Who am I and what do I do? Gee, I wish I knew. I have never been comfortable talking about myself. But some people want to know my background so they can decide weather to take my opinions into consideration. So here goes.
Basic facts: 60 years old, one owner, needs parts…make offer! living in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Professionally I work as a photographer. I am single (I did fall in love with a schooner once) and at one time had a cat. I live on Shanti and commute to work in a dinghy. Well this has all changed. I now have 2 dogs, 2 cats, a bird and a wife! Deb, my new bride loves to sail with me on Shanti. I no longer live aboard Shanti.
Sailing background: I have been sailing about my entire life. Started by rigging a sail to my little red wagon and sailing down the street in the Santa Ana winds in S. California. Picked up my Coast Guard license in 1983. I went on to hold an all oceans, 200 ton, sail (not aux. sail, but pure sail) endorsement license. Worked on a number of traditional vessels, many of them square rig. Also did a lot of traditional rigging work. Closed my photography business in SoCal and moved to the Virgin Islands to operate term charter yachts for 14 years. I have a number of Atlantic and Pacific crossings, and have visited just about the entire Caribbean. I owned a Falmouth Cutter for 16 years, the little sister to the BCC. She had no engine and I sailed her all over the place. I also saw the eye of a cat 4 hurricane on her. Moved ashore 9 years ago to re-start my photo biz. Then purchased Shanti in August of 2007 in SoCal and brought her to the Caribbean (no, the first leg was by truck to S Florida….I’m not THAT crazy!).
Education: I have a degree in Photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California. I also studied Ocean engineering for 4 years. I wanted to drive deep submersibles. Although today I would have a hard time doing a trig problem. When I was about ready to graduate in Engineering, there were no operating submersibles in the US. So employment looked a little slim. So I switched over to photography after winning a number of International awards in Underwater photography. It was a good choice for me.
Fun things: Scuba diving. Started diving in 1963. Was certified as an instructor in 1967. This led to underwater photography and my desire to operate submarines. In collage was way into racing cars. Still enjoy following the Indy Series. But to have a hot car on St. Thomas is like tits on a bull. Average speed on the island because of pot holes, tight curves and no freeways is about 25-30 mph. I did a lot of skydiving in SoCal. Also loved to snow ski, but again I find St. Thomas not so good in that regard. So why did I give all that up to move here….SAILING! I have never found a better place, and I have been to many. Oh, and the Scuba diving is pretty good too. When I need to take a break and let my mind relax I love playing HALO online. It’s fun pounding the 12 yo geeks into the ground!!
Here is where I presently live as mentioned above.
See you in St. Thomas!
If you would like to browse my photography go to www.garyfelton.com