Remembering the Dorita

Many years ago the Transvaal Branch of the World Ship Society went on one of its periodic trips down to Durban. For some reason I was not with them but when they came back they told me about a small private yacht that they had had a visit to. The ship had supposedly been owned by Elvis and the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor pairing at some point. The next time I went down to Durban I spotted the vessel and took pics of her, but did not really pay too much attention. If only I knew what a historic ship she was back then.

I recently posted her pic on one of my shipping groups and drew a blank so I decided to go see what was available in the outside world. The biggest problem I had was her name. For some odd reason I had labelled the image “Doreeta” but her name was really “Dorita”. Incidentally, the image above shows the former pilot boat R.A. Leigh in the background with the blue and orange funnel.

I discovered that the Dorita was now called “Grey Mist” and looked a bit different to what she looked like back then when we saw her. Her current specs are:  38.71m with a top speed of 13 knots from a pair of 425.0 hp engines. She has accommodation date up to 14 people with a crew of 5. She was designed by Charles E. Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholsons in Gosport with delivery in 1920 with the name Grey Mist for H.N. Anderson. In 1926 she was purchased by Sir John Archer K.B.E but resold to Harry Vincent in 1934. In 1939 she was bought by Lady Maud Burton and her husband Ronald Rothbury Burton. When war broke out she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and participated in the Dunkirk Evacuation which makes her one of the few survivors from that episode in history. She later served as a “signal ship” throughout the war. She was returned to her owners after the war.  

She was then bought by Walter Mears in 1951 who restored and operated her as a charter yacht around the Greek Islands. She was resold to Albert Bachelor who took her out of the British Registry, and later re-named her Marina II in 1966. She then drops out of sight until she was discovered rotting away in Durban in 1993 under the name Dorita. She was purchased by Fort Worth businessman Holt Hickman and crossed the Atlantic to America in 1998.   (https://www.berwickcameraclub.co.uk/news/tuesday-24th-september)

She was berthed at Galveston in 1998 and her new owner began a complete refit of the yacht in 2003, which was completed in 2011. (https://www.coastmonthly.com/2015/01/grey-mist/)

I could not find any reference to Elvis or Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton although part of her history is missing. At some point she must have been re-engined although it appears as if she was originally diesel powered which was quite rare in period when she was built. Fortunately she still retains her counter stern. 

There is a complete description of her at (https://www.superyachttimes.com/yachts/grey-mist) as well as an image.  There are two images of her at Shipspotting.com. Use the thumbnails to access the pages. 

© dirk septer
© stuurmann

The Dorita is remembered but it is such a pity that she has become so divorced from her history and her past but she has existed for a century and is a unique glimpse into the lifestyle of the rich and famous. 

DRW 2020. Created 27/04/2020. Special thanks to the owners of the weblinks that I have used in this bit of history.  

Return to Muffinland (2)

As we were saying before Muffin nodded off… Muffin is a cat of many talents and of course is very photogenic too, although he does have his “off days”​

Generally food will cheer him up, or maybe a 

Guess who heard the magic word?

Don’t get me wrong, Muffin can chase a piece of string, laser pointer or even a twig.

In fact, he occasionally plays dolls when the whim takes him.

and he enjoys a box or plastic bag just like any other self respecting moggy.

But like many pets Muffin has slowed down a lot as he has gotten older, it is now 8 years since Muffinland first saw the light of day and Muffin is probably about 9 now and has slept for at least 7 of those years. In human terms he is roughly about 52 human years, which is almost as old as I am (although I have had much less sleep and no fishycookies).

Just talk to the paw…

At the end of the day Muffin is a wonderful gentle moggy that enjoys company and who is not averse to a dab of cream on his foot/feet. We have had many laughs because of him and each time I return to South Africa he looks strangely at me as if to say “Have I been asleep for so long?”

But, late at night as I battle jet lag I will feel him jump on the bed, release his limiters and wash his foot, safe in the knowledge that he can sleep late the next morning and all will be well in his world. 

And as for Pooty Applewater? there are other moggy’s at Muffin’s home now, and Muffin finally has some friends to wash and sleep with. Pooty is way too grumpy for that sort of frivolity and she still makes horrid noises when she sees him.

This is Floof (or something like that) and she is (he?) much friendlier

And the other moggy is way too fast to see: a grey streak across the lawn that is moving way too quickly for my camera or for Muffin. I may have a pic… but must find it first.  I do not know when/if I will be in the presence of Muffin again, but if ever I am I will send him your regards and he will wash his foot and fall asleep like he always does. 

DRW © 2020. Created 26/04/2020

Return to Muffinland (1)

I was recently reminded that the original Muffinland webpage had gone missing. For those who do not know Muffinland was where Muffin the cat used to post pics for his hordes of adoring fans. However, when I changed everything to a blog format Muffin was asleep and did not complete the migration of his stuff either (He was very tired because he only slept 27 hours that night). After some persuasion I managed to find the original material from then and am going to try to recreate parts of Muffinland. Bear in mind that the chief cat involved is still recovering from his last attempt at going into politics. 

Without further ado…  a fishy cookie for encouragement. 

This is Muffinland,  the home of Muffin. The cat with the cleanest foot in town. Him of the fishycookie habit. Occasionally known as Noodle, sometimes Osaka, but always Muffin deep inside. Fishycookies are one of Nature’s purrfect foods, and one of Muffins (that’s me below), favourite snacks. I will do anything for a fishycookie, and will endure hoodies, gloves, scarves and newspapers heaped upon my tormented body just for that moment of greatness when a fishycookie graces my pallet. I consider them to be the “Scooby Snack” of Muffinland.

Nom nom nom

Of course being somewhat of a debonair playcat has not gone to Muffin’s head. He acknowledges that he has many fans and wishes that he could thank them all, but he must wash his foot and of course catch up on his sleep. However, he does send this personalised pic for his fans.

Q&A.

Fans send Muffin lots of questions. Here are a few.

Q. How long are you Muffin?

How long is Muffin? 1491 x 636 pixels.

Q. What kind of cat are you?

A. A very tired black and white one.

Q. What is your favourite food?

A. Fishycookies! and cream and custard and fishycookies and whatever else I can scrounge.

Q. Is there a Mrs Muffin in your life?

A. No, but there is Pooty Applewater although she is kind of grumpy. 

Pooty Applewater

Q. I always feel motivated when I see you, what is your secret?

A. Fishycookies…. lots of sleep and a clean foot.

That reminds me. I must wash my foot.

Talking about motivation. Muffin was the star of a series of motivational memes and would like to share some of his favourites.

Unfortunately Dokes the cat crossed the rainbow bridge in June 2014, and he will be remembered with fondness by all who knew him. Read our tribute at Rest in Peace Dokes

Muffin would like to remind everybody that it will soon be winter

Muffin is no follower of fashion, although he does have his favourite no name wardrobe items.

And of course during this period of lockdown and social distancing…

Don’t forget that this pandemic is serious business, so Muffin advises that lockdown is the perfect time to catch up on your sleep (even if it is only for 27 hours), or get your hair done.

And that is Muffinland for today. Once Muffin gets more energy he will be back to enthral us all with more Tales from the Tail. 

DRW © 2008 – 2020. Originally created 15/07/2011. Recreated 26/04/2020