Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay, I've seen many photographs of the gorgeous log canoe sailing boats in action. But prior to the this past Saturday, I knew very little about them, let alone watch them in person. It was an amazing opportunity to watch a race up close and learn so much about this fun tradition.
For those of you who have not heard about log canoes, they are a type of sailboat developed in the Chesapeake Bay region by Native American tribes, and later adopted by English settlers. With a surplus of loblolly pines and tulip poplar logs, these canoes were the standard workboat of the Chesapeake Bay until the 20th century.
From the Mariner's Museum website: "During the summer months many watermen turned their sailing canoes into racing boats. Log canoe racing has become a tradition on the Bay. Larger sails were added to the log canoe to increase speed, but a problem resulted: in a strong wind the boat can tip, so hiking planks were added and crews used their body weight to balance the craft. These races continue today..."
It was quite an experience to watch the sailors hike up the boards to counterbalance the weight of the large sails. At the end of this race, as you'll see in these pictures, one of the boats capsized.
Click here to see my images from the recent Juniors One-Design Regatta, also at the Rock Hall Yacht Club. It was another gorgeous day on the Chester River, watching an amazing group of young sailors in action.