As the last snow melts and as the temperatures warm into the 50s, is hard not to start thinking of summer. And for me summer equals sailing. And so today I went looking for something that evokes warmer weather. In two more months, maybe I’ll be on my boat on amazing Lake Oahe. . .
We are back from a little more than a week in the British Virgin Islands and so I guess this is my first, official post from the trip. We met our youngest son Jon and his friend Eli in Road Town, Tortola, and, having chartered a 41′ Beneteau monohull sailboat for a week, we took off for the islands.
I didn’t take that many photos on the trip, primarily because my point of view was mainly limited to the sailboat. If you ask me, one water-with-an-island-in-the-background shot looks pretty much like every other water-with-an-island-in-the-background shot. Also, since the boat was often moving in pretty good swells and wind, I didn’t like taking my camera outside the confines of the cockpit.
So, anyway, here’s a shot I took lying on my back on the bow of the boat looking straight up. I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle lens but and even wider angle would have been nice.
Canon 5DII 1/320s f/9.0 ISO100 16mm
In the minutes before the start of a sailboat race, things can look a little chaotic. The challenge is to cross the start line (not visible in this photo) after the starting gun goes off, not before. Before the race, then, you might have boats that are going in opposite or seemingly random directions.
All of this happened in slow motion on the nearly calm day Deb and I were in Gig Harbor, Washington, a few years ago.
The dull, cloudy day is made to look a little brighter due to some Photoshop magic. A tutorial is in the works for those who might be interested in knowing the technique.
Somebody once said that a good definition of sailing was “slowly going nowhere at great expense.” These boats were photographed leaving Gig Harbor in Washington state on a nearly windless day and they were certainly moving at a deliberate pace.
Though it was a generally gray (a typical western Washington) day, the boats in this Saturday regatta were still photogenic.
This sailboat is owned and operated by Steve and Kitty. It is a Tartan 32 (?) and it lives just a fews slips down from Wandering Star. It the kind of boat I wouldn’t mind moving up to some day. Yes, I have boat envy. What would Freud say?
If you look at the sails of these boats, you will notice a “Y”. That identifies them as Yngling class boats, which is an international classification. You might also notice the “USA” on the sails. If this photo had been taken in Switzerland, you would see “SUI” instead. Or in Sweden “SWE”. And so on. Additionally, the number on the sail indicates the hull number. My boat (which is a Catalina 250) has the number 639 on the sail, which means that it was the 639th Catalina 250 to be built.
I’m sure you’re thrilled by this information, but being an educator, I feel obligated. . .
What you are looking at in this photo isn’t just any Saturday Yngling class regatta. You are looking at one of the races in the North American Yngling Regatta, which was being hosted by the Okoboji Yacht Club on Lake Okoboji in Iowa. They had a brisk NW wind to sail in and we just happened to be cruising the lake in a powerboat when the regatta started. I wasn’t planning on taking photos of a sailboat race and if I had known this was happening, I would have brought my good telephoto lens with me.
It was a beautiful day for sailing yesterday. This boat is Rigadoon, owned by Dan and Pam Cronin of Pierrie, SD. This is the same boat posted yesterday, incidentally. Pam was at the top of the mast replacing something called the windex, which helps a sailor judge the wind. If you look towards the top of the mast in this photo, you can see it working perfectly.
There are thousands of “safe harbors” in the islands that spread out along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. This particular harbor (to paraphrase a song title by Jimmy Buffett) is on the west end of the Island of Hvar, which I have visited twice.
I’ve mentioned in another post that Deb and I hope to charter a sailboat and cruise the Croatian islands but she tells me that we need our son, Captain Jon, aboard. I agree, but I’m not sure that our need for a precise travel schedule can mesh with Jon’s free-form lifestyle. Our goal was to do it in the summer of 2011. We’ll see. . . .