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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Living On A Canoe
Dan Friendly
May 13, 2009
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He was going to write about his travels, he said, but as a Jobian Flair Librarian, that would involve some effort to cloak his identity.

“Mozart, Bach and Beethoven… all of those people are Jobian Flair Librarians. Unfortunately, a Jobian Flair Librarian has a reputation for being famous before they’re born cos they know what’s coming. What’s coming is tremendous success…”

“Every single Jobian Flair Librarian is in all probability a famous individual, and if they’re a famous individual, they cannot be listed as a Jobian Flair Librarian. It’s just like writing a book. When you write a book you have to use a pen name, otherwise you can’t show your name around here because you get too famous. You see what I mean?”

“It’s why I wear camouflage,” he said, gesturing to his hat and clothing. His camo pants carried an additional level of patterning from where salt water had dried.

Getting bike off the canoe for a ride in town..

Gingerly, given what he had said about pen names, a question was posed. “What’s your name?”

“Dan,” he said.

“Do you have a last name?” He paused for a beat or two, taking more time to respond than he had to the other questions, and finally said, “Friendly.”

“Is that a pen name?”

In responding to that question, he again mentioned the Jobian Flair Librarians who he said, read all the books in their collections and then compiled them in to one book —- the Jobian Flair Handbook. The handbooks were not widely available to the general public. The few handbooks that did exist, he said, were on military bases. But he added, they were often defaced.

He offered a reason why. They are vandalized, he said, because of what they are: “a collection of the world’s best books. The Jobian Flair Handbook has the highest IQ of any book.”

“A book has an IQ?”

He answered that you can “calculate a book’s IQ based on the words used within it.” Take for example, the word “friendly” — which he was using as his surname. If a person is “friendly,” he said, he has lots of friends and therefore don’t waste energy on war. As such, he said, the word “friendly” appears often in the Jobian Flair Handbook. So, do other words, such as “very, very friendly.”

Showing the LIttle Mermaid sail on the canoe.

And in a friendly manner, he agreed to some photos. (“I don’t mind,” he said when asked if photos could be taken. “You know, knowledge is for everyone.” ) He showed how his plywood bed goes in to place. He hoisted the sail that revealed itself to be a hand-sewn “Little Mermaid” sheet.

“I just made it out of a bed sheet. It’s an experiment here.” Since it’s a canoe, he said, “It’s too tippy for more than a jib. I can’t use it unless I go down wind. Canoes don’t have a centerboard and get blown sideways too much.”

With all that gear on board, had he ever tipped it all over?

“I’m very careful,” he said. “Boating takes a little bit of practice because if you gain experience with the way boats are tippy, you tend to remember not to move around a lot. You have to very much keep your balance all the time.”

Dan Friendly on his canoe in the anchorage, settling in for the night.

He said he had no money and wanted to fish but hadn’t done so yet as a way of feeding himself. He had a plastic container in which he stored fishing lures he’d found on his trip. A visiting sailor, who says Dan told him he had come from Bermuda, gave him a fishing rod.

While the details of his boat were sparse, and those of his trip so far, even sparser, he talked with great enthusiasm for half an hour. He recommended books by Carlos Castaneda. He referenced Castaneda’s book on dreams and described how he would eventually write about his travels on the canoe; when the trip ended, he said that he would at first focus not on writing, but on dreaming.

The canoe in the anchorage.

“When a Librarian writes a book,” Dan said, “there’s no work involved. Writing is done from the vantage point of dreams because dreams are not an expression of work; they are just natural. So what a Jobian Flair Librarian tries to do is save their intellect so that they begin to dream.”

“I’ll go back and I’ll rest for a long period of time til I have enough energy that I begin to dream and when I dream I just wait and see what kind of dreams happen about this particular adventure.”


Later in the day, as the sun was setting, Dan Friendly and his canoe were out in the anchorage. The plywood bed was deployed, and the back of his neck rested against the mast. That is where we saw him last, preparing to sleep.. and perchance, to dream….

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Posted Wednesday May 13, 2009 by Melinda Penkava