Robert Bells in British Columbia has also been messing about with mirrors. First, he attached a mirror to a metal stalk that carries a running light and is attached to the transom, but eventually replaced it with ingenious plastic one that appeals very much to my bodgemania, being assembled out of plastic pipe and a spring clamp. He writes:
I was a bit uneasy with the running light stalk, as the stalk is metal. Where I row, in the mostly wilderness lakes and the inlets just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (the eastern reaches of the Salish Sea), the weather very quickly jams itself into the little fiords and mountain valleys, and can stack up some good lightning and thunder without very much warning. (And not many places to haul out in an emergency.) As a solution, I put together the current rig which is just about metal free.
I clamp it on my starboard gunwale a couple feet astern of my outrigger.
I also put together a boat hook pole with the same 3/4 inch plastic plumbing pipe, stiffening it with small wooden dowels inserted into uncured spray-foam insulation, to keep it completely metal free. I really do not want to be swinging around one of the commercial aluminium poles when the weather turns dangerous.
The "Front View Mirror" is best for lining up sight-lines for rowing in openish water, one landmark over the transom, one land mark in the mirror. I still have to twist around to check bearings and make sure I am not going to run over canoeists and kayakers. The best solution, have a pretty passenger in the stern seat (who has a clue) to point to clear water.
I really enjoy your blog, especially your commentary and photos of your adventures of Britain's rivers and inlets. I would like to try out some of your rivers and canals someday myself.
RobertThanks for that, Robert. I must say, the lake looks fabulous.
Just to provoke thoughts, here are a couple of alternative ideas from the Web. First, a 'wrist mirror' invented by Carl Ribeca (US Patent 4054375). You could make one by attaching a velcro strap to a powder puff.
And what about this one...cool, eh?