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kobuk on jordanelle
American Odyssey
A river voyage--an epic journey through the Americas--that's the dream.  The dreamer is Spike Hampson and his boat is named Kobuk.  He built her and named her after a river in Alaska.  And now he is taking her from Wyoming to Buenos Aires.
The Planned route uses rivers and  coastal waterways to pierce both continents.  Most of it is in protected waters, but getting from North to South America will require day passages between islands in the Caribbean.  The length of the journey is about 15,000 knotical miles and may take years to complete.   The obstacles to be overcome or circumvented en route include numerous reservoir dams, occasional stretches of white water, two drainage basin transfers (one of which is highly problematic), long stretches without access to fuel, and various day passages across open and exposed waters.
Current Location Map
Kobuk is a shallow draft river boat  powered by an inboard and jet drive.  A small outboard provides auxiliary power and extended cruising range.  Constructed over a five year period, the 20' hull has mahogany frames, marine plywood planking, and fibreglass and epoxy sheathing.   Broad in the beam and blunt in the bow, Kobuk  can carry a fair load for her small size.  The hull shape is most suitable for running on flat water and is little affected by current.  Kobuk already has survived the Great Lakes, but it remains to be seen whether she is sufficiently versatile to handle the rough conditions that can be expected in the Atlantic and the Caribbean.


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Spike is a geography professor at the University of Utah.  He spends his spare time traveling and writing--and working as a ski instructor at Deer Valley.

He travels alone.

hampson@geog.utah.edu


HOME PAGE

Kobuk
The Voyage
Spike
Design
Construction

The Plan
The Log

Writing
Travel