Sunday, February 2, 2014

The J C Williams Dory Shop in Nova Scotia, CANADA

A Dory back in the late 1800's was the boat that fed the world.
Thousands of fishermen working off a dory, handlining for Cod, which was then shipped worldwide.  They used the schooner as a base and went off into the rain, fog, snow, sitting in thier dory all day sometimes alone, sometimes with a partner hauling in cod until the dory was full, then row or sail back to the schooner and offload, clean the catch and do it again the next day...
No work, No fish, No pay.
Watch Captains Courageous 1937 starring Spencer Tracy for a good idea of what a dory-mans life was like.
The town and shop from our canoe.
I’ve been meaning to do this this video, for what…almost 3 years now.
I can’t believe how fast time goes…ya blink and years have gone by.
Daughter Maggie and I first visited this shop in 1998 during our first tour of Nova Scotia, we went back 6 times and I was there last in 2011…hope to go again in 2017.   

The shop is a must for anyone interested in wooden boats as they have been continuously producing dorys there since 1880.
They build Shelburne Dory’s using a “Dory Clip” which eliminated the need for grown frames.   Grown frames are basically the lower portion of a tree where the wood turns from the trunk to the root with a sharp bend…very strong as the grain then follows the turn from the bottom planking into the side planking.  The naturally grown knees or frames are time consuming to dig, as they are in the ground and not so plentiful.  A Dory clip will join two straight pieces of wood into a strong frame or knee without digging in the dirt or having to search for naturally curved wood.
Lucky for me that in 2011, Milford Buchanan and Bill Cox were there.  Milford is the resident dory maker and Bill who was 92 at the time, once owned the shop and many other nautical related buildings in Shelburne…Cox’s Chandlery, Cox’s shipyard.  I spent some time talking with both, about my years as a boat builder.  How back in Wisconsin I was lucky enough to have been a carpenter building 225’ wooden minesweepers. They didn't realize we were building large wooden ships in the center of the US.  (one ship I framed up…MCM Guardian, sank last year in the Philippines after being run aground by an irresponsible captain.)
 Hope this shop stays open for years to come and will be there when I return.

Lets go on tour.

The people of Nova Scotia are proud of their Maritime Heritage and that is reflected in the many museums, roadside markers and personal signs all across the Province.
 is a fanciful story about a Dory-man in a storm being saved by a Selkie

Saturday, February 1, 2014

From December 7, 2013.

December 7, 2013.  

There was a wild Northern wind blowing as the Selvik Tugs Susan, L., Jimmy L.  and the Cameron helped guide  the CSL Niagara down the bay, past Pottawatomie State Park.

Her bow covered with a beard of ice from breaking her way down Green Bay, the Canadian ship CSL Niagara, worked her way into Sturgeon Bay for some repair work in the Graving Dock at Bay Ship Building.

CSL Niagara is lined up for the graving Dock at Bay Ship.
Sandwiched between tugs Susan L (left) and Jimmy L (rt)
As time progressed the weather deteriorated into a snowy fog while the tugs split ice to move the 700+’ ship to it's position in the graving dock.
The Susan L Selvik keeping the Niagara's bow positioned

The Tug Jimmy L pulling her in.  Notice the KORT Nozzle around Niagara's prop?

The Jimmy L. up close

Arthur M Anderson frozen in ICE

Tugs from Selvik Marine Towing were positioning the ore carrier Arthur M Anderson on the evening of Jan 28th, getting her ready to be berthed early the next morning.   

She sat frozen in the ice overnight.

The Anderson was built in 1952 at American Ship Building Company, Lorain, OH to a length of 647'.  She was lengthen to 767' at Frasier Shipyards in Superior, WI in the spring of 1975.

On November 10, 1975 she was accompanying the Edmond Fitzgerald on Lake Superior in 30’ following seas, when the Fitzgerald went down and was lost.
Every Boatnerd knows the Anderson as the last ship to communicate with the Fitzgerald on that fateful night.

In 2001 while in the Green Bay, WI turning basin…despite the assistance of the Great Lakes Marine Towing Tug Texas in fighting a strong East wind, the Anderson’s bow blew into a sheet pile bulkhead along the Fox River…no damage to the Anderson, but some $75,000 to the bulkhead.
Registered in Delaware, but stationed in Green Bay, WI

Rivets on a Texas bow ringed with weld to keep them tight

 The Tug Texas in Green Bay, WI

The Anderson winters here in Sturgeon Bay most every year.  She is still running on her 7,700 s.h.p. steam turbine, so when winter comes she makes for good photos as the steam wafts around in the cold air.

I watch her every winter and listen to the steam hiss from her and other steamers while they sit at Bay Ship waiting for spring.