The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 |

Stories from the The Dory Shop

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 16 - Building a schooner like CALANOVA

"So, we are building a schooner at the Dory Shop. If this was a film, it would be called “per-production”. In our case, in the case of building a schooner we need a few things in place before construction begins. In order to build us a schooner we need: A design An owner who wants she A place to build she An ocean nearby timbers of many sorts fastenings a couple shipwrights that have a clue some keen helpers tools, need some tools paint, tar, oakum, clamps, lead, masts, sails, blocks, trees for masts, and on and on..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 15 - The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA and the Battle of Trafalgar

"The Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA was there. Under an assumed name; the HMS GHERKIN..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 14 - The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA

"Our research team is taking a break from the painstaking digging through the archives, crawling through dusty attics, deciphering old salt-stained logs, meeting with living legends and riffraff and hearing their accounts of the amazing exploits of the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA. So, here we have some recent visuals of this stunning, swift, fast & able vessel for your personal enchantment. Aww c’mon, you love it!..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

CBC Article: From doryman to trawlerman, Maurice Kearley reflects on a life well lived at sea

Sharing with you all an interesting article found on the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador website. "Kearley, 93, likes to talk about his days on the ocean but sometimes wonders: 'How did we ever do it?'"

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 13 - CALL TO DUTY – Operation DYNAMO – The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA

"It was springtime. All along the waterfront schooners are getting ready for sea. Riggers are rigging. Crew bending sail and reeving of halyards and sheets. Piles of trawl tubs here and there. Dories soaking up or getting patched up. Masts getting greased. Big cable-laid manila anchor hawsers stretched or in jumbled piles on the wharves to get checked out for rotten bits. Engineers are fluffing up their Fairbanks & Morris diesels for the coming passages to the banks or the islands. Kids running around and getting into things. A horn gets tested from time to time. Some vessels are even getting painted and others are on the slipway hauled out and getting a bit of corking. Heaps of coarse salt is getting shoveled into the fish holds. The Dory Shop is sending down new dories in ox-carts to the schooners on the docks abuzz with activity. They had been building dories like fools over the last few months, knocking out four a week for some time now. The atmosphere is that of keen activity and is redolent with the ambrosia of Stockholm tar and linseed oil. The sounds of one-lung, make and break gasoline engines in harbour boats pop across the waters. It is springtime along the waterfront. The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA is at her berth next to the Knockabout NINA W. CORKUM and her crew is hard at it getting her ready for sea. Unknown to all along the waterfront, the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA may have a secret mission known but to a few..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 12 - The Amazing Schooner CALANOVA and Captain J. Slocum

"It is well known that a certain Captain Joshua Slocum, formerly of Briar Island Nova Scotia and later California (beginning to wonder where the name CALA-NOVA comes from? Get it?) and then Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts, sailed around the world in the former oyster sloop SPRAY he had rebuilt stick by stick in Fairhaven Massachusetts. He was the first to ever single-hand sail a small vessel around the world. SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD by Capt Joshua Slocum is a great read, to be sure. Still in print. Do not need to be a mariner to read and enjoy this yarn. Great stuff. Get it – read it… But is that the whole story? Was there, is there, more to it all? Well, our researchists have come up with LOTS MORE. In sketch form anyway. But before we get into all that it is worth pointing out that Slocum was not just some yachty guy with an old boat who got lucky. Plenty of those in recent decades but that does not describe him.  No, not at all. Not that there is anything wrong with getting lucky – all for getting lucky, but that’s not the whole truth. Or even the main truth." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 11 - Below decks in the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA

"Now, many folks do not realise this but due to the sheer genius of Master Designer & Builder Steven Slaunwhite that while the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA is 26’7” on deck, she is 138’ below decks. And about 122’ on the waterline. Never quite sure about this number, hard to get it sorted, seems to change a lot. No one knows why. But this OD to BD size differential is pretty handy to be sure. Docking rates at marinas aren’t so bad but she can still put a payload under the hatches. That is, she could if she had any hatches. Or any pay to load. Intense research, only now bringing facts to light indicate that on and off over the ages, there has been plenty. Stay tuned..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 10 - CALANOVA's engine

"The first most obvious question is this. Why sully such a sweet model of a perfect sailing schooner like the Amazing CALANOVA with an internal combustion engine??? Why cut a hole right where you don’t want one to put in a propellor to drag along like a bucket? Ruin the sweet run of water past the rudder?  Why, indeed? Is the wind being rationed or rented out elsewhere? Does not the sun and the moon keep these winds stirring over the seas and oceans for the express purpose of soothing the sailing ships soft ambitions? Why jam a chunk of iron down in the bilge? Here it will be doing its damnedest to blow up in a cloud of fire, shrapnel and smoke – and guaranteed to spew oils and fuel over time into the otherwise sweet bilges. This is a certainty..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 9 - The Magnificent CALANOVA at sail

A gallery of photos of the Magnificent CALANOVA at sail in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.


"The day had come. The amazing schooner CALANOVA had been laying at the dock. She was all ready for sea, or sea trials anyway. Sea trials are where you take a vessel out for the first time and sea how she does and to see if everything works right. Slaunwhite and gang had done a fantastic job on this schooner. Let her magic loose! Beware the seas! There she was. All beautifully built, painted, launched, all swelled up and did not leak a thimbleful. Masts stepped, bowsprit fitted, rigging set up, running rigging rove off, sails bent, steering tested (you know, move the tiller back and forth and look over the side to see if the rudder moves at the same time in the same direction – it did, YAY!). Wood stove had a crate of dried split birch to keep the coffee and chowder hot. A couple anchors on the buffalo rails as a proper vessel should have, ready to let go as needed. The auxiliary engine was not quite sorted out yet – but who needs a cranky engine when ya gots a fine sailin’ schoonah under your boots?" (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

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