Thursday, August 20, 2009

Northwest Waters

In Sailing Uphill, Sam McKinney describes minimalist sailing along the West Coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia -- a wild, weather beaten coast of broken shorelines, islands, reefs and deep inlets. Rugged and perilous and a true test of the seaworthiness of the worthy dory know as Nootka Sound.

Sam’s story begins as his tales do, with the building of a boat:

“The boat I built was a dory, a descendant of that humble craft of legend and utility that was developed in the last century (sic) for cod fishing off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The distinctive shape of the dory --- the swoop and lift of it’s sheer, sharply angled sides and tombstone-shaped transom --- is an icon of maritime art and literature.

"Neither time, nor chipped paint nor scabby planks can mar the perfection of that shape.”

“Not much of a boat, that little open dory, just twenty feet long. It had two sails, a five-horse outboard and a back-up set of oars. The bottom of the boat was the bunk, a brass-bound box was the galley.”

“During one long summer, I explored that coast in the little dory, from Barkley Sound in the south to Nootka Island in the north… My voyage had no particular destination. Just being wherever time and chance carried me was the order of each day as I slowly followed close along curving shorelines of rock, beach or forest and crossed open, sun-burnished channels of the sea to disappear again into the sheltered lagoons of encircling islands.”

Sam whould be pleased to know his little gunkholing dory is in good hands. My friend Jim is the current owner of Nootka and last weekend he took a short jaunt upriver on the Yaquina, to show his capable dory to admiring crowds at the Toledo Wooden Boat Festival.

Looks to me as though Jim is hiding. Too much attention can be exhausting!
More about the Nootka Sound can be found in Duckworks Magazine.

Nootka Sound Camping Cruiser
Designed by
Joe Dobler

LOA 20'
LWL 16' 6"
Beam 5' 6"
Draft (board up) 7"
Draft (board down) 3'


Unknown said...

Good to see Sam McKinneys Nootka Sound. Brings back many memories of joint cruises with Sam -- years ago now of course. Bob Young Tigard, OR

Anonymous said...

Are there any Nootka Sounds for sale that anyone knows of?