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Photography Sailing

Winds and the Fulmore Race

There is a sound, created as the wind touches these curved, meticulously laid out surfaces. Of course sailing is an art, and a romantic one in theory — harnessing this invisible force and moving, moving moving. Two hundred years ago, skillful sailing could win and end wars: sailing had a purpose. Does it still, other than resetting our inner compass as Cheryl would say? Patrick O’brian often wrote, through his Stephen Maturin character, about Captains Aubrey’s obsession of sailing from point A to point B in the fastest, most efficient way, be damned all wonders passed and ignored. Golden coasts, undiscovered species, landscapes seen once in a lifetime, they all float next to a ship and then behind it, buried in the wake often never to be seen again. If it is romance we are aiming for, sailing is a metaphor on the movement of life. For a while things are next to us, but just for a moment, and then they’re bobbing in our wake, out of our lives. We keep moving, so long as there is wind.

Wind is part of the story.

Photos from the Fulmore Race from Santa Barbara to Pelican Bay:


Departing Santa Barbara Yacht Club, destination Pelican Bay.


At the start with Radio Flyer, left, and Rush Street


Katana gets ready to start


Taxi Dancer. I loved the variety and colors of the boats, not to mention the exciting starts. For this race, all boats, regardless of rating, start at the same time.


Details, a hand, the ocean: the narrative of a photograph.

Results matter, I suppose. Races are meant to be won — Sleeper finished 3rd (after race officials calculate time owed to the smaller boats by the bigger boats). The overnight stay in Santa Cruz was fun, and once again I met people full of incredible stories. Seemingly everyone on board the party boats had done the Transpac one or more times. A challenging race which I hope to do at least once in my life. Not unlike Captain Aubrey, when sailboats do these regattas they’re in a hurry to get there, wherever there is located. You have to get there for the party, the awards and the good times. Aubrey would’ve described the ‘good times’ as a thundering broadside into the side of a French ship. But what of everything dimming in the distance? The grassy cliffs, the tiny caves carved on the rocks, and that deep ocean blue.

There’s “not a moment to be lost,” I’m afraid.

The wind carries all to the end, only to turn that into yet another start.

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