A Sailing We Will Go!

Bob called early this morning and asked if we wanted to go sailing!  The plan was to take the boys in the morning, so we settled on gathering at the boat at 10 AM sharp.  IMG_5444

The Greta is a 35′ fiberglass sailboat that Bob & Margaret (My In-Laws) have owned for as long as I’ve known them.  The came to Alaska aboard her and toured SE Alaska until the decided to settle at the Senior Village in Haines. IMG_5462 Back before we had the boys, when bob was trying to go sailing once a month, he’d often bring me along to help man the lines or to steer while he set the sails.

The Greta (short for Margaret) is in immaculate condition, as Bob is quite faithful about polishing the hull each year and also varnishing the teak when it’s time.

Boats are great places to learn tons about the weather, physics, water, wind, and life in general.  IMG_5469Plus they’re great places crawl around and explore.  Margaret fed the boys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches down in the galley while Bob set the main sail to the second reef as we headed out of the harbor.   There were quite a few whitecaps on the water just out past the protection of Port Seward.  As a matter of fact, one of the reasons the Pluckers decided to stay in Haines when they were casting about for a home all those years ago, is that a decent sail is to be had just minutes out of the small boat harbor.

In the picture below, it looks like Bob was doing all the work.  But in reality, it was Bob at the wheel, me taking pictures, and Margaret on kid duty.  You do the math.

IMG_5508 Both Luke and Mark got a brief chance at the wheel before it got a little to windy for fun and we headed back in to the harbor.  Basically we made a straight shot for Skagway, then came about into the wind and headed back home the way we came.  Distance one equals distance two.

It was slightly overcast/scattered clouds when he called this morning, and we had three adults for three kids.

Portrait time!

I’m not sure why I like pictures and making them so much, but I do. 

There’s just something about taking a photo that feels like finding, or making, a treasure that will last forever.  IMG_5395 cThe goal is to take an excellent image–not just any old picture.

Admittedly, the goal today was just to take a family portrait, but even that needs to be done with care.

The lighting needs to be soft for little ones, since I don’t have a scrim, we couldn’t shoot the picture I wanted (the boys in a field of daffodils) during the last week.

We wanted them in matching clothes, which was difficult, but not impossible.  When we go to Wal-Mart and buy clothes for the boys, we always try to get matching shirts, pants and shoes for the boys so we can take family portraits.  We buy white and black turtle neck shirts, some brown pants, and some blue pants and some black pants–for formals, we bought little tuxedos for them on ebay for $24.99 a piece for the x-mas shot.  The way we figure it, we only need to buy one per year for Mark, the others can always just wear his hand-me-downs.

Another big problem was we wanted them all pretty happy–so that meant taking the picture in the morning before 9 AM, because usually after that the naps don’t coincide to make them all both pleasant to be around awake.

We have a few photos like this of when I was young that my folks took–I think you know the kind of photo I mean, the ones that took a little bit more work and that do more than just document the ages, hair  styles, clothing, and relative sizes.

Today, with all the daffodils at about their maximum growth, and a nice overcast day, we just had to get out and take the beginning of summer photo.  Two hours after we took the photo, the workers came out and all the flowers had all been mowed down.