"Beaching" my canoe

Hi I’m Hanna, Leonard’s wife. He has been an avid canoeist for many years, even taking on the Mississippi twice. He is now terminally ill and has had to permanently “beach” his canoe.I would like to know whether there is a term used to indicate that he has pulled his canoe ashore and turned it upside down for storage. It is very important to me to get the proper term for it, because I have written a poem to go along with a picture of this event. I just don’t want to sound silly using the wrong terminology. Can anyone help me out?

Hi Hanna
As a long time canoe paddler I have been racking my brains trying to think of a term(s)that might help you, and the only thing I can come up with is like they do with the navy ships when they are taken out of service for good.

That is “put in mothballs”

Hopefully some one can come up with something a little more appropriate for a “retired canoe” (hey, that might work !)

My heart goes out to both of you

Jack L


– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 7:00 PM EST –

Beaching could mean temporary, as in a stop for lunch. "Permanently beaching" or "the final beachig" could work I guess.

"Taking out" has a more permanent connotation, you are done for the trip. Perhaps "The final takeout".

I don’t think the word matters as much as how you use it to get your point across. Retired, hung the paddle up for good, permanently docked, seen his last voyage, canoe will no longer see water, etc.

not to make light of the situation or
hijack but to many that have passed on, their canoe is part of them,

Some are interred in them, some set them on fire and some pass them on to others and in a sense pass their love of canoeing along that way to younger generations.

Not knowing how your family feels, I just hope the beaching is temporary.

Best wishes to you both
Perhaps the word “cache” is what you’re looking for. I believe that’s the word used for a place where a canoe, food, tools, etc. might be concealed in the woods by trappers, prospectors, voyageurs, or others who might want to stash possessions while traveling away from the water.

a poignant request
We look forward to your sharing the poem, if you are so inclined.

In the meantime, in the words of Debbie Friedman,

Mi shebeirach avoteinu

M’kor habracha l’imoteinu

May the source of strength who blessed the ones before us,

Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing

And let us say: Amen.

Mi shebeirach imoteinu

M’kor habracha l’avoteinu

Bless those in need of healing with refuah sh’leimah

The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit

And let us say: Amen.

The term for formally retiring a ship from service is ‘decommission’, but that seems pretty unpoetic to me.

To ‘scuttle’ a vessel is to sink it intentionally, although not the sense you intend, I think.

Maybe you can something better here: http://www.seatalk.info/

mmmm… I like that personally
cache can mean waiting for the next user.

I just recalled where I heard that word used in this context… Sig Olson used it in one of the essays from his book “Listening Point”.

This is the excerpt I was reminded of but had momentarily forgotten:

“Paddles mean many things to those who know the hinterlands of the north. They are symbolic of a way of life and of the deep feelings of all voyageurs for the lake and river country they have known. Some time ago I received an envelope bordered in black, one of those old-fashioned conventional letters of mourning which today are no longer used. I glanced at the date and address, tried hard to remember from whom it might be. With hesitation and foreboding, I tore open the seal. Inside was a simple card edged in black and across the face of it the sketch of a broken paddle. In the lower corner was the name.

The significance of this death announcement struck me like a blow. The paddle was broken and my friend who had been with me down the wilderness lakes of the border regions on many trips had cached his outfit forever. That broken blade meant more than a thousand words of eulogy, said far more than words could ever convey. It told of the years that had gone into all of his expeditions, of campsites and waterways. In its simple tribute were the memories of the rushing thunder of rapids, the crash of waves against cliffs, of nights when the loons called madly and mornings when the wilds were sparkling with dew. It told of comradeship and meetings on the trail, of long talks in front of campfires and the smell of them, of pine and muskeg and the song of whitethroats and hermit thrushes at dusk.

I know now, thinking of the broken paddle and what it really meant, that if a man in the course of time can so identify himself with a way of life that when he goes it is not just another passing, then he has achieved a lasting place in the memory of his fellows, a bond they will cherish forever. The broken paddle was an insignia forged in the wilds, of loyalty not only of men to each other but devotion to lasting and eternal things.”

From “Listening Point” by Sigurd Olson



Stowed away
The two terms that come to mind are “stowed away” or dry dock.

Nothing that is written with love will be taken the wrong way. Beached evokes an image of a canoe pulled up on shore, tent, campfire, and sunset awaiting tomorrow’s adventure. I think it’s perfect.

my parents

– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 9:31 PM EST –

brought me to the drivein for the Vikings ...and related films. As an educational experiment: several ancestors were in Egyptian shipping.

I live on Florida where people retire and pass on. The place is filled with retirees passing on, military people looking for something to kill ( or not) and the brain dead.

There is a song, 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down' ( sung with the Beatles on Utube ! ) Is there a name for the literary concept ? I don't know.

But here there is an expression of having notice that time is limited. My mother's century Agave died then the lawn and sea grape leaves were left to dry and brown in great heaps against the house. In a New Jersey type neighborhood with vast plantings of tropical greenness.

and so with your canoe.

My Po, Poe Pathetic License

– Last Updated: Jun-15-15 7:48 AM EST –

The final voyage has been taken,
the vessel pulled ashore,
but heart floats on, be not mistaken,
this Raven shall never moor.

What's that? It's not a Raven, but a Shearwater! Dang, that's a tough one to rhyme!

What lays aground this tiny vessel,
is merely pause within ebb,
for the ocean of time returns in vast sweep,
we flow out on the infinite web.


A point of extreme importance…
I don’t have the term that you are looking for but I do have the term to inherit eternal life. The term is Born Again. PLEASE email me if you would like more information.

Direct answer
I am sorry for your troubles. There is no particular trade or hobbyist term commonly used to indicate that one has pulled the canoe ashore and turned it upside down for storage. There should be. I believe most canoe-trippers would say: “I have stowed [or secured, or maybe stashed] my canoe for the night.” At home, I would say: “I have racked the canoe.” Maybe that might help, I hope so.




I like “landbound” but “stowed” is a good second.

dictionary: restricted to the land or unable to enter the sea.

A different approach
Although one may be terminal, that doesn’t mean there will be no more canoeing. Many of us believe in a divine afterlife, and I for one certainly think it would be divine if that afterlife included canoeing. A Biblical person could even take comfort on this point from the second sentence of Genesis, which suggests that a watery deep was present before god created the universe.

On this approach, a word suggesting temporary stowage of the canoe would be more philosophically and poetically appropriate – something like “ashore until dawn”.