The Maritime Museum of BC has three boats in her fleet, Dorothy, Tilikum and Trekka. Each with its own tales of adventure and harrowing trials. Currently, Tilikum and Trekka are on display in the Museum.
In early 1897, work commenced on a sleek 30ft yacht in the James Bay boatyard of John J. Robinson. Although nothing remains of Robinson’s busy shop — now the site of the Laurel Point Inn — the vessel he built is still ‘above the waves’. Today, Dorothy is considered the oldest sailing yacht on the Pacific Northwest Coast and a major artifact in the Maritime Museum of BC’s collection.
Dorothy is now being restored on Gabriola Island with shipwright and artist, Tony Grove. A key element of this will be the raising of necessary funds to cover the material and labour costs. Friends of Dorothy, a group of passionate volunteers, is actively involved in all phases of Dorothy’s rebirth. To keep up to date with Dorothy’s journey through her restoration, follow http://dorothysails.com/
What started out as a wager of sorts between Norman Luxton and Captain J.C. Voss became reality for Luxton, the Canadian reporter who had never been to sea. With the promise of $2,500 plus royalties for the book Luxton was going to publish following the completion of the oceanic journey, Voss agreed to the challenge.
Measuring just 30ft long and 5ft across, this former Nuu-chah-nulth cedar dug-out canoe carried the two men and a large amount of supplies from Victoria through to the Cook Islands. Luxton bravely faced the open ocean and the unknown, but departed from the voyage upon reaching Suva, Fiji on October 17, 1901.
Not to be deterred, Voss continued on – amongst trials and tribulations often found in adventures – to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, South America and finally ending up in London, England in September of 1904. In 1905, the Tilikum ─ now world renowned ─ was exhibited at Earls Court. She was eventually sold and passed through a number of hands over the following years.
By 1929, Tilikum was found lying derelict on Canvey Island, located in the Thames Estuary, England. She soon returned to Victoria, BC and through the Thermopylae Club, underwent restoration in 1936 and was later donated to the Maritime Museum of BC.
Trekka was built by John Guzzwell in Victoria and launched into the Inner Harbour in August, 1954. Her keel had been laid, clamped and glued-up in the boiler room of the YMCA and the rest of her building done in a storeroom at the rear of Johnny Bell’s fish and chip shop on View Street. Trekka means “to journey” and journey she did – from Victoria around the world and back again!
Trekka completed her epic voyage as the smallest vessel to circumnavigate the globe in 1959. She returned to Victoria on September 12th, 1959 almost exactly on the anniversary of her original departure. She changed owners over the years until 1980 when the Thermopylae Club of Victoria purchased her from an owner in Honolulu to gift to the Maritime Museum of BC. As she sailed back into Victoria, she was greeted by hundreds of people including her builder and master, John Guzzwell.
Visit Trekka at the Maritime Museum of BC to learn more about her amazing journey.