Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hellfire in blue and gold

Once upon a time I wrote a book that featured a lean and rakish ship called the Hellfire. She was based on the nineteenth-century pilot schooners featured in Chapelle's The Search for Speed Under Sail and, more recently, embodied by the Pride of Baltimore II, Lynx, and others.

Just look at that photo of Lynx in a thundering reach on their homepage!

I put a ship called Hellfire in the book because I always wanted to name a ship that, I've always loved the look of these old schooners, and because I needed a dangerous and unmistakable vessel.

So when I got a chance to join Steve Earley for a sail this past weekend, I bundled up against the cold. Just after dawn we tacked up and down along the Chestertown waterfront, where the tall ships had gathered for Downrigging Weekend.

Steve's boat Spartina is the same Pathfinder design I'm building, and it's always inspiring to see that familiar shape in a completed boat. And even better to sail in a fresh breeze! OK, we had to tuck in a reef. And by "we" I mean "Steve."

As a clear sunrise warmed the frosty air, we slipped past Pride II and I shot a stream of photos.

Inspiration for the Hellfire:


Anonymous said...

Beautiful ships! So where's the motor go in them things?

Babs said...

Frostbiting? Gorgeous!