About a month ago, we were lucky enough to spend a weekend with our eldest son and family, at a cottage in Lynmouth, North Devon. On the way there, we took a scenic route along the coast of North Somerset and I snapped this groyne at Blue Anchor Bay.
Initial thoughts on the image were not promising, but today I was looking for something to try out Silver Efex Pro 2, now that Google have kindly made it a free download. I stumbled on this one, and found the program pretty user friendly. I chose one of the presets which gave this ‘grainy’ look, boosted the contrast a little more and arrived at this.
I think it is much more pleasing to my eye that the original colour image.
Maybe it is an overly simple shot, being no more than a row of old wooden posts, leading off to the water, and eventually to the coast of Wales in the distance. There are a few Gulls on the shoreline, and the grainy processing has done them no favours, but I still quite like the final result.
There would have been many alternative ways to present this shot that would have proved more attractive to some eyes, perhaps on a different day to my eyes, but this is today’s effort.
I struggle with post titles, so I’m going to continue the trend that I’ve adopted recently, at least where I think there will be more with the same theme.
Today it is cold and grey, and getting colder according to the weather man. This picture is from a stroll on the beach at Burton Bradstock yesterday, when the sun was shining and all was good in the world. It was not too chilly, at least not for the young lady taking a dip. She said that she swims all summer and couldn’t see a reason to stop in the winter. I was impressed!
The moon was meant to be more prominent, but I recomposed to get the swimmer in and forgot it. Silly me!
This shot of Portland and the Harbour were taken from the Nothe Gardens in Weymouth. I guess that it would have been better if I’d had a ND Grad, but there we are. I thought about cropping the burned out sun out of the frame, but I don’t think that the composition would have worked. I suppose that I should have tried a hand held HDR bracket (yes, no tripod with me), but I don’t think that I originally thought the image would be worth it. I now think that maybe I was wrong.
This is it! The last 16 shots from Weymouth Speed Week.
I hope that some of you have had time to follow the links that I put into my last post on the Speed Week. If not, then it may be worth it, because these links show how Speed Sailing has evolved since 1972. In those days, Speed Sailing was dominated by large multi-hull boats, but today Kite Surfers and Sailboards have taken over. Crossbow I had an overall length of 60 ft, and did not rely on ‘planing’ as today’s contenders do, instead working on the principle that a higher length to breadth ratio would do the business. This worked, with the Sailing Speed Record being set at 26.3 knots in 1972.
Here are the last few photos from this series.
Thanks for sticking with this series, particularly if you’re not really interested in sailing or ‘boarding’. I might revisit the subject one day but there will be something different for the next post.
Sorry, but this series has stalled a bit while we were away for a short break. We’re back, so I’ll bore you with a few more of the multitude of shots taken during the Speed Week.
In the last post of this series. I provided links to the Weymouth Speed Week website, where a lot more information on the event could be found.
I have still more images for a couple more posts but, you will be glad to hear that I am nearly finished.
While I was poking around on the Speed Week website, I was reminded of some of the boats that were competing for the Sailing Speed Record back in 1972. In those first few years, large ‘multihull’ boats dominated the competition In that year, ‘Crossbow I’ took the record with a speed of 26.3 knots. ‘Crossbow I’ was built in a ‘proa‘ configuration and was 60 feet long. A photo of ‘Crossbow I’ can be found at Dave Culp Speed Sailing, together with photos of some of the other boats from that era. If anyone comes across any other images of this boat, I would love you to let me know.
Just one more post should finish this series. I hope you will check it out.
My thanks go out to anyone who has followed my series on Weymouth Speed Week. It has been a bit of a marathon, and isn’t finished yet. Some of you may have followed the link to the Weymouth Speed Week website on the internet, and as a result may well, already have a better understanding of this Speed Trial’s history and organisation than I have.
For anyone who hasn’t followed the link, I thought that I should try, as best I can, to say a little on the subject. Everything that I write, apart from a few distant memories, has been gleaned by reading up on the internet, and I may not always have understood what I was reading correctly, so no claims of accuracy are made. Indeed, I would welcome any clarification from those that know better.
I used to race sailing dinghies when I was much younger and around about the time that I started sailing, I remember the first Weymouth Speed Sailing event being held in Portland Harbour. According to the Weymouth Speed Week website, this was in 1972, making this event the oldest Speed Sailing competition in the world. This page gives some history of the event and also a description of how it is run today. The following summarises some of the main points.
The courses are 500 metres in length.
Courses are set according to the prevailing wind conditions. More information can be found here.
If the course is open, competitors can take as many runs as they want.
Good runs can take less that 30 seconds.
Individual GPS data loggers are now used to record the position of each competitor throughout the day. See this link for a detailed description of the process.
