Red Spinnaker

Racing sailboats on San Francisco Bay is the sort of upper-class pastime that seems perfectly suited for a flawless blue evening in late spring. Placid water meets busy city meets bright sails.

Red Spinnaker

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Vancouver Towers

Vancouver can be a bit of an alien place at times. Gazing across the water, I don’t know that any image better represents the combination of dense urbanity, maritime connection, and epic nature than this one does. With the last warm hues of sunlight reflecting from the water and the windows, the blues of the forest (and night) beyond begin to dominate.

Vancouver Towers

Calm on Mirror Lake

On my way through upstate New York, I paused for a day in Lake Placid. This strange Alpine-style town is the home to the US Winter Olympic training efforts, but also happens to have a gorgeous series of lakes and forested Adirondack mountains nearby. Tiny boathouses and grandiose hotels dot Mirror Lake, but this single, ideal little sailboat (with its appropriately patriotic sail) seemed apart from them all. The photograph shows the effect: the boat is isolated on the mirrored surface of the lake, apart from the summer business on the shore.

Calm on Mirror Lake

Wind-Powered Ducklings

Berkeley Marina is a wrench-shaped peninsula in the San Francisco Bay; the “handle” supports a bumpy road to the area itself, while the “head” has docks and a smattering of yacht clubs, restaurants, and smaller hotels aimed at the people mooring there. The larger boats (mostly of the sailing variety) are in the center of the Marina, but on the southern side, in a slightly-sheltered area, are the docks for the much smaller boats. Here, locals come to learn the basics of sailing and wind surfing in the shadow of the Port of Oakland and its massive container crains.

Having taken sailing lessons here myself, I can confirm that the placidity is an illusion. In a boat with a center board instead of a keel, the degree of resistance to the wind is much less, and the crew is required to really use their weight to control these little boats. Today’s shot captures the boats as I prefer to remember: ready to sail, but sitting calmly at the dock.

Wind-Powered Ducklings