Monday, January 4, 2016

bookended by gannets, a Chesapeake Bay photographer

My New Year's Day was booked ended by gannets.  On New Year's Eve while looking for humpback whales off of Cape Henry there were a few dozen gannets flying about and crash diving into the ocean.  They were after the same food as the whales, and there seemed to be plenty enough for all.  

The day after New Year's Day Webb Chiles, sailor of the Moore 24 GANNET, stopped by with his wife Carol.  Heading to the airport after a vacation in the Outer Banks, Webb and Carol were nice enough to come by for a tour of Spartina (which took all of 10 minutes), then my wife the Pilgrim and I joined them for lunch in Norfolk.  It was a treat.   Afterwards we walked along the waterfront then enjoyed the sight of a SailNauticus Harbor 20 sailing in on a gently breeze and rounding up perfectly at the dock.   


From the Washington Post.......

Robert de Gast, a photographer whose 1970 book “The Oystermen of the Chesapeake” captured in harsh and unsentimental images the final days of America’s last fishing fleet under sail and is regarded as one of the finest depictions of the watermen who make their living there, died Jan. 3 at a hospice center in Baltimore. He was 79.

I knew of Mr. de Gast from his1975 book "Western Wind, Eastern Shore: A Sailing Cruise around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia."  I have never seen the book but I have read it was the inspiration for Washington Tuttle's sail around the Delmarva Peninsula on his catboat.  

 The Delmarva Peninsula and documentary photography, two of my favorite things.  I've placed an order for a used copy of "Oystermen" from Amazon.  And I am pleased to know that a photographer and sailor left his mark on the Bay.


Baydog said...

Sailing and oysters. Say no more

S R Wood said...

Steve -- I first saw Robert de Gast's "Western Wind, Eastern Shore" on my grandfather's bookshelf. Many years later it sits on mine: I turn to it often. It first sparked my dream of a Delmarva circumnavigation and conveys a lonesome peace that is so characteristic of the Bay even decades after his trip. I'm sorry to hear of his passing but glad to learn of a fellow fan.