Shine a Little Light

Light me up!

Light me up!

You’re looking at an incomplete picture. It’s a lantern without a boat. The lantern came to me at Christmas…a gift from the family…with a tag but no note because, well, no note was really needed. The message was hanging right there as sure as one of the ornaments on the tree…and the message was, ‘Get out there and get your next boat!’.

I’m looking, but finding the right sailboat at the right length in the right place at the right no slam dunk.

I had a lovely little oil burning lantern given to me by my wife three boats ago. There’s been a lot of water under the keel since then. This was before there was a house. This was years before there were children. That copper lantern was hung on the stern rail of my last boat and served me well. It provided a lovely warm glow…suitable for a snug reading session in the cabin below or for a relaxed round of late night drinks, on deck, at a quiet anchorageĀ under the stars. I really loved that last little lantern. It connected me to all the floating islands of my past

One day, under a fresh breeze, heeled over somewhere in the channel between Bowen and Gambier islands, the strap that held the lantern to the stern rail let go. I was there when it snapped and it happened so fast I couldn’t grab for it. So I just stood there and watched helplessly as the lantern splashed into the wake and sank….just like Leonardo DiCaprio at the end of the movie ‘Titanic’. Only quicker. Gone. To the bottom of Howe Sound. My heart sank a little bit too.

A last glimpse of the last lantern.

A last glimpse of the last lantern.

Now I have a new lantern….all the way from a speciality manufacturer in Vermont. It needs to have its wick trimmed, oil reservoir filled and it needs to swing freely to throw that lovely warm light around a convivial cabin. This is now a lantern in urgent need of a vessel. Me too.


6 Responses to “Shine a Little Light”

  1. Great post, Dave! Good luck with finding the boat that matches!

  2. Gail Carey Says:

    Yellow is definitely your colour Dave! Wow…what a beautiful lantern. Looks like you have some serious vessel searching to do. I hope you find the right boat so you can hang your new light and watch it’s special glow.

    take care,

  3. Good luck in finding the right vessel for your lantern.

  4. Hello Dave, Happy New Year – we have what my husband calls a “working boat” – it is not pretty but it has been our home on the water during the day when out fishing on Lake St Clair – there are gadgets for GPS and water depth, however, no lantern – we have flashlights and other mandatory equipment for when we get pulled over by the Conservation & OPP Water Patrol inspections, which happens whenever I happen to have a walleye or muskie on my line – at this time of the year I am hankering for the feel of the water – I can almost feel it now as I write – I’ll be going to Lake St Clair to walk on the water before it thaws hopefully and this summer I promise myself that I will make sure to go to the sand dune in the middle of the lake – everyone anchors there and because it is so shallow, people are playing & walking around like they would be at the shore – here is your official invitation to join us there this summer, with your new boat – or how about Pottahawk? – Pottahawk is not my style anymore, but if you say you’re interested, let’s all go – these thoughts are not even close to the beautiful lantern from Vermont as an inspiration, but can’t you just feel the water, with all of this talk? – maybe Relic’s old boat is for sale – all you would have to do is to drag it to the bay – nice to hear from you Dave and all the best for you & yours in 2014!

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Karen.
      I have very fond memories of the Great Lakes…having grown up in Southern Ontario, attended summer camps and spent every August at a Grand Bend cottage. When I was working at CKCO-TV in Kitchener a bunch of us boys would go muskie fishing with a charter on Lake St. Clair and we had a ball!
      West Coasters think that the Great Lakes are one giant cesspool. People say to me, ‘Can you really swim in those?’.
      That’s why I love to go to the Okaganan Valley…because I still like the feeling of being in a big body of ‘fresh’ water.
      Have a Happy News Year, too.

  5. Thank you Dave for the chuckle on West Coasters’ opinion, too funny! – my Dad used to work for a large corporate company and he was transferred from Toronto to Edmonton, back in the late 60’s – we used to go fishing every summer in the mountains somehwhere or other and I remember the fish were so abundant that we didn’t need bait on our hooks – we had fresh brook trout for our whole vacation, fresh out of the lake and into the camp fire – the water was so clean and cold, tumbling down from the high mountain tops – oh, the memories! – I go swimming in St Clair, way out in the middle around those dunes – it is awesome, watch out for the muskies, so big, they must be related to Moby!

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