Monday, August 20, 2007
Rainbow Fleet's Sunday Sailing
Yesterday the Nantucket Yacht Club's annual Rainbow Fleet parade sailed in Nantucket Harbor to the delight of hundreds of observers lining the sandy beaches around Brant Point Lighthouse. The Rainbow Fleet boat is a 12'4" Beetle Cat catboat first built in 1920 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by members of the Beetle Family. In 1925 the Nantucket Yacht Club chose the Beetle Cat design and with the colored sails, it became known as the Rainbow Fleet, which was then made famous in 1930 by a photograph taken by Marshall Gardiner as the boats rounded Brant Point Lighthouse. This will make a great watercolor when I can find time to pull out my brushes, paints and paper! To see the original Marshall Gardiner image, go to the Nantucket Historical Society.
If you're interested in reading an entertaining book about Nantucket and sailing, my favorite is Second Wind written by local author Nathaniel Philbrick earlier in his career. Today he's best known for his much acclaimed recent works, In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower (which was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review and for which the author was named a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History).