Portfolio Naples Collector's Issue 2020 - Page 109

Left: In early 1905, the Dimocks purchased the Irene, an 18-ton, 37-foot houseboat. The 14-foot-wide flatbottomed craft with its 3-foot draft was well suited to the shallow inland waters of the coast. On their initial voyage from mid-April into early May 1905, they took the Irene south from Marco Island to Florida Bay at the southernmost tip of peninsular Florida. From late May into June, they ex- plored Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound. During the first five months of 1906, they again traveled the Ten Thousand Islands. Here the Irene is under way in the Gulf of Mexico off the Ten Thousand Islands. April 11, 1906; 48485. Middle; About a year and a half after buying the Irene, the Dimocks removed the aft jigger mast and enlarged the cabin, making space for a 200-gallon freshwater storage tank, an auxiliary engine, and a photography darkroom. They regularly employed two local men as ship hands and guides. In this photograph taken near Coon Key southeast of Marco Island, A. W. Dimock is on the right and one of the hired hands, probably the Irene’s captain, is on the left. September 16, 1906; 48489. Right: On the deck of the Irene, the Dimocks carried a small motorboat, a canoe, and a skiff (rowboat) or a sec- ond canoe. The smaller craft were used in waters that were too shallow for the Irene or where they simply wanted to use a smaller and quieter mode of transportation, such as on the Harney River in the Ten Thousand Islands, shown here. They also used the smaller craft for fishing. Their sce- nic adventures provided Julian and his father with inspi- ration for nearly eighty magazine articles and several books. May 30, 1906; 48384. Aboard the Irene, the Dimocks set out on numerous fishing expeditions. One trip in the summer of 1908, when Julian perfected his technique for photographing tarpon in midleap, lasted for fifty-two days. On that outing, as reported in A. W.’s Book of the Tarpon, they fished from Boca Grande to Barron River in the Ten Thousand Islands. Along the way, they caught 334 tarpon, all from a canoe. Sixty-three were caught on an 8-ounce fly rod; some were caught with hand lines. The best fishing locales were: Boca Grande (84 tarpon in 15 days); Captiva Pass (66 in 14 days); and the Caloosa- hatchee River (35 in 5 days). A. W. wrote that the only reason they quit fishing was that Julian had exhausted his supply of glass negatives. This spectacular shot of Irene’s captain catch- ing a tarpon on a hand line was taken off Boca Grande. It was used as the cover shot for The Book of the Tarpon. July 12, 1908; 47093. PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 107