Ahoy, my name is Benjy and I am a boat bum. I live on a small sailing boat, currently in the south of France. I have been a boat builder for 20 years now and also design and sell dinghy plans via www.woodenwidget.com.
My passions are many but above all that is my love for nature and this extraordinary planet we find ourselves on. They say if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. To this end, I try to minimise my effect on the planet. No kids, no house, and a 20 year old Fiat 126 which does about 3000 miles a year. I love my Brompton folding bike and sailing. There is also my dark hypocritical side that loves motorbikes. These are contrary to my minimalistic beliefs I know since it is solely for my pleasure. Sometimes though, when your head is full of crap from trying to deal with the stresses of the 21st century, there is nothing better than a refreshing blast along the wonderful French roads on a decent bike. The decent bike in question, a 1995 Ducati Monster M900. Awesome machine. Kindly lent to me by my generous cousin.
Photography has always been a great love of mine and I for one whole heartedly embrace the new digital age of picture making. Before I used to develop and print my own films but try doing this on a classic boat only 23 feet long. As much as I love film I simply cannot ignore the advantages of digital. The biggest problem on a boat is storing negs and prints, asides from the space needed, a boat can be damp and film doesn’t like this. I recently bought a Leica M9 which I plan to keep for many years.
All the images on this blog were taken by me (unless otherwise stated). Please note that all the images can be clicked on to view an image 1000 px wide. It’s not huge but should be good enough to see the quality of the image. If anyone is interested in seeing crops or other image tests or comparisons let me know and I’ll post something. In time I will be posting about LightRoom the M9 and lenses.
Sailing is what keeps me sane. Over the last 25 years or so I have covered about 25,000 miles mainly in the UK and the Med but I have also crossed the Atlantic in both directions, once on a 24 foot boat and the second time as crew aboard Evrika, the Swan 65 of Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright. Classic boats are what I love most and have worked on and raced on many gorgeous and famous boats.
Benjy (St Tropez March 2010)
For all enquiries or comments, please email benjy (at) ventspleen (dot) com