Tag Archives: photography

Victoria Classic Boat Festival Memories

TEAL stern

It’s been a month since boat show season ended in the Pacific Northwest. Some of you are hopefully still on the water, while others are buttoning down for the winter.

Wait, did I say winter? It can’t be! Forget that – it’s still glorious fall in the PNW! You still time to get out on the water if, like me, your boat is waiting for you but you only put the sails up … once… and haven’t actually gone sailing yet. (My excuses are pitiful. Believe me, I know I do a disservice to anyone who lives in the prairies when I let a whole summer go by without sailing. If there’s one thing DOROTHY has taught me, it’s that experiencing life with a boat is better than without!)

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So let’s think of kinder, warmer things, like boat shows! We had a fantastic time at this year’s Victoria Classic Boat Festival, the 40th annual. While nothing could make up for the absence of John West, a key founder and integral, energetic part of the festival over its four decades, the sun shone bright on the docks full of beautiful boats and interested visitors.

It was the first year the Maritime Museum of B.C. took the helm and led the organization and programming, and they did an admirable job running the show. Congratulations!

DOROTHY was on hand in spirit, if not in physical form. As it was her 120th anniversary, we celebrated with cake in the hall of the MMBC, and a hearty Happy Birthday.

To make sure she was present “on the docks”, we hosted a table Saturday and Sunday with promotional materials, photographs and new 2018 calendars and anniversary T-shirts for sale. I was delighted that former owner Angus Matthews was able to join me on Sunday to chat with people on the docks.

It was interesting to hear the response when we asked people whether they had heard of “Canada’s oldest sailboat”. Most said, no, but were intrigued. Then we’d ask where they were from and roughly half the time, they were from Victoria! I realized there are two distinct groups in this small but passionate boat community: those who have been following the Dorothy adventure closely, and those who don’t know anything about her story at all.

I feel we have a lot of work to do in getting the Dorothy story out there. If you want to help with our mission of keeping her memory alive while the committee continues to raise funds for the rest of the restoration, you can help! We still have 2018 Anniversary Calendars for sale, with images ranging from the MMBC archives, her sailing in the 1920s-40s and 1980s, contemporary photos in Tony Grove’s shop, and even an exclusive shot of her from the Langley family that has never before been released to the public.

Or, get our NEW T-shirt (Maroon and Heather Grey) with her anniversary dates 1897-2017. Send one to your friends, family members, or enemies, and tell them the story of DOROTHY. Or get an art card for Christmas mailouts, we have 6 different beautiful art cards. Email me at dorothysails@gmail.com for prices and orders. Christmas is just around the corner!

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After costs, proceeds are split between the restoration fund and the documentary, Between Wood and Water.

For our Victoria boat show round up, the best thing from my perspective was the raft of forestry boats and workboats, most from British Columbia but a few from down south. I love their stories.

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I was intrigued to find out that restored B.C. forestry boats outnumber U.S. boats about three to one. One notable exception is the 90-year old TEAL (image up top) which has a rich history patrolling the Alaskan coast and is now docked at Friday Harbor, WA. She won Best Conversion.

It seemed like there were less sailboats than usual – perhaps because ORIOLE and MARTHA were missing (and perhaps it’s my biased eyes that want to see sailboats everywhere!) – but there were an amazing representation of all kinds of classic boats to grace the docks.

Here were some of the awards handed out:

  • Best Restored Power: the 1963 FLYING EAGLE, a Maine Lobsterboat that travelled to the west coast and was authentically restored by Rick Strollo;
  • Best Restored Sailboat: ISOBAR, with TEAKBIRD getting Honorable Mention (restored by our friends at Abernathy and Gaudin);
  • Oldest Powerboat: 1917 OCEAN BELLE;
  • Oldest Sailboat: 1922 LOON (which was also built by J.J. Robinson, DOROTHY’s builder);
  • Best Overall Powerboat: DEERLEAP;
  • Best Overall Sailboat: PACIFIC GRACE.

