Sailboats have an enduring kind of beauty and elegance. A photograph of sailboats may be 100 years old or older. It may bear some bruises and blemishes from ageing, but the charm of the subjects still comes through. The photographer, who had long ago died, had made the ballerinas of the water deathless.

Swiftly cutting through the water,
Falling spray on either side,
Coyly dipping,
Rising, skipping,
Borne along by wind and tide,
Merrily my boat doth glide.

— Dorothy Allen, from ‘Sailing’

Spectators viewing the start of an 18 footer race off Clark Island, c. 1922
Photo by William J Hall / William Frederick Hall
Courtesy of the Australian Maritime Museum, William J. Hall Collection

Schooner Atlantic, 1904
Photo by Charles E. Bolles (American, 1847–1914)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Sloop race at Sydney Heads, n.d.
Photo by William J Hall / William Frederick Hall
Courtesy of the Australian Maritime Museum, William J. Hall Collection

Defender, c. 1895
Photo by Charles E. Bolles (American, 1847–1914)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Sailboats competing on Moreton Bay, Brisbane, c. 1940
Photo by George Jackman (Gold Coast correspondent for The Courier Mail and The Daily Mail newspapers from 1920 to 1945)
Courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Ariel, c. 1899
Photo published by Detroit Publishing Co.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Fishing smacks  — first fishermen’s race for Lipton Cup, 1907
Photo published by Detroit Publishing Co.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Schooner, between 1918 and 1920
Photographer unidentified
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Sailboat, Morehead City, North Carolina, 1906
Photo by Mary Bayard Morgan Wootten (1875–1959)
Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

Moored sailboat, 1907
Photo by Heinrich Kühn (Austrian, born Germany, 1866–1944)
Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Boats on the Nile, 19th century
Photographer unknown
Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Whitby Harbour, 1880
Frank Meadow Sutcliffe (English, 1853–1941)
Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

~ Barista Uno

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