SUMMER SIMMERS AWAY

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Always open big, they say, so……………

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This field of sunflowers was along Route 48 near Mattituck, NY on the North Fork of Long Island.  It was a joy to come upon.  I visited one afternoon, thinking how I would approach the farmhouse and ask permission to photograph in the field.  When I got there the field was swarming with bees … and photographers.  Apparently there was a de facto permission.  I enjoyed the visit but determined to return the following morning for the warm light of sunrise. I did and I was alone except for a few early worker bees.  What a wonderful way to start the day for both of us.

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And here, a worker bee at work.  I had left my macro lens in my room but I made this shot with my telephoto at 260 mm.

About that time a man driving by stopped and asked me if I was going to shoot all of the seeds.  My answer, “One at a time.”

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Elsewhere on the North Fork there were sunsets on Long Island Sound.  The sun, itself, need not always be in the scene.  Had it been, all of the diamonds on the beach would have been washed out.  As it was, it took me a long time to pick them all up.

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A simmering summer also produces storms, and some can be quite dramatic especially when over the water.  Here the message is, “Squall to port, squall to starboard;  keep a steady helm, lad.”

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We’re always good (?) for a couple of nor’easter storms during the summer.  This one in late July didn’t make the category but was scary just the same.  Those that are in charge of such things decreed that this was only a “Coastal Storm.”  I wonder if they would have felt the same had they been standing in the surf as was I?  It was awesome.decided that it was a “Coastal Storm”.  Regardless of the name they are humbling experiences.

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August also brings the annual Downbay Regatta to Little Egg Harbor.  A-cats, B-cats, E-Scows and Lightnings arrive from clubs along the coast north to Bayhead.  It’s a three day festival of competitive racing and partying.  Saturday morning’s start was not promising as they edged their way from the dock out towards the racing grounds.  But, in any weather it’s always an appealing sight.

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I rarely appear in these posts but this is to thank my right-arm daughter, Sigrid, for keeping me erect and helping me back to my seat after my waking up the young girls’ dancing.

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Well, what else?  Oh, yeah, the eclipse thing.  Here’s my take on it.

This is as seen through clouds of interstellar dust. The telescope was on the planet Bergiesplace which orbits Alpha Centauri, about 4.2 light years distant.  In case you’re believing the former, the shot was made just through the local clouds but I like the interstellar dust idea.  I had neglected to acquire any of the proper filters but I did have a variable neutral density filter which had 10+ stops.  That plus the clouds enabled me to capture the image

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Finally, a simmering summer leads to fall, and I sense a little of that.

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I was so pleased with this shot that I have nothing more to say.

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DOWNBAY 2016

The Downbay Regatta is an annual summer highlight at Beach Haven’s Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club.   A many-yeared tradition, sailboats come “down-bay” from several other yacht clubs on Barnegat Bay to compete in their classes, i.e. A-Cats, B-Cats, E-Scows and Lightnings.  It is always colorful, always a weekend of camaraderie,  of renewing friendships, of hard-fought races, and not a little partying.  Although I had retired as the club photographer, my camera wanted to go take a look; what could I do?

The weekend opened bright, hot, and windy with some question as to whether there might be too much wind.  That was a new concept for a power-boater like me … too much wind to sail?!? Anyway, a great start for the weekend.  Here’s the traditional lineup of the romantic A-Cats, with two more on moorings out in the thorofare.

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On the dock were the colorful “marks and pins” which are taken out to the sailing grounds and moored to mark the turning points of the various courses.

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The harbor horn sounds … a kind of mount-up signal which triggers all kinds of boarding, and sail raising activity, some of it frenetic.  I heard lots of “Pull that line …. Jack, don’t tie us up … The sail’s caught … Can we get a tow … “

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Will somebody let go the bow line?

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Third generation Little-Egger Sam Flagler was invited to skipper the A-Cat, Ghost. This boat was generously donated last year to the NJ Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.  (A splendid museum, WELL worth a visit.)  The boat is “mothered” by past yacht club commodore John Coyle, an inveterate supporter of lots of good things for Beach Haven and the island and the area (e.g. the Tuckerton Seaport Museum.)  Anyhow, Sam invited my granddaughter, Gretchen, to crew with him.  They’ve been sailing buddies since their learning days in the Junior Sailing program.  Here they are as young teenagers in the 2008 Quill-McCarty race around Mordecai Island.

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And, eight years later, boarding Ghost for the races.

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Finally, they begin their tow to the sailing grounds.

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 Torch decides to sail her way out, dragging her reflection behind her.

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Finally, a Lensbaby view of the morning dock and preparation.

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APPROACHING THE FINISH LINE (OF SUMMER, TOO)

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A sign of late summer is the Downbay Regatta, held at the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club and hosting A Cats, Lightnings, E Scows, and catboats from Long Beach Island north along the Jersey coast.  It’s two days of serious sailing races and two nights of serious partying.  Here, one of the giant A Cats, Vapor, heads out from Liberty Thoroughfare to make for the race grounds.

 

 

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These magnificent boats are in the tradition of the large boats needed to haul goods from the mainland to the barrier islands in the 19th century.  The A Cats are the 20th century interpretation, re-created beginning in the 20’s.  They are typically on the order of 28′ long with 12′ beams.  Here we see (left to right) Lotus, Vapor, Spy, Ghost, Spyder and Tamwock headed downwind.

 

 

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Here’s the group making for the turning marker.  I’m happy to have used a telephoto lens rather than being this close in front of them.

 

 

 

 

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Equally awesome, particularly  with their  colorful spinakers are the E Scows.  What an awful name for such beautiful boats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some more images of the Downbay races, click here.