Tag Archives: sailing

Fresh air and The Birds

Photo above: participants in the “Round the County Sailing Race”, rounding the Lighthouse Point, Patos Island, WA. Photo taken from East Point, Saturna Island, BC, roughly 6 km away…

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to go to East Point, to get some fresh air (and oh yes, the air certainly was fresh…). Although rain was threatening, I went because someone pointed out that a major sailing race was underway in the Orcas islands. The header photo above is the best shot I could get, from 6km away…

The straggler, in the Orcas sailing race. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: a straggler, way behind the rest of the participants…

A good breeze was flowing through and I found a large gathering of gulls, all over the rocks.

Masses of gulls at East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Gulls everywhere, resting while facing the wind.

Immature herring gulls at East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: I think these are junior (not quite mature) herring gulls…

Gull convention at East Point, Saturna island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

It was like a gull convention. Or the prelude to The Birds (you know, the Hitchcock movie…).

And more coming…

Gull in flight at East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And these caught my eye, because of their red beaks…

Heerman's gulls, East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I had to look them up today: they are Heerman’s gulls, and these waters are probably their northernmost habitat on the Pacific Northwest.

Harlequin ducks, East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There were all kinds of Harlequin ducks, fishing around the point. Above, a lovely couple. The gulls kept trying to fly close, land next to the ducks after they surfaced, to steal whatever they had caught…

Oops, the hen dove and the drake gets to pose for the camera…

Harlequin drake, East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Here is a harlequin hen, at the shore…

Harlequin hen, East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then there were the little ones, the sandpipers, scurrying between the gulls. They are so tiny and quick, and their camouflage colours are so efficient that they are hard to spot…

Sandpiper, East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Snack time…

Sandpiper finding a snack. East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

After a couple of hours, my fingers started to feel frozen (note to self: bring gloves, next time), so I decided to head home.

I leave you with a shot from the night before, a Saturday evening sunset minuet:

Silhouette sunset. Photo by Andrée Fredette

 

These waters – Photo Wednesday

Above: classic shot of the Fog Alarm Building at East Point, Saturna Island, British Columbia.

And below, I tried to catch the sky reflected in a puddle left in sandstone hollows, on the “other side” of East Point.

The other side of East Point, Saturna Island, British Columbia. Photo by Andrée Fredette

If you like blues, this is the place. In these waters, an entire palette of blues is deployed every day.

Islet with approaching fog. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: an islet before the approaching fog engulfs it… Viewed from the ferry.

HMCS Oriole, oldest commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the same morning, again from the ferry, an apparition: the HMCS Oriole, the oldest commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy. It is a  31 m (101 ft 8 in) sailing ketch built in 1921. (I had to look it up.)

 Evening sail, by Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And I leave you with these sailors, stretching the day into evening.

Navy Channel Sunset. Photo by Andrée FredetteSummer is here. How about a tequila sunset?

Sailing on Summer Weekends

From my house, I get to watch the sailors in the summertime. Little boats, big boats…

Regatta, from the bluff. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Sometimes, they play all together.
Regata time, with spinnakers. Photo by Andrée FredetteAnd when they turn around to go home, I love the colourful spinnakers.

Sailing together in the silver light, between Pender and Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée FredetteThe next day’s race was scheduled later in the afternoon. The silver afternoon light is just magic.

And sometimes, sailors prefer to work solo.

Little sailboat in the breeze. Photo by Andrée FredetteSailing by yourself is a special kind of solitude, time to reflect, but also to react quickly to changing conditions. No one else to blame in case of a mistake.

The above sailor looks headed for the US (smile). That little chunk of land on the right is Blunden Islet, at the tip of South Pender Island, in BC. The islands in the background are Waldron and Orcas, in the US.

 

Competitors, sailing regatta. Photo by Andrée FredetteDuring the same sailing event, serious sailors competed on bigger boats. Team work and play. Less meditation, more intensity.

And sometimes, things don’t go as planned.

The wreck of the Robertson II, 2007. Photo by Andrée FredetteIn 2007, on the eve of the Saturna Lamb Barbecue (a July Saturna tradition for over 50 years), the Robertson II ran aground on a reef near Saturna Island, in the middle of the night.  Miscalculation, distraction, too much pre-partying?  Night sailing is demanding and unforgiving.

Oh well.

Sailing in July. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Back to daytime sailing. And the afternoon light.

I caught the boat pictured above sailing “in the silver”, a couple of days ago. The late afternoon light was perfect.  Then, I played with the filters and colour intensity. I think this is going to be a print. In the meantime, enjoy it online.

And go play outside!