Feathers the Wonder Dog
A Wolf in the garden!
Dear Friends – believe it or not, I found a wolf in the front garden! Well, not a doggie-type wolf but an amazing yacht named Varg – or Wolf in Norwegian.
When my trusty driver takes me into Cygnet, our local town, we pass the remains of Varg resting in a waterfront garden. As a domestic sculpture it is truly monumental with greyed wood, perspex plates and rusting fitting. Seeing it lying there aroused my curiosity; why, when, and how is this relic - of what looks like a once-noble boat - in someone’s garden? It’s a great story……
This garden sculpture is all what is left of the unique 1924 timber Eight Metre classic yacht, Varg, designed by the renowned Norwegian naval architect Johan Anker. Anker, who won Olympic Gold in 1912 and 1928 as a member of the Norwegian sailing teams, was also an internationally celebrated master wooden boat builder.
This Varg successfully raced in England, when in 1927, it was bought as a 21st birthday present for the son of Australian music publisher, Frank Albert who subsequently shipped the yacht to Sydney. The yacht raced in Australia under the new name of Norn (in Norse mythology, Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men – love it!!!).
After decades of racing on Sydney Harbour and changes in ownership, the beautiful Varg fell into total disrepair, sinking into Sydney Harbour only to be rescued by a new owner captivated by its history.
This new owner brought the remains of Varg to the renowned Cygnet Wilsons Boat Yard, one of Australia’s oldest continually-operating wooden boat building businesses, with the mission to salvage as much as possible and rebuild the vessel to her former glory.
No so; the spongy rotting skeleton was beyond repair and any basic restoration. But instead, the keel was used as inspiration, the original plans were found in Norway’s National Maritime Museum and a new Varg was rebuilt precisely according to her original specs using beautiful, marine-hardy Huon and Celery Top woods.
Amazingly since moving to World’s End, Klady and I have often admired a beautiful yacht moored in the waters of Cygnet, which even from the road, looks majestic and totally unique. Incredibly this yacht has turned out to be the new Varg and as the crow flies, is moored just 200 metres from its’ garden sculpture forbearer.
And the new Varg is for sale!!!
My next thought is: does Klady really want to buy her own seaside shack? Just look at the pictures - why not buy this beautiful boat instead? We could live on the water, drift to sleep every night with the rocking of the waves, look at the stars and fish from the deck. Perfect. And I would become known as Feathers the Sea Dog.
But I know what Klady will say. While she’s definitely a diehard boatie, she’s not a yachtie, preferring motor boats, jet skis and kayaks.
And then there is the next dilemma. If we are living in the middle of the D’Encastreaux Channel, how does Klady let me out in the middle of the night to do my doggie business? I know she would refuse to jump into a dingy at midnight in her flannelette pyjamas, take me to shore and then bring me back on board for another snooze until morning.
But who knows? I’m going to try and suggest this to her in the coming days – and maybe after a glass or two of champagne she’ll weaken and buy into my dog of the sea dream.
Wish me luck!
Above new Varg photos: Boat Sales Tasmania