Monthly Archives: May 2015

John Darling shops for paint and other ramblings

It is a dangerous and horrible time of year, but John has once more risen to the occasion.  He is shopping for paint.  This is a task at which he does not excel.  Kindly, amiable and gullible as a newborn babe, John has in the past fallen prey to unscrupulous paint salespersons.  One year he came home with something he swore was ‘ice blue’ but was in fact ‘old lady lavender’ and we were the laughingstocks of Cowichan Bay.  “Little daisies,” Other John told us.  “You need little daisies all around the gunnels.”

When I first married John, he painted the deck a shade I called ‘diaper brown’, and then clung stubbornly to it as if his whole life was invested in that colour.  “I like it,” he told me.  Nobody else liked it.  In fact, the neighbours complained we were bringing down property values, but let it rest.

Spring has come, and John Darling is shopping for paint.

Pray for us all.

My latest book, now in print, is titled ‘Darling Call the Coast Guard, the Neighbours are Squabbling!’  I have a lifetime supply of books stored under the bakery.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call the environment rat-free, but perhaps what my customers don’t know won’t hurt them.  There is a MOST daunting pile of boxes along the back wall.  As John says, “You must know a lot of words.”  Presently, Volume I Bookstore in Duncan is carrying my latest, as well as Bucknucks, 10 Old Books and Pier 66 Convenience Store.  Also the Maritime Centre in Cowichan Bay and Old Crow Jewelry.

If I get too disgusted with trying to push books, we shall cast off our mooring lines and set sail this summer.  We have RV trips in our new Vandura planned, as well as some Gulf Island destinations by boat.  I am end-of-the-year teacher tired and ready for something new that involves sunlight.

Many blessings be upon you all,

Catherine Dook


“Darling Call the Coast Guard the Neighbours are Squabbling!”

“Darling Call the Coast Guard the Neighbours are Squabbling!” is now available for 18.00 plus 4.00 postage. Catherine apologizes about the cost of postage, but the Canadian Postal Service is trying to turn a profit.

Boats of the Bay – Inuksuk

Cowichan Bay B.C. – Boats of the Bay – From article by  s
  • Name: Inuksuk  (Inook-shook)DSCF6701-150x150
  • Type: Blue Water Capable Sailing Ketch
  • Length: 44 feet (14.65 m)
  • Weight: 23.5 tons (47,000 lbs)
  • Hull: Ferro-Cement
  • Owners: John and Catherine Dook

A few years ago, it was possible to wander down to the harbour and see good ferro-cement boats and bad ferro-cement boats. The age of the backyard builder was in full swing and ferro-cement had definite attractions for the do-it-yourself crowd. Cost of materials was one advantage, and it seemed as inexpensive to build a 50 foot hull as it was to build a 40 footer. Many were well built, but more than a few became projects in limbo, poorly planned and executed, a problem for everyone who would own or work on them.

 Click here to read full article

RV Times Column – Execuvan reborn

Catherine’s readers of ‘RV Times’ will be relieved to hear John and Catherine

Here it is - our shiny new Vandura.  Dual exhausts.  Twice the racket, twice the fun

Here it is – our shiny new Vandura. Dual exhausts. Twice the racket, twice the fun

have bought another van. Like the Execuvan, it is over 30 years old. And even though most of the floor is vinyl, around the base of the console is a little bit of . . . .beige shag carpet. Yes, we bought nearly the same van!

Monthly Column – Dock of the Bay

Catherine’s monthly column ‘Dock of the Bay’ can now be found at Waggoner’s Pacific Nor’West Boating. Check it out on the web at And she still writes for RV Times. Sadly, BoatJournal has sunk out of sight, but she will be appearing bi-monthly in an Arctic publication called Edge Yellowknife. How, you may ask, does she churn out 30 columns a year? Enquiring minds want to know. Catherine says she’s nothing if not prolific.

What’s New?

Catherine did not go to the Vancouver International Boat Show in 2015, but expect her in 2016 with a new title. Her latest book, due out in May 2015 is called ‘Darling Call the Coast Guard, the Neighbours are Squabbling!’ It’s guaranteed to be a rip-snorter.