Digest>Archives> June 2006

High Seas Force Regent of Boon Island to Commandeer White Island

By By Bob Trapani, Jr.


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Boon Island Lighthouse.
Photo by: Kathleen Finnegan

This past April the Regent of Boon Island announced that a casino would be developed alongside the Boon Island Lighthouse off the coast of Maine. With members of Boon Island Security by his side, the Regent boldly set out aboard the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company’s flagship Thomas V. Laighton with over 130 Republic of Boon Island supporters down the Piscataqua River that borders the states of Maine and New Hampshire.

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White Island Lighthouse.
Photo by: Jeremy D'Entremont

The cruise departed Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the face of stiff winds blowing 20 to 25 knots and seas running 5 to 7 feet in the vicinity of Boon Island. As expected, the Regent’s plans for a casino at Boon Island were quite elaborate in keeping with the Republic of Boon Island’s renegade nature since declaring its independence from the United States in 2003. According to the Regent of Boon Island, “The Consortium’s unveiling calls for a 21-story complex that will house a full casino, high-end retail stores and quality restaurant dining with amazing 240 hotel rooms.”

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The Regent of Boon Island (in the light blue) ...
Photo by: Ann Trapani

The Regent went on to say, “In order to indulge guests, a new pier will be built that will accommodate ferry boats such as those of the Portsmouth-based Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. Our extravagant plans also call for a number of smaller docking facilities for yachts and pleasure boats to be built, as well as two helicopter pads on top of the casino.” Radical plans for such a massive complex on Boon Island were sure to alter both history and the seascape off Kittery and York, Maine, but the Regent was undaunted. Ever since the present Boon Island Lighthouse was first lit on January 1, 1855, the 133-foot granite tower was the lone “skyscraper” to rise up from the bleak rocky ledge.

As the Thomas V. Laighton plied past the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse at the entrance to the Piscataqua River, the force of the winds became more evident. Though the afternoon sun was dancing in and out of the clouds, the agitated seas were intent on ensuring an adventure for the Boon Islanders. Once past Whaleback Lighthouse, a little further beyond the mouth of the river, long rolling swells caused cruise patrons to become more mindful of their footing. Decision time had arrived.

The captain of the Thomas V. Laighton first consulted with the Regent of Boon Island, informing him that a voyage to the Boon Island Lighthouse would be an iffy proposition that risked a few folks possibly getting seasick out in the rougher Atlantic waters given the marine conditions. After further consultation with Boon Island Security and the American Lighthouse Foundation board of directors aboard the vessel, the Regent, with the powers vested unto him by the corrupt Republic of Boon Island, gave an order to abort plans to visit the barren, sea-swept ledge and instead sail for the Isles of Shoals some six miles away where he would authorize the “commandeering” of White Island and its lighthouse.

Despite the sudden change of plans on the high seas for safety’s sake, the Regent and supporters of the Republic of Boon Island made the most of a fun day by getting a closeup view of the recently restored White Island Lighthouse, which was made possible by the incredible efforts of The Lighthouse Kids, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

When asked of the timetable for the casino to be built, the Regent of Boon Island responded, saying, “I expect it to open by April 1, 2007 or even as late as April 1, 2008.” He continued by saying, “Isn’t April Fools Day great!”

The Republic of Boon Island might be a lot of fun but there is a very serious side to the concept. Tim Harrison, who masquerades as the Regent of Boon Island, touches on this, saying, “Although the casino idea is meant to be in good clean fun, it was done to help create an interest in the serious nature for the fundraising needs of the American Lighthouse Foundation’s preservation and education efforts to help save lighthouses and the history and artifacts associated with them for future generations.”

To learn more about the American Lighthouse Foundation’s Republic of Boon Island fundraising initiative, visit: www.LighthouseFoundation.org.

This story appeared in the June 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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