Tag Archives: Maritime Museum of BC

New Video Trailer Featuring Dorothy’s Previous Owners

We have put together a new trailer for Between Wood and Water that features the voices of some of Dorothy’s previous owners and people close to her story. As I re-listen to those powerful interviews we recorded back in 2013, it brings it all back to me why people are so passionately attached to this lovely, speedy little yacht.

For them, she is as alive today as she ever was. Have a look: vimeo.com/244140539

Also, don’t miss out on the chance to get the special Dorothy 120th Anniversary Edition T-shirts, Art Cards and 2018 Calendars. Purchase info through this page: https://dorothysails.com/merchandise. If you can’t figure out how to work the Paypal (lots of people have had issues with it), contact me at dorothysails@gmail.com and we’ll work something out.

I’m particularly pleased with how the calendars turned out. This limited-edition run features an image from the Langley family that’s never been released to the public before, archival images from the Maritime Museum of B.C., and shots from the restoration in Tony’s shop on Gabriola. It’ll be a treasure for years to come!

T-shirts: $25  – Art Cards $5 – Calendars $20 (+ shipping)

If you’re on Gabriola, contact me directly and we can arrange for pickup or a drop off. After costs, proceeds go toward the restoration fund and editing costs for the documentary Between Wood and Water. But mainly, we just want people to be able to see and appreciate Dorothy’s story every month of the year!

Thank you for your support, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Cheers from the Grove Woodworking Shop,

Tobi & Tony & Dorothy

Remembering John West: yachtsman, historian, boat encyclopaedia

John West interview in memoriam

On May 17, 2017, the Victoria community, the yachting community and his loving friends and family lost a great friend, John West.

He was a beloved husband to Bonnie, step-father to Sean and a friend to so very many, including Dorothy, a boat that will be forever in his debt.

A tireless source of maritime history and classic boats, John was a champion of British Columbia heritage and culture. He had given much of his time and energy to BC Heritage Society, the Victoria Heritage Foundation, the St. Barnabas Anglican Church and not least, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. He was one of the main founders of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival in 1977, serving as chair from 1998 until 2005 and later as judging coordinator, imparting his deep knowledge of classic vessels.

John and Eric

We got to interview John several times between 2013 to 2016, as he was one of the champions who spearheaded the drive to get Dorothy out of storage and back into the public eye. He knew almost every detail about her design and history, and would recount stories culled from the logs of her previous owners as if he was there. More than that though, we hoped to be able to capture a portion of his passion for history and the tales that classic boats, in general, can tell about our culture and our collective history.

John West and Eric Waal, trustees for the MMBC - photo by Tony GroveJan2-13-Kate cam inside Dot-Emily GroveMMBC Trustees examine Dorothy with Tony G- photo by Emily Grove

You can read his obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timescolonist/obituary.aspx?n=john-west&pid=185467234 The memorial will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St., at 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BC Cancer Agency and/or The Maritime Museum of B.C. (634 Humbolt St., Victoria, BC V8W 1A4) in the name of John West.

You were one of the great ones, Johnny, and you, and your Cowichan sweater and your wizard brain about boats, will be forever missed.

New season, new start, new shoot!

Tony Grove sanding Dorothy with Festool RO 125sander

Welcome back, Dorothy fans!

We are long overdue for an update and I do apologize for having left you so long. I hope your holidays were merry, restful and gave you time to set your sights on the exciting times coming ahead.

There was actually a lot of downtime here at Dorothy HQ over the holidays. Some was planned, some was not…

The unplanned downtime was due to Tony Grove (our amazing shipwright), getting in a rather nasty car accident just before Christmas on Gabriola’s SINGLE night of snow – as vintage ’65 Dodge vans apparently aren’t known for skilled snow negotiation– resulting in 1 broken van, 1 broken shoulder and 7 broken ribs. Ouch!

Poor Tony! But fear not, he’s come through amazingly, and with no apparent lasting damage. Apart from lots of pain in the first few weeks (anyone who made him laugh was promptly banned from the house!) and having to spend far more hours propped up on the couch than he was used to, he’s weathered it just fine. I’m happy to report that Tony is back on his feet and able to do more each day. It might be a few weeks yet until work can begin again on Dorothy, but he’s managed to stay busy in the meantime.

And there’s lots in the pipeline for the coming few weeks, so we are actually glad for a nice rest. Here’s a look at what’s coming:

– Tony finished his painting of Dorothy (yay!) just before his accident, and he’s very happy with the results. I must say her fantail has never been so beautifully highlighted! He’s framing it today for shipping soon. It was a commission for the Vancouver Law Society. We shot still frames as the painting developed, which have turned out GREAT and will an amazing tool for the documentary. [Photo to come – just have to wait til the client sees it first]

– AND we look forward to making a canvas reproduction of the Dorothy painting to give away to the biggest donor in our fall Indiegogo fundraiser. So nice to give gifts! That’s been one of my favourite parts of fundraising.

the German yacht magazine, YACHT, is sending a team to photograph and write a feature on Dorothy‘s restoration in mid-February