As already mentioned, I started sailing back in the early 70s. Before I joined a sailing club, and while I was still teaching myself to sail, I used to launch my boat into Portland Harbour from one of the beaches. I remember seeing a ‘prototype’ dinghy, with what was in those days a pretty novel rig, parked in a local garden. I believed at the time that this was a potential contender for those Speed Trials. The ‘background’ link on the Weymouth Speed Week website provides some interesting information about the way speed sailing has developed around the world. It has become apparent that although boats, sailboards and kiteboard entries are all accepted, sailboards and kiteboards now dominate the competition, at least in Portland Harbour. According to the results, this year, the first boat came 71st, with a speed of just over 22 kts, compared to the winning kiteboard speed of over 36 kts.
In more recent years, the focus for Speed Sailing has moved to other parts of the world. Boats, kites and sailboards are all competing fiercely for the Speed Sailing records, and the current Outright Record stands at 65.45 kts. This is held by a boat and was achieved off the coast of Namibia. A cracking photograph appears on the ‘background’ link above.
It is a pity that Portland Harbour cannot now provide the conditions to achieve outright records, but it is great to see the Weymouth Speed Week continuing to flourish. Perhaps the locals of Portland are very happy that suitable conditions do not occur here regularly, since high winds can take their toll on a coastal community.
Don’t think that you aren’t going to get any more photos, this is, after all a photography blog. The set of 10 for this post follows.
I really must finish by thanking the Weymouth Speed Week organisers for providing the entertainment for both competitors, spectators and photographers, and also for their website, which has enabled me to learn more about how the competition is run today. I hope the organisers do not object to the links that I have provided in this post.
And still more shots from Weymouth Speed Week. Previous posts can be found here, here and here. It is probably best to view them as a slide show by clicking on the first image and then clicking through them.
I’m afraid that I am still going to post a few more from these Speed Trials. I do understand that they may not be to everyones taste and might be a bit sameish. Don’t worry. I will run out of images eventually. I’m short of time today, but hopefully I will be able to say a bit more about Weymouth Speed Week before I finish the series.
Recently, our good friends Bobbie and John from Nottingham visited us for a couple of days. Living in Nottingham, they don’t see much of the sea, so when they visit, we normally try to do some coast walking, or at least get to the coast. Obviously, October isn’t the ideal month for this and we were pretty disappointed with what the weather had to offer.
Some years ago, Bobbie had started on a walk to Golden Cap on the Dorset coast, but had not actually got there. As the weather was meant to be dry until after lunch on the better of the two days that they were with us, we thought that we could put this right and enjoy the views from Golden Cap.
We parked in the National Trust car park at Langdon Hill and started the short walk and easy route up to Golden Cap. It started to rain as we exited the car park but this wasn’t too bad since there was plenty of shelter from the trees of Langdon Wood. There was also a bit of a view of the sea, looking down towards Seatown.
As we struck off from the Langdon Wood circular walk, towards Golden Cap, we left this shelter, but the rain was still not too bad. When, however, we arrived at the top of the climb, the heavens opened and, of course there was absolutely nowhere to shelter. After some good few minutes of torrential rain we were soaked, but the rain eased and was very quickly replaced by low cloud. The following photo shows the wonderful views of the surrounding coast that can be expected on a day such as this! It also shows that we still enjoyed the walk, and have a sense of humour.
No tripod (again) and too much wind anyway, so I’m behind the camera.
After this, we gave up on the walk.returned to the car and went to Lyme Regis to have some lunch.
Sorry, no photographic merit in this post. Just a reminder that we can still get out and have fun, even when the British weather doesn’t cooperate.
There has been a lot of attention to the Somerset Levels of late. Well, not all of Somerset is flat, and below sea level. Last Thursday, we set off on one of our fairly regular walks with our good friends Annie and Roy. We normally try to follow the weather and the forecast suggested that there would be more sunshine on the north coast, than there would be on the coast of Dorset, so the decision was taken to drive to Porlock Weir and do what was described as a 6 mile circular walk, with some steep inclines. We started with a quick snack in the pub, and then set out for Culbone Church, which I’ll cover in another post. After that, we decided that we had enough car parking time to complete the circuit so off we went, climbing nearly continuously. Thankfully, there wasn’t quite as much sunshine as forecast and the weather was very pleasant for walking. The sun did shine for this panorama, which was taken from Culbone Hill, at an altitude of about 1250 ft. Our walk peaked out at just over 1300 ft before we started to descend.
There were several times on this walk where we thought that we wouldn’t make it within our car parking time, but we did, with about 4 minutes to spare.
The panorama is an accumulation of 9 images, stitched in Photoshop. As always, a blog post can’t really do justice to a panorama, but with enlargement, the coast of Wales can be seen very clearly. One feature of this walk was that we saw a truly huge number of sheep with very young lambs, some of which I am sure were new born on that day. The field on the right is full of sheep without lambs. Although not visible without enlargement, the fields in the centre, and further down, were where the ewes with their lambs were.
When we arrived back at Porlock Weir, we decided that this hike was probably enough for a couple of septuagenarians and their wives. The muscles were certainly aching. Maybe I should return to walking the Somerset Levels. 🙂
I’ll try to post about Culbone Church soon, so please keep a look out.