Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Monday, 26 February 2018

A Canadian Dream

100 years ago I dreamed of building a cedar strip canoe or kayak. I bought a book, poured over plans and it was like a balm to my soul - when the brown stuff hit the fan I would fantasize about a canoe trip or a paddle on some pristine lake in the foothills with only the wind and the water, maybe some gulls - in a boat I had made with my own hands. I think there's a lot of Canadians with similar dreams - maybe a cabin at the lake, or a rec property somewhere remote and far away from it all. I can see a canoe like this fitting into something like that real good.

They are not overly difficult or expensive, it comes down to how much time you have to put into it and how well you take to the skills required. In my research I found that some builders were so good at it, people would commission them to build boats the same way the tofts used to commission painters and artists. I suppose they are works of art, some of 'em. No doubt about it though, wood boats have soul.

I had to give it up, I don't have a big enough work shop, I have too many other hobbies and things I want to do, and then there was that whole life and family thing to consider. It's just as well given the realities: The yuppies, the developers, the drunks, and the teens own the lakes now, and every summer they take to them in droves - and a peaceful paddle where one can commune with nature and explore his soul are pretty much a pipe dream. Maybe it used to be that these boats could help you 'get away from it all' but now there is no real place to go unless you are willing to travel to the ends of the earth to get away from the hordes.

Fortunately there are any number of other ways to keep the soul satisfied and the hands busy.


  1. I think you would do better with a gunboat, something with bulletproof sides and gun ports.

  2. Come to visit Eastern N.C., there are waterways, river creeks, and bays where getting away the crowd is easy. Getting lost back in some of those cypress swamps is easy too, but that's another tale.