A perfect landing on Western Isles shores

Ronan Munro with the discovered Dream Boat No.52 which made it all the way to North Tolsta, Lewis, despite a rusty keel and lost sails!
Ronan Munro with the discovered Dream Boat No.52 which made it all the way to North Tolsta, Lewis, despite a rusty keel and lost sails!

SHE may have been minus her sail and had a rusty keel when she arrived, but Dream Boat No.52 made an amazing voyage of over 100 nautical miles along the north coast of Scotland from John O’Groats to the Isle of Lewis.

The ‘Dream Boats’ project is an arts project established by Portskerra artist Alexandria Patience as part of the John O’Groats ‘Transform 2011’ – a series of exciting and inspiring public art projects, building developments and interesting events set to transform the northern port over the year.

Alex crafted 100 small wooden boats, made from lime wood in a shape based on the traditional East Coast Scaffie, which were then decorated with local families’ stories of the past and dreams for the future before being launched into the sea on July 3 to herald the start of the tourist spot’s revamp.

And No.52 was discovered last week by the Munro family, from Laxdale, having been washed ashore half way along Traigh Mhor beach in Tolsta, Lewis.

Brought up in the North East, Alex worked internationally before settling in Portskerra on the North Coast and her work is rooted in her background of a fishing and crofting way of life.

For the artist however, it’s not just that Dream Boat No.52 made such a long journey that’s so pleasing, but the fact that she was found on Tolsta beach as Alex’s grandmother is originally from North Tolsta, and the artist is delighted that it had landed on what she described as the ‘perfect beach’.

All of the wooden boats are marked with a number between one and 99 and contain a message from Alex to get in touch if found. She has also asked everyone, that if the boats are seaworthy, to photograph them and then send them on their way.

The first boat to turn up was No.37, which appeared on the Orkney isle of Hoy; and Dream Boat No.15, was found by a dog walker on Reiss Beach, Caithness.

Suffering from a damaged sail, boat No.47 was plucked from the waves by a Thurso kayaker at Brough, Orkney; and boat No.25, still in one piece, came ashore at Freswick Beach, Thurso.

With No.52 already landed on Lewis, if you come across another small wooden boat with a number between one and 99 marked on it, contact Alex to let her know on JoGBoat@yahoo.com