Tony Grove sanding Dorothy with Festool sander

Festool (a German manufacturer of premium equipment) has asked Tony to participate in their “Sand, Finish, Pass” promotion, in which they give out a Rotex RO 125 Multi-Mode Sander to woodworking specialists around the continent to test in the unique conditions of their own workplace. Tony is the only boatbuilder participating in the promotion, and we think they’re pretty lucky to get their sander tested on our precious Dorothy! Check out their Facebook page for some recent photos (actually screengrabs from the video Tobi is shooting for the contest)

– Tony and I (Tobi) will be speaking about Dorothy‘s restoration on Gabriola, in an event put together by the Gabriola Historical and Museum SocietyThursday, January 30 | Phoenix Auditorium at The Haven Doors open at 6:30, presentation at 7:00 | Admission by donation.

– Tony Grove will be speaking again in Victoria at the Maritime Museum of B.C. during Maritime Heritage week, Feb 17-23. Check out the MMBC’s snazzy new website in the meantime for details.

– this month, Heritage BC is featuring an article on Dorothy in their quarterly magazine to celebrate their theme “Heritage Afloat”

– we are looking forward to an interview with Sheryl MacKay of CBC’s NXNW morning show, probably at the end of this month. We’ll post details on when it goes to air.

and… finally… some real work. Tobi gets to pick up the camera again tomorrow to meet a very special person in Dorothy‘s life. This amazing person learned to sail on Dorothy, as the lovely boat belonged to their family about 5 decades ago. We are very much looking forward to this and have waited a loonnng time for this piece of the Dorothy history to fall into place. More on that this weekend, with some photos for sure.

Dorothy under garboards- seams reefed-T.Elliott

Dorothy is still patiently waiting for visitors to come see her in this incredibly beautiful state: wood sanded down to the grain, planks exposed, her “stuffing” taken out. So if you have a hankering to see this beautiful little ship, send Tony or I a note and arrange a visit. Once Tony gets back to work she won’t be like this for long! This shipwright moves fast, so get here while you can!

And finally, I believe I have sent out most, if not all, the gifts and thank yous for the donations that came in. IF you’re missing yours and I overlooked you somehow, please PLEASE send an email to tobi [at] tobielliott [dot] com and gently remind me! It wasn’t on purpose. There’s just a lot of things to keep tabs on. Doin’ my best…

Thanks for all your support. Keep sharing your stories and telling us what you are up to!

Tobi & Tony

Digging down to gold

Date: 1910 "Dorothy wins international race." Courtesy MMBC archives

Date: 1910 “Dorothy wins international race.” Courtesy MMBC archives

When I first learned that Tony Grove would be restoring Dorothy for the Maritime Museum of B.C., my immediate thought was, “Someone must document this!” But when I actually visited the MMBC and scanned through the treasure chest of supporting material chronicling her life on this coast – the photos, the wealth of logbook entries and letters of correspondence between her first owner, W.H. Langley, and her designer, Linton Hope – I realized this story could be much more than a documentary about the restoration process, it could be a wonderfully rich and substantial love story about sailing on this coast. 

Now, to those of you who love watching how-to videos of wooden boat restorations, (forgive me if I’m wrong here) but if we only focused on the restoration drama that’s happening in Tony Grove’s shop, the rest of the world would quickly bored. There’s only so much sanding, scraping and plank replacing that one can watch! Although a “restoration documentary” would have its own narrative arc, we need to see why people are going to such lengths to save this boat. What is so compelling about Dorothy? Why has she survived this long? 

Truth is, a wooden boat doesn’t survive for over a century, with 80-90% of her original planking intact, by chance. She had to have had an extraordinary level of care throughout her life. Someone, at every point of her life, was either sailing her, saving her, restoring her or searching for a better steward for her care than they could presently give. That is what I love about the Dorothy story: the drama lies in those who sacrificed over the years to keep her alive and sailing. 

Even if you don’t have a sailboat, have never sailed, or don’t like boats or the water, you likely have something in your life that gives it added meaning and depth. Not only can we grow in character from learning attention and care, responsibility and stewardship from loving humans, but beautiful objects, too, can make us grow. We all need something to love.

And the more you care for your lovely thing, whether it be a home, a guitar, a bike, or a VW Doc Bus! as my friend Mandy Leith can attest to, the more you learn how to keep your lovely thing in the best possibly condition, and the more your heart expands.

By focussing on the romance and relationship between a beautiful, functional object (or being) that brings you joy, and you, as the human stewarding its care, I hope to make this story universally appealing.

Here are some photos I recently discovered on my recent “dig” through the Museum’s archives:

20131104_MMBC archives-for web_0012

Dorothy Archives

20131104_MMBC archives-for web_0043

20131104_MMBC archives-for web_0058

Campaign is still on for another 11 days! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dorothy-documentary/x/1371948

Don’t delay, if you have thought about contributing to the documentary but haven’t yet, we could use your help now! We are at $5,560 and need to raise $10,000 for vital shoots this summer and fall.

Please spread the word and help make this campaign a success. Thank you!

Love, Tobi