Some treasures are greater than others. Dan Blankenship’s life, or at least the latter part of it, was devoted to the hunt for one specific treasure, but in the process, he created a golden legacy of his own that isn’t so hard to find. The Curse of Oak Island isn’t much of a curse if it brings people together and binds them in a singular purpose. What, to some, may seem like insanity and obsession, can, in fact, be devotion and a life of adventure and excitement.
Before the Island
Dan wasn’t one dimensional. His friends and family will all tell you that while he was the iron core of their respective worlds, he was more than just a strong-willed treasure hunter. For those who didn’t know him, there was a time when Dan was just an average guy. He ran a contracting business out of Florida. He and his wife had normal, non-treasure-hunting friends. They did what normal people in Florida do, worked and lived a fairly typical life.
When the couple decided to relocate to Nova Scotia to hunt for a “cursed” treasure people, at least lots of them, reacted the way you might expect. They said it was crazy and they wondered what would possess a person to give up such a solid and normal life for something so odd and unlikely. However, some people were not built for a dull and ‘typical,’ life. Dan was one of those people. He traded his reputation and comfortable life for a life of mystery.
The Time He Almost Died
Dan never hesitated to dig in with every fiber of his being. He didn’t shy away from hard work. He was not afraid of taking risks when the cause was worthy. From the moment he arrived on Oak Island he gave his life unstintingly to the pursuit of his dream. He didn’t simply abandon people to go chase gold however, in fact, he always made time to talk to others who shared an interest in his dream. He understood that the true key to success is refusing to give up.
As fans saw so often on the show, Dan Blankenship was the foremost expert on the mysteries and stories of the island. He took time to share his wealth of knowledge with others. He was beloved for his stories and his willingness to help, share and spend his precious time with other people as easily and fully as he spent it on his goals. He was a singular individual, willing to give to anything or anyone he deemed worthy. His fearless drive was inspiring and he was truly dauntless. In 1976, forty-two years ago, he took the risk of going down Borehole 10X, an infamous and dangerous venture which nearly took his life. It didn’t quash his desire to continue down his chosen path.
It takes a very special person to face fear. More so when you face something so dangerous and almost die as a result. Most people would have thrown in the towel then. Not Dan. He knew that he was meant to be part of the legacy of the island. His certainty was, in the end, the thing that cemented his place as an eternal part of the legends of Oak Island. Truthfully, 95 years of life is a respectable run for someone who takes no risks at all. For someone like Dan, a hundred and ninety-five years would still seem too few. The huge number of tributes that come pouring in to honor such a man are their own hidden wealth.
Those who find it sad that Dan Blankenship died without finding his long sought after treasure are missing the point. He lived well and fully. Every day for decades he woke with a sense of purpose and got out of bed with intention. He strove to find something tangible, but he already had the intangible part of life many seek and never find well within his grasp. He was a man of passion and drive, and if he was monofocal, it was because his goal was intriguing and entertaining and provided everything in life most people lack. Surely his family, his friends and those who share his obsession feel enriched by having lived so close to someone as peerless and amazing as Dan Blankenship.