The second best thing about the festival was hanging out with our friends Eric and Steve from OFFCENTERHARBOR.com. They were doing double duty as boat oglers and storytellers, getting some juicy bits on their favourite boats in the PNW. We love OCH videos, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you should definitely subscribe because they feature not only the hottest boats, but the best stories on people making and restoring them.

Look for them to feature PACIFIC, MESSENGER III and STITCH – all workboats of some kind – in the coming weeks.

So that’s it for our boat show season – how was yours? Did you participate? Drop us a line or write a comment if you have a story to tell. Because after all, next to an insane desire to drop 1000s of dollars on our beloved vessels, the stories we get to tell about them is the next best reason to own them, right?

If you have friends, neighbours or family members that don’t know about Canada’s oldest functioning, Canadian-made sailboat, consider giving them a Dorothy-related gift this year and helping us spread the word.

Thank you Friends! And happy sailing!

Tobi

 

Dorothy through your eyes

Photography by Byron Robb

Dorothy is not only a fast-sailing little yacht, she also happens to be very pretty boat with a striking design, both structurally and sculpturally beautiful. Many of you have said in interviews about Dorothy that they believe her beauty is part of the reason she has survived so long.

Dorothy-41-John Poirier

photo: John Poirier

So Tony and I have not been entirely surprised by the number of photographers passing through these shop doors over the past year – both professional and amateur – eager to capture the essence of Dorothy. Most of them start by walking around her in slight awe, eyes alight as they slowly pull out their cameras and begin to frame some of the hundreds of images that have by now been taken of her.

Dorothy is the ultimate photography subject – both for boat aficionados, and for those who simply love beautiful shapes. Even though her insides are bared, and the light around her ranges from soft daylight from the upper windows of Tony’s shop, to harsh fluorescents to neutral spotlights, she takes it all in with grace.

The challenge of “shooting Dorothy” lies not so much in which angle to capture, but which image best expresses her. Is it her magnificent, 6-foot fan-tailed stern, as Calgary-based photographer Byron Robb captured in the image at the top of this post?

Or her slender bow with sanded cedar planks on display, as noted Gabriola photographer John Poirier captured below?

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Or is it the grain and wear of her old-growth Pacific forest timbers, which captivated David Andrews?

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Another Gabriolan photographer, Bill Pope, stunned us with his generous series of HDR photographs, which can be seen on his Flickr set “Dorothy restoration”. There are too many images to post here so I encourage you to take a look. Here are two of my favourites:

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Some of the very best photographs from our visiting artists will be on display at Victoria’s 37th Classic Boat Festival, which runs next weekend, August 29th through the 31st. A few images that were donated by the artist will be available for purchase at the silent auction on Friday night, proceeds from which go toward the Maritime Museum of B.C. (which is undertaking Dorothy’s restoration).

In other news, what has been holding up Dorothy‘s restoration? Well, as most of you likely know by now know, the MMBC had decided last spring not to re-launch Dorothy this year as originally planned. They are dedicated to doing the job right – which necessitates raising more money than they have right now, which is only enough to make her structurally sound – by having her topsides and cabin restored as well.

They are also coming up with a strategic plan as to what should be done with Dorothy once she’s back in the water. It will require more than simply moorage at a location where she can be seen and appreciated to advantage. She will also need a team of dedicated volunteers who know and understand the care required of wooden boats, and people who will take her out sailing!

So if you are interested in speaking to someone about the legacy fund for Dorothy’s continued care and restoration, or to be numbered on the team of volunteers as a “Friend of Dorothy”, please contact either John West (director and trustee for the MMBC) at john <at> johnwest <dot> ca or Angus Matthews (former owner) at angus <at> angusmatthews <dot> com.

Tony Grove has not been idle when not working on Dorothy. He recently completed a lovely 15-foot Passagemaker “take-apart” sailing dinghy for a client, from Chesapeake Light Craft plans. He left just yesterday for the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival in Aja, his newly acquired strip-plank 34-foot Atkins schooner, towing the brand new little sailboat. They made it safely across, and both Aja and the Passagemaker will be in the festival.

So, here’s to festivals and photographers, beautiful wooden boats, and to all with eyes for lovely lines and beautiful shapes!

