Hi Thelma and Randy,
The recent warming weather reminded to write this letter to you. Although I love
winter, about this time when the days get a bit longer, the thoughts of blue lakes
and rocky shores start to come to mind, and this year, getting my Fletcher's Fancy
back in the water. Since I picked up my canoe from you last spring and started paddling
it, I have received lots of comments and questions about it. They were often about
the beauty and flawless craftsmanship (craftswomanship?) that your canoes are well
known for or wondering how it paddled and handled. But sometimes I was asked another
question - "Is it practical?"
That's a bit more difficult question to answer - what makes a boat practical? I've
owned and used lots of canoes ranging from lightweight, fast Kevlar to rugged, indestructible
plastic. Although the Fletcher could do anything I asked of it, if I was mostly concerned
about traveling fast over lakes with long portages between them, the long, lean Kevlar
might be considered more efficient. Dragging a canoe over beaver dams and through
shallow rocky narrows might mean the more durable Royalex would be a better choice.
But most times I go out, whether I'm saying I'm going fishing, camping or for an
evening paddle, what I'm really trying to do is to connect with nature. And no other
canoe I've paddled allows me to do that better than the Fletcher. Part is the feel
of it in the water - no other canoe flows through the water and feels as connected
with its environment. Part of it is aesthetic - the soft glow of the wood and canvas
reflecting the setting sun blends in perfectly with the rocks and pines of the shore.
Part of it is the material - the canoe is literally made from the surrounding woods.
When it comes to connecting with the natural world around me, no canoe is more practical
than my Fletcher.
In the past, I've considered the canoe as a favourite means of accessing our lakes
and rivers. This year with the Fletcher, I have a canoe that is more than just a
vehicle but is part of that vision of blue waters, rocky shores and towering pines.
Thanks again for building such a wonderful craft.