Georgetown University girls rowing team taking the boat to storage, on the Potomac River, Washington DC
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Canoe in fishing harbor at Nanaimo, BC, Canada
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Canoe on the river near Bangkok, Thailand
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Canoe - type boats at Cambridge University, UK
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Canoe - type boats at Cambridge University, UK
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Canoe - type boats at Cambridge University, UK
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Canoe - type boats at Cambridge University, UK
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Costa Rica Dugout Canoe
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Africa Dugout Canoes, Botswana, Okavanga Delta
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Africa canoe being poled by native people
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Africa Dugout Canoes Resting, Botswana, Okavanga Delta
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Indian Canoe, Vancouver Island, Canada
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Gondola on the Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts
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Gondolas in traffic jam near the Old Bridge (Puente Vechia) in Venice, Italy
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Gondola in Venice, Italy
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Gondola in Venice, Italy
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A canal full of Gondolas in Venice, Italy
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This page last updated or reviewed in August 2014