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival next weekend.

Cheers, Tobi and Tony

Last call for Tees, “Sniffer Sisters” and…Merry Christmas everyone!

Hello!

It’s that crazy and wonderful time of year again! Like you, I’ve been busy!! – happily sending off perks and gifts since the campaign ended, organizing finances, sorting presents, zipping around Gabriola visiting my talented artist friends… but I also got to do some more filming as Tony Grove and a few good friends reefed Dorothy‘s seams & removed chainplates in late November, which was satisfying. Good to get back to work!

And last week I was able shoot something I’ve never done: an artist at work. Oh it was fun, but I tell you, I thought keeping up with “Tony the boatbuilder” was a challenge, but “Tony the painter” is equally an experience!

Tony has to work fast to avoid paint drying before he can blend it, and he was quite often finished a section just as I was finally set up, framed right and focussed. So… now I’m set, ready to shoot him painting. But THEN he would stand back for 5 minutes and contemplate. Sigh. Re-frame, capture and… he’s moving again. Ahhhhhh….. Seriously hard work. But it’s worth it because this wonderful painting he’s working on will figure in our film (“Between Wood and Water”) as we discover Dorothy in a new way – through the eyes of a marine artist. Isn’t it beautiful?

Tony painting Dorothy-background complete

Tony painting Dorothy background2    Tony painting Dorothy-background 1

Next week I’ll post some updated shots of his Dorothy painting, once Tony’s satisfied with it and happy to release it into the world.  (Special thanks to the donor from Cowichan Bay who contributed $1,000 to the film for a print of this lovely painting – we are sure you’re going to love it!)

10 days left til Christmas Eve… are you feeling as unprepared as I am? Or are you one of those who is eagerly ready by Dec 1, with that contented feeling that your Christmas Cake is well soaked in rum, your presents are wrapped, and you have already picked out the Gift Crackers to put on everyone’s plate? Wait – I don’t know anyone like that, so don’t feel bad if you are still running around. It’s that crazy, wonderful time of year!

However, if you’re strapped for time and still need some gifts, Dorothy and I are here to the rescue! We have some wonderful perks left over from the campaign, and if you get your order in before Dec 16 I can get it to you in time for Christmas:

Dorothy Tee-shirts – a bargain at $30 ea. (incl. shipping within Canada), or $25 each locally (Gabriola Island)

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Sizes available:
Sapphire (top left) in kids sizes, and Men’s Sm and Med
Indigo (top right): Men’s Sm and Med, an XL or 2
Blue Dusk (bottom left): Men’s Med and XL
Navy (bottom right) – LOTS of Men’s sizes: Sm, Med, L and XL
and some Women’s Sm, Med and XL (sorry no Large left)


hand-screenprinted “Dorothy and the Grey Whale” Tees by local artist Kate Wood: $35 (incl shipping) or $30 locally. (Note, Men’s coral not available, I believe we have a pale Blue instead)

Kate's Dorothy and Grey Whale tees

a wonderful kids book “The Sniffer Sisters and the Mystery of the Magic Collars” donated by Gabriolan Jeffrey James (based on his real-life Labradors Oli and Madi)

This is a GREAT book for readers age 7-9, or adults! Anyone who loves dogs will love this… I laughed aloud reading it, and the illustrations (by Kerry Bell) are simply beautiful. 2 available: $20 each (incl shipping within Canada)

If you need more, you can order from Jeffrey’s website www.sniffersisters.com and support a local artist!

Sniffer Sisters Cover-Jeffrey James  Sniffer Sisters Illustration1-Jeffrey James

Sniffer Sisters Text-by Jeffrey James

And finally, one big-ticket item left that was not claimed during the campaign: a framed archivally framed giclee print, by renowned nature photographer John Poirier“Gabriola Island Forest Details No. 20” (11 x 16 inches in a 16 x 20 frame). 1 available for $150 (plus shipping)

Gabriola Island Forest Details Number 20

Thank you so much for your support everyone, and happy shopping, sailing, or cozying up by the fire!