Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

* Willard – hermit of Gully Lake (3) a new video

There’s a new video in homage to Willard Kitchener Macdonald, the hermit of Gully Lake in Nova Scotia, Canada.  The four minute video features photos of Willard in his cabin, some stock photos of nature, and a few tantalizing news clippings and photos about his cabin being destroyed in a blaze.  However, the main feature of the video is the country song paying tribute to this man who took to the woods rather than fight in the Second World War.

Willard, who was born in Massachusetts in 1916,  died in 2004, after living 60 years in the wilderness.  Only a year before his death, his makeshift hut and all of the belongings  — including books, his various writings, a homemade guitar, and a rifle — were destroyed in a forest fire. With reluctance, Willard subsequently moved into a cabin built for him by Colchester County using aggregated pension funds.

In 2003, after some of his friends went to get medical help against his will, Kitchener fled back to the woods, apparently to evade treatment or placement in a retirement home. His remains were found on June 27, 2004, by a search party of over 100 volunteers.

There’s now a proposal to create the Gully Lake Wilderness Area which would protect the lands he inhabited.

A strange and remarkable man. Though few of us might envy him, the way he lived his life at least show all of us that choices are possible; that working for a corporation all our lives, buying a property to fill it with stuff is only one choice among.

Watch video:  Homage to Willard, hermit of Gully Lake

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2010 by in Hermits, Hermits & Solitude, Videos and tagged , .
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