Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, and there certainly is no lack of that around these parts lately!  Today’s post finds us in our own backyard where we are continuing a photoblog series we started in 2011 called “The Hollow’s Backyard” where we feature the sights and experiences we had at our local Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival.  Each year the Maple Bay Marina plays host to his terrific event, and we try to make our way down to see all the incredible boats on display and meet the folks who own and love them.  It’s been a couple of years since our last visit, so we’re thrilled to take you back to the marina with us for 2014.

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival - Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival – Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

People come from points all over the world to attend this annual event.  Some come to take in the sights and to meet everyone, while others lovingly detail their boats to bring to the marina to put on display for everyone to enjoy.  This years event found us under a slightly overcast sky, but it was pleasant out and the light was wonderful for photography.  For much of the afternoon as Mrs. Toad and I walked the docks meeting everyone, the waters were fairly still, which produced wonderful reflections of the boats and their surroundings in the bay.

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival - Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival – Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Boats of all sizes, shapes and origins were to be found at the festival this year.  Some were meticulously maintained, while others were clearly used quite regularly, and we are going to assume enjoyed as well.  If you’re into boats, you love them, and a lot of avid boaters are out on the water as much as the weather allows.

As most of you who follow us regularly know, I love cars, motorcycles, trucks…  basically anything that involves transportation.  Boats definitely fall into this broad category.  And when it comes to boats, my personal preferences always lean towards the older vessels, many of which were hand-crafted out of wood quite a while ago.  Maintaining a wood boat can be a tricky and involved endeavor, but the results are well worth the labor of love.

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival - Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival – Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Sailboats exhibit exquisite lines, I find.  Smooth like butter, able to cut through the air like a fencing foil, it’s easy to picture this boat under full sail, leaning as it crashes through the waves of the open ocean.  Upon arrival at your destination, the sails are bundled back up for storage and a much-anticipated relaxation session is undertaken.  The distinct aroma of the ocean greets your olfactories as the gulls swirl all around, waiting for their next meal to suddenly appear from somewhere, almost magically.  It’s really quite the life.

Living on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, it’s almost impossible not to find something of interest in the nautical.  Most of us live here by choice, above all other places, and the beaches and oceans form an intricate part of our personal experiences.

We’ve come away from the 2014 Wooden Boat Festival with a large catalog of photographs we’ll be sharing over the next little while.  If you’re a fan of water and boats, you’ll definitely want to stay tuned!

Thank you for your kind visit to The Hollow here today, we really do appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have below.




  1. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Man, this is the life. Who could not enjoy a day of fun on or near the water?

    Great shots, my friend and I so look forward to seeing more. As you know, I’m a big fan and participant of the nautical life so I feel right at home seeing these hand-crafted vessels.

    Good stuff, Toad!

    • Thank you SO much, Jimi, your kind visit and comments here really made our day my friend! If ever you’re up here, let us know, we’ll take you around to all the best spots for the fan of everything nautical! 🙂

  2. I can smell the salt! What a great collection of shots Toad, and it looks like it was the perfect weather for it. I can’t wait to see the rest of what you captured, hopefully a few are of my favorite type the natural wood deeply lacquered and polished with plenty of brass! Great work as always my friend, you’ve already convinced me that I need to visit Vancouver Island, now you’re just rubbing it in. 😉

    • Hehehe! 🙂 You’ve got to come up some time Howard, you would love it here! And yep, I believe we have a few boats of the variety you’ve described coming up in posts here on this series! Thanks so much for your great visit today, we really appreciate it!

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    I know I live near water and don’t get me wrong Lake Ontario is beautiful but I sure wish I was on the ocean. Beautiful images Toad.

  4. avatar Sherry Galey says:

    As a sailor I can really appreciate this event and these gorgeous images. Thank you for sharing. Would love to attend some day!

    • If ever you’re out on the west coast you must let us know so we can get together, Sherry, that would be WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for your kind visit, that means an awful lot to us here!

  5. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    You have one of the best backyards of anyone I know Toad. Terrific post and images.

  6. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Gorgeous Toad! I’m only a tad jealous of all that beauty, and availability of the wonders of living surrounded by water! 🙂
    Beautiful framing on all of the images too! 🙂

    • Thank you so, so much Rachel, we just can’t tell you how much we appreciate all your friendship & support here! 🙂 Best wishes to you from Mrs. Toad and I!

  7. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    What a wonderful event!
    There are so many beautiful boats there.
    I would have been like a kid in a candy store, had I been there with my camera. 🙂

    I truly look forward to seeing more of your photographs from this wonderful gathering.

    • Thank you ever so much, Lisa, we just love it when you pop by and leave your terrific comments that we enjoy so much! I know our readers really enjoy them, too, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

  8. avatar Don Barton says:

    I sailed these water for 15 years and know them like the back of my hand. My boat was a 30 foot sloop. My father owned a Monk/McQeen 38 foot wooden hulled power cruiser of circa 1959 vintage.

    Yes, Scott this is paradise when it comes to boating. I look forward to seeing the rest of your photos from the Festival.

    • Oh wow, Don, it sounds like you’ve had some wonderful times with some really awesome boats! I really love the older ones, the woodwork is just exquisite and each vessel seems to take on a character of its own. Thank you so much for your words of support and encouragement here, Don, that means a lot to us! Really looking forward to sharing more here in the coming weeks, please do stay tuned!

  9. What? toads near the water??? I’m shocked!!

    Looks like a splendid time.

  10. avatar Eden says:

    Nicely done! And what a great, moody sky 😀

  11. avatar Jim Nix says:

    lovely work here mate, bet you were having a field day at this place!

    • That’s a true understatement Jim!! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind visit and comments, it’s always a highlight for us when we see you pop by The Hollow here!!