Zenfolio and taking the leap

Photography, for me, is a hobby verging on a passion; with most of my pleasure coming from shooting at gigs.  I get to hear good music, and I get to hone my skills – not a bad life really. I’m also a system administrator, with the ability to write code in a variety of languages, and for over a year now, I’ve been designing and poking at a dream gallery system that would give the subjects of my photos a measure of control on the distribution of those photos.

This entry isn’t to announce that I’ve managed to do that; it’s the complete opposite.

I’ve found that Zenfolio has come on a long way since I looked at it a year ago.  The Zenfolio service offers custom theming, order fulfillment, password protection, digital licensing and more.  I could, in time, write my own code to do this, but I’m coming to the realisation that I just don’t have the energy, nor skill, to write my dream system.  I could probably get my programming up to the skill level required to do it properly, but the time I’d spend doing that could be spent listening to live music or processing photos from a gig so that I can attempt to earn a little pocket money from them.

I think I’ll take the live music and pocket money.  I get plenty of chances to excercise my coding streak at work.

Bequia to St. Vincent to Barbados

Up before the sun.  Tidied up the ropes, and we were off into the Bequia channel by 0650 (after bathing Mum in vinegar because she ran in to some jellyfish on her morning swim).  The channel was rougher than the leg down, but nowhere near as rough as we’ve seen it before, so it was a nice easy motor-sail back up to Barefoot, passing in front of a small container ship.

We found the tall ship again; she appeared to be anchored in Kingstown’s bay.

We reached the outer holding area for the Barefoot dock by 08:40, and the staff there motored out to us to bring ‘Lady Di’ up to the dock; quite neatly, but they’ve been doing it for years.  Looked over ‘Mugari’, as she was tied up to the dock for maintenance work – nice interior, and a better layout than ‘Lady Di’, so perhaps we’ll take her next time.

Reached the airport with plenty of time to spare, had a roti upstairs and filled in all of the paperwork that is associated with departing one country, and entering another one, by air.  Around noon, we headed down to the air-conditioned departure lounge (a fairly new change, somewhere in the past 5 years or so), ready to board our 12:40 flight.

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Bequia Redux

Up at 06:00.  Hot night, even with the windscoop.  Came up on deck to find us pointing to the west, which is even more unusual than pointing to the south.

Some small entertainment on the ‘Sailing’ channel – a charter yacht arrived around 06:10, dropped anchor, lifted anchor, moved, dropped anchor, lifted anchor, moved and then dropped anchor again.  They seemed to subscribe to the school of thought of “Drop the anchor and chain, pile it into full astern until it digs”, but that method doesn’t work very well in Bequia.  Much better to drop anchor and some chain, tail back, let out chain, tail back, let out chain, gentle astern, check the anchor.  Two ferries have headed for St. Vincent, along with an inter-island freighter.

Birds are dive-bombing in lower bay, must be fish.  Bread boat water taxi has showed up, heading for ‘Reverie’, and the guard dog is barking. Continue reading

Tobago Cays to Bequia

Not the best of nights; one squall and awake several times to investigate non-rhythmic noises.  Got up relatively late, 06:45.

Yacht is prepped, we leave for Bequia soon.  Sailing in the morning light is cooler, it’s easier to see the reef to the west of the Cays, and the sun isn’t as strong on the skin.  Speaking of skin, my arms are approaching the colour they held when I lived in this part of the world, and nary a ‘real’ sunburn in sight.

Departed the Cays at 08:15 via the Jamesby/Petit Bateau cut, with myself at the helm and Dad spotting the channel.  Nice reach up to Bequia, roughly 6.5 knots under one reef.  Around 10:30, we saw a large gathering of seabirds in our lee (upwards of 100 birds), about 10 nautical miles south of Bequia.  Must have been good fishing. Continue reading

Petit St. Vincent to the Tobago Cays

Up with the sun again, and a quick battening of the hatches as a small squall went through.  The plan is to depart around 10:00 for the Cays.  Leaving at this time gives us the morning light from the east on ‘Mopion’ and ‘Pinese’, making it easy to see disturbed water etc, and also gives us western light when we go into the Cays.

The ‘Allo Allo’ channel came in crystal clear for about 10 seconds this morning, courtesy of the German-crewed charter catamaran on our starboard quarter.  A pleasant way to start the day.

Watched the dinghy from the American-crewed catamaran ahead of us head for the dinghy dock, and then start paddling half-way across.  The ladies hopped off and went for a walk, while the guy paddled the dinghy back to the catamaran.  Suspect dirty plugs or water in the fuel.

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Petit St. Vincent

Woke up far too early, wandered to the stern, observed the light and went back to bed.  Got up again around 06:30.

We decreed today to be a day of rest; we’ll go up to the Cays tomorrow.  Nipped across to Petit Martinique (part of Grenada’s territory, so the yacht would have to clear customs to go there) in the dinghy around 08:30 with Dad for more ice (at ~ 1/3 the cost in Bequia), cheese and fresh bread.  Committed to staying in the shade until 15:00, at which point I may go back to Petit Martinique to use the internet cafe.  No TV channels of interest in PSV right now; only company is an expensive looking catamaran, crewed if you please.

Around 15:30, the ‘Nature’ channel tuned in, with some wind gusts and a solitary brown booby.  We were all standing on the fore deck observing the coming squalls when the booby decided to have a short bath in the sea alongside ‘Lady Di’, and then proceeded to cruise, with barely a flap of his wings (it was rather windy), on to the pulpit not more than 5 feet away from us.  He (she?) had a bit of an issue gripping the stainless steel, but seemed quite content otherwise; going as far as to fold his wings in, and then extend one to keep his balance.  There was a red tag on his right leg, making us wonder if he ‘belonged’ to PSV’s hotel – no other booby we’ve seen up close has been tagged.

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Union to Petit St. Vincent

Up before any one else today.  ‘Nature’ channel is in full swing as the pelicans catch breakfast.  Watched 3 fishermen drift along the bay, using a hand-thrown net to catch bait fish – the pelicans don’t seem to care at all.

Around 09:00, Mum and I took the dinghy over to where the birds were fishing, dropped anchor and fit our snorkeling gear.  Dropped into the sea, and not a fish in sight, just sand, rock and weed.  Headed inshore, and suddenly we were surrounded by thousands of fish, all about 2 inches long.  Then came across a moray eel, and backpedaled (well, I did) – I don’t like morays.  Given enough room, they’re as safe as any other wild animal (aka, you really don’t know what they’ll do).  In truth, they look more menacing than they are due to the fact they breath with their mouth open, fangs out.

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