A Perfect Day for Sailing

Last Christmas a neighbor of mine, Martha, bought her guy, Chuck, a gift: my time as a photographer to photograph his sailboat, the Delta G. We had been waiting for the perfect weekend with great clouds, blue skies, and good wind, and a Sunday in August seemed to be the right day for everyone.

Chuck’s boat is a beautiful, not overly large craft that he has put a lot of work into, redoing and refinishing. And Chuck and Martha seem totally at home as sailors and love being on the water. That was evident.

We had to have a chase boat for me to ride on since they wanted pictures under sail, with the hills and clouds of the Finger Lakes in the background. It was a gorgeous day to be out on the lake and their friend, James, obliged with his boat, Midnight Star, for the chase. Chuck and Martha had been up the lake for an overnight with some other boats and were on their way back in the afternoon, so we met them as they approached the south end of Seneca Lake.

We cruised round and round passing and circling each other while I sat on the bow and shot away. Fortunately the light was generally good with clouds coming and going, good bright sun and dappling light across the hillsides. The wind would come and go, but generally cooperated.

After a couple of hours of shooting Chuck’s boat, we swapped places. With both boats pulling up close together, I took my life in my hands and leapt from one boat to the other after passing the camera bag to safety. It was a moment of gasps and grappling hands as I almost went into the lake, but kept dry with Chuck’s quick assistance. And so the transfer complete, I sailed off on Chuck’s Delta G to shoot James’ boat for a while as a return gift to him for providing the chase boat for the first go round.

All in all, a beautiful afternoon to be on the water, and a great day for sailing pictures. Let’s do it again.


by George Cannon