“Searching for the Finmen” by Norman Rogers
The “Belhelvie kayak” is the name given to a kayak which made landfall near Aberdeen in the early 1700s. Its occupant, quite clearly an Inuit man, died three days later. The kayak itself was preserved initially in Kings College in Aberdeen and later transferred to the Marischal Museum, where it can still be seen today.
At about the same time, individuals in kayaks, given the name “Finmen” were seen around the coasts of the Orkney Islands.
The stories of the Belhelvie kayak and the Finmen sightings are well known in those parts of the canoeing community interested in the history of their sport. However, until now no books have been written describing the intriguing theories relating to these incidents.
While books are published regularly covering various kayak voyages in the present day and the recent past, this book is unique in linking the history of the kayak and the capabilities of Inuit paddlers with their modern day counterparts.