Dorjun 1

I originally posted a photo of Dorjun, a beautiful boat built in 1905 here. I wasn’t totally happy with the shot because I wasn’t able to do her justice. But I found her in the water in Port Townsend a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t resist trying again.

Dorjun 2

After her service with the U.S. Livesaving Service, Dorjun was sailed through the Strait of Magellan.

Dorjun 3

She’s 26 feet long and has been beautifully restored.

Dorjun 4

Boat lovers like to see a boat out of water, all the better to see what’s under the waterline. But I rather like seeing this beautiful boat launched and ready for another adventure.

Battery Downes

We camped at Fort Flagler State Park early this month, our second trip there. It’s fast becoming a favorite place. Fort Flagler was originally a military installation tasked with protecting entry into Puget Sound. Like many such sites, the setting is spectacular and now permits public use in a gorgeous area boasting great natural appeal. But the human history, the remains of the old bunkers, is haunting and stark. I rarely see shots in black and white, but Battery Downes at the Fort was an exception.

Battery Downes 2

I’ve been to abandoned ghost towns, Native American ruins, other decommissioned bases, and places left behind. As stark as this place is, it somehow has a greater human presence than I’ve felt at other similar spots. I’m not sure why.

Picnic spot

I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth but I admit this little picnic spot didn’t inspire me to pull out the tablecloth and food basket. The irony is that the beyond the berm behind this table is a beautiful bluff and gorgeous water views.


I freely admit that I’ve taken a different direction in interpreting today’s City Daily Photo theme. “Zest” is often taken to mean hearty enjoyment, relish, or fervor. But, you see, there was a giant lemon sitting at the Inner Harbour in Victoria, B.C. last week. It was conceivably covered with zest, the piquant flavor which shares the same noun. And one cannot turn one’s back on expanding one’s view of things. That, too, can be, well, zestful.

Click here to see how others have interpreted today’s theme. I hope you heartily enjoy them.

Collage Vikings

Viking ships, shown in yesterday’s post, enabled great mobility for Viking warriors. Fierce and well-armed, they became so feared that eventually all they generally had to do was show up. Those they invaded had two choices: pay up or fight. Plunder became extravagant as the countries they invaded paid the Viking pipers. The Viking exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria shows both sides of the extortion equation: the weaponry and the booty. Gold and silver, of course, were prized. And so was glass, which was very rare in the Viking era. A replica sword in a plastic case is accessible to grasp and hold for weight and balance. Though the swords I’ve photographed look crude, the originals held a justifiably fearsome place in history.

Viking ship

We went to Victoria B.C. last Sunday to visit “The Vikings,” a new exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum. In particular, DH and I are both drawn to the beauty and utility of Viking boats. And this one, Krampmacken, greeted us at the front door. Its form based on boat remnants from an archaeological discovery, Krampmacken proved that Viking boats could handle both the waves of the Baltic Sea and shallow rivers in eastern Europe. With a crew of 10-11 and four rowing stations, this boat journeyed from Gotland, Sweden to Istanbul, Turkey in two stages between 1983 and 1985.

Viking sail

Krampmacken uses a braided square sail, something I’d not seen before.

Viking ship 2

A second, smaller boat was on exhibit inside the museum.

Sea Stallion

The boats in Victoria reminded me of the most spectacular Viking ship I’ve had the pleasure to see. This is Sea Stallion, a ship that we saw on display in Dublin in 2007. Its lines are based on a Viking ship, Skuldelev 2, that was excavated in Denmark in 1962. Scientists traced the oak in its timbers to Ireland in the year 1042. Sea Stallion was reconstructed from a survey of the excavation, then built as closely as possible to match materials that the Vikings had used, including paint on the hull. After a variety of shorter sailings, Sea Stallion was sailed 1,000 nautical miles from Roskilde, Denmark across the North Sea, around the Atlantic coast of Scotland, down the Irish Sea to Dublin. As you can see, this is a big ship, with room for 60 oarsmen. Click here for more information about the Sea Stallion.

Sea Stallion 2

The Vikings knew what they were doing. This and the others I’ve seen are truly beautiful vessels.