Dories of Dark Harbour, Grand Manan

A dory is a classic maritime vessel and can be used for many tasks. Dories can be found all over Grand Manan but the best place is Dark Harbour.

Surrounded by steep cliffs and protected by a natural gravel breakwater, Dark Harbour is the only settlement on the rugged west coast of the island. It’s really a summertime spot with several small cottages, locally known as camps. It also has a reputation as party central and used to host the annual Dark Harbour Daze weekend.

This small seasonal hamlet is the dulse capital of Grand Manan Island and, possibly, the known world.

Dulse is collected from outlying rocks that are only exposed at low tide. The sturdy dory is the best vessel for the job. The names of the dories range from the poetic to the prosaic, sometimes on the same craft.

I spent a few days studying dories with my pen and sketchbook. They are a notoriously difficult challenge to one’s drawing ability but I love sketching them. Also, I wanted to do a somewhat abstract painting of a dory and needed to understand their structure before taking my creative liberties.


I won’t post the painting yet as it’s destined for an exhibition this fall. Here’s a selection of  Dark Harbour dories. Rugged and elegant and no two exactly alike, their sweeping shapes will always keep an artist honest.







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3 Responses to “Dories of Dark Harbour, Grand Manan”

  1. Abeer Says:

    I love the pen and ink sketches.

  2. Robin Campbell Says:

    Love the pen and ink work of the dories. Captures both the evocative curves and distressed textures of those hardy, utilitarian boats.

    Fabulous work!

  3. Stephen Says:

    I love these sketches – and I looked at your connect about Dulse – interesting stuff – mmm – time for breakfast…

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