Shelley's Articles Archives | West Wind Hardwood
Romancing the Carlotta

Romancing the Carlotta

In Italian, the meaning of the name Carlotta is an Italian form of Charles, meaning strong.

And indeed strength has followed Carlotta since her conception in 1899. She’s shown strength through her 118 years; there was “a daring World War II escape from Guernsey as the Germans were landing at the airport. She’d been laid over by hurricane force winds until the mast trucks were almost hitting the water…dropped four feet from a travel lift, towed by rowboat completely around Texada Island…in the 1970s she fell over on her beaching legs, smashing her port side frames in.”

Carlotta has also required the strength of her owners. More recently The Mohan’s who found pleasure and passion for 10 years, were ushered into personal heartbreak and tragedy leading to her to her most recent sale in 2014. The newest owners continued her restoration and contacted Abernethy Gaudin Boatbuilders in Brentwood Bay (Vancouver Island) British Columbia, Canada.

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Passion to Work, Passion at Play.

Do you work to play?  Or is work wonderfully playful??

The lines are blurred for me.  When asked by accountants and other folks ‘is that trip for pleasure or business?’ I’m the deer with eyes in the headlight not knowing what to say.  Resolutely they plunge on; they say it can’t be both.  I say “what the heck?!  Is your work so uninspiring?” There are folks with black and white jobs and there are folks who are simply black and white in their thinking.

So, where does this go?  Our recent trip to the Broughton’s this past July.  We travel there because we love it…..OMG did I allude to the ‘pleasure’ word? There’s that grey area again. LOL.

Yes, the air and water is a little cooler in temperature; it’s like the Gulf and the San Juan Islands on steroids.  Nooks, crannies and oh……the wildlife.  Today, the almost complete absence of development or settlement results in an unbeatable “wilderness” feeling. This quality, which led Captain Vancouver to name the area “Desolation Sound”, is the quality that many people today wish to experience.

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The Center for Wooden Boats

The Center for Wooden Boats

At the encouragement of friends, Jan and I visited the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) at South Lake Union (Seattle, WA) in February 2014.  This was a quiet Sunday morning; chilled by the previous evening’s dusting of snow and yet, it is a hub of hands-on learning year-round. Boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and opportunities for direct experience on the water and at the docks are just a few of the things you’ll find when you visit.

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Tiger Moths, Sea Eagles and Passion

Tiger Moths, Sea Eagles and Passion

Over the years we’ve sold both Sitka Spruce and Douglas-fir to South Africa.  It’s a hotbed for tiger moth enthusiasts; both the climate and the leftovers of WWII have fueled this trend.

Noel and Val Otten were just such customers; nice folk that have kept in touch over the years.  In fact Noel is not in the best of health just now.  Our thoughts are with him and his family.  Get well Noel!!

Late last year I reached out to him wondering if he had any stories and/or photos that he’d mind sharing with our subscribers.  He kindly responded and volunteered his friend Gavin Michal also.

Firstly he gushes with such nice things about British Columbia.  Here’s what he said of his trip in 2008.

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Rail Trails, Tall Trees and Cougars

Rail Trails, Tall Trees and Cougars

Once upon a time, in a land far away in wilds of British Columbia dwelt the fortunate. Forests thrived; trees reached to the sky and animals were abundant.  It was a land rich, rich in natural resources; one of which was logging; not new news.

The sound of axe and handsaw, of trees falling, of whistles blowing were heard throughout the province, up and down the coast and on Vancouver Island.  Throughout Desolation Sound, Sechelt Inlet and the Broughton Archipelago Jan and I have seen the imprint of times gone by.

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Straighten Up and Fly Right

Straighten Up and Fly Right

…. song written by Nat King Cole

 Where does it start?  Where it always starts…….…Something wood!  About 20 years ago, Jan was scouring one of the local auction houses in Victoria and stumbled across a lovely old woodie airplane propeller.  Not being able to pass up such a find, he placed an absentee bid of $500.  He lost 🙁  So sad; Shelley be glad 😉

A few years later, a close friend mentioned to Jan that a local antique store was going out of business and he’d noticed a great find on sale.  A wood airplane propeller for $200; do I need to tell you it was the same darn propellor.  SOLD!  It hangs in the shop office.

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