Category Archives: Maritime Museum

Whirlwind Victoria Classic

Over at Dorothy HQ, we are all about classic boats: wooden boats… mainly sailboats, with some love for beautifully designed powerboats too. Appropriately enough, after our adventures at the Classic Boat festival in Victoria, B.C. last weekend, this post is being written aboard a classic boat tucked away in Friday Harbour: the Messenger III, a medical missionary boat built in 1946. It is fantastic.

Just want to interject a hearty Welcome! to all the new friends and Dorothy fans who have joined us since this adventure began. And just in time too, because we have some wonderful images from the festival to share.

It was such a pleasure to meet you, to hear your interest in the Dorothy story, and see you walk away with a smile and occasionally, a t-shirt from our little stand. And a HUGE, big thank you to Harry Martin, Terese Ayre, Laura Simons, Fred Apstein, Misha Warbanski and Arlene Carson who helped man the stand, carry gear/hold the boom/get release forms signed, etc. Thank you so much. We can’t do this without helpers like you!

Before we head to our next adventure at the 2013 Wooden Boat Festival, where Tony Grove (shipwright) and I (Tobi, filmmaker) will be speaking about Dorothy‘s history and present-day restoration, let me introduce two other wonderful people that Dorothy has brought our way: Clay Evans, procurer of fine beverages and artisan cheese Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue, author of “Rescue at sea” and all-around stand up guy, and Bill Noon, war correspondent Canadian Coast Guard Commanding Officer, Captain of many ships and in particular, of Messenger III. Together, we make up a merry band that is slowly making its way down to Port Townsend.

Brief recap of the Victoria Classic: lots of filming went from sunrise to sunset, lots of T-shirts were sold (almost $1,000 raised! THANK YOU Pacific Northwest Boaters!) and we captured some great interviews, but time is short so I’ll let the images take it away. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Tony Grove. (Check out the ones he took from atop HMCS Oriole’s spreaders!)

Love, Tobi

All hands on deck for Victoria Classic boat festival next weekend!

Happy Sunday from Dorothy HQ!

Dorothysails postcard back small

Do you love classic boats, want to spend all day in the sun on Labour Day weekend ogling them, or would simply be happy to help out the Dorothy Documentary and restoration crew?

If you answered yes to any of those questions are are willing to lend a hand, we definitely could use it! We need about 8 people to fill a couple of shifts at the Classic Boat festival grounds in the Inner Harbour Aug 30th, 31st and Sept 1.

The work is fairly simple, and will win you a Dorothy t-shirt, a pint or glass of wine (or two), and our eternal gratitude!

There are two locations we need to cover: at Ship’s Point we will be set up under a tent selling Dorothysails T-shirts, handing out postcards (see top of page), and collecting emails to draw for a print of Tony Grove’s (see image below).

Second position is at liberty, you would be walking around the festival, chatting with people about the Dorothy doc, handing out postcards and collecting emails.

Sid Skiff, by Tony Grove

If you live in Victoria or the area it would be ideal, but I can also provide transport down on Thursday, providing you can get a place to stay. I may be able to help with that as well. We will meet at a pub Thursday evening to hammer out details.

As our crew (Kate and Tobi) are doing a number of interviews and wanting to capture the excitement of Wooden boat culture, we can’t be everywhere at once, so would love to have your help!

This is, after all, a documentary made by community. Thank you!

Love, Tobi

Dorothy Exploratory Part II: the Verdict

In early January, trustees John West and Eric Waal from the Maritime Museum of B.C. arrived on Gabriola to discuss Tony Grove’s discoveries regarding Dorothy. Tony had conducted an exploratory in late December which revealed the cause and extent of the century-old boat’s issues, and the trustees were about to hear the verdict, and to deliver their own about the next steps for the restoration.

John West and Eric Waal, trustees for the MMBC - photo by Tony Grove

As representatives of Dorothy‘s owner and ultimate caretaker, the Museum, and as those who know the most about her file, West and Waal will be significant voices in the documentary BETWEEN WOOD AND WATER. (I call them “the Bulldog” and “the Greyhound”.) It was Eric (above, at right) who first voiced concern over the fact that Dorothy‘s legacy fund was being depleted by storage fees, and doggedly set about bringing attention to her future. He convinced West (at left) to return to the board and between the two of them they have developed a strategy to get the old girl back into the water.

MMBC Trustees examine Dorothy with Tony G- photo by Emily Grove

That strategy happily led to her being trucked to Tony Grove’s Gabriola island shop, and allowed this documentary team to jump into the mix. (Dorothy‘s restoration – a compelling storyline that could be followed in real time – combined with her launch at the 2013 Victoria Classic Boat festival, which gives her story a suitably dramatic ending, proved an irresistible combination to this producer!)

Exploratory-Tony and Dorothy-Dec18-12-Tobi ElliottOn December 20th we documented Tony removing Dorothy‘s garboards, as written up in this previous post. So what conclusion did he draw about her condition? Is she doomed beyond repair or can she be saved without too much effort? You can read Tony’s summary in his own words at his blog post here. To keep this short I will quote his ultimate recommendation to the Museum:

“I basically had two suggestions: the first, and the cheapest, would be to put Dorothy back together with some new wood and floors and some deliberate caulking below the waterline; the second is to wood the hull, reef all the seams, repair any planking or damage, refasten where possible and re-caulk her whole hull.

The first option would allow her to sail away safely, but is not addressing her age-born ailments and she would have to be redone again possibly in a few years, or at least have ongoing heavy maintenance. The second option, which I feel is the best for her and which John and Eric prefer as well, is wood the hull (strip of all hull paint), reef all the seams, repair any planking or damage, refasten were possible and re-caulk her whole hull. At the same time we should strongly support the stem and stern to help minimize hogging, and in the end when all put back together possibly help correct any hogging which has occurred over time.” – Tony Grove

And so it was decided that the old girl will undergo an extensive restoration  – as extensive as the Museum can raise the funds for – this coming spring and summer. Tony estimates it will take approximately double the number work hours that was originally anticipated, but since it will have to be done at some point in her near future, both West and Waal decided that it might as well be done now. As the saying goes… no use putting off til tomorrow what can be done today.

For the purposes of the film, we continue to document critical points but won’t start principal photography until mid-March, when Tony actually begins her restoration. We continue to look for a broadcasting partner for the story and have some interesting possibilities, but no confirmed partners yet. Still, we believe that Dorothy is such an intriguing way to explore B.C.’s coastal history that her story will find a way to an audience, somehow. She has waited a long time for her moment to shine, and you can be sure we will be there to capture it!

Kate Bradford filming inside Dorothy Jan 2-13-photo by Emily Grove

Kate Bradford filming trustees John West and Eric Waal, along with Tony Grove, from Dorothy’s bow. Photo by Emily Grove.

News about Dorothy

This is where we’ll update you week by week with new photos and behind-the-scenes bits as Tony begins the exploratory process on Dorothy.

Stay tuned!