Long boat 1

A couple of weeks ago I showed you this boat under sail. It is a replica of one of the long boats that Captain George Vancouver’s crew used in the 1790s to explore our region. I saw it again, moored in Port Townsend, when I returned last week to look at the ancient anchor that may have come from this expedition. This is a more placid view of the boat which is used for Marine Education at the Northwest Maritime Center.

Long boat stern

It’s quite a lovely boat with a very sweet stern.

Long boat oars

Here’s a lesson in oars from DH, who pointed out these details to me: The big square part of the oars shown here is called the “loom.” It’s notable for its square form which is functional as a counter weight, making it easier to lift the blade of the oar out of the water during rowing. (Typical oars these days are more slender and tapered.) The leather on the oar relieves wear on it where it rides in the tholes, the slots you see above the sides (gunn’ls) of the boat. The tholes here are notable as this was the way oars were applied before the typical oar locks you see today. There. Now go out and impress someone with your extensive knowledge of oars!

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.