A Keswick wedding photographer who swapped his suit for a life jacket to single-handedly guide his small sailing boat around northern Britain has documented in pictures his 10-month journey in an e-book.
Stephen Yates has owned Derwent Photography, based in the yard at the rear of Treeby and Bolton in Lake Road for 19 years, and also works as Lake District Wedding Photography.
His e-book called ‘From The Sea: Photographic fine art landscape & seascape images’, which is packed full of dramatic images of his seafaring journey from and returning to Maryport harbour, has now been published on Amazon.
Stephen learned to sail a 40-year old boat which he had restored at its berth in Maryport harbour and named it ‘BethFran’ – after his children Bethyn and Francis. In May 2016, he sailed from Maryport to The Isle of Man, on to Ireland then up the west coast of Scotland to Kinlochbervie.
The 18-feet-long and six-feet-wide BethFran was damaged by waves off Galloway in the November and spent the winter in Stranraer being repaired. Stephen completed his trip round Galloway and back up The Solway to Maryport in March 2017.
He said: “She was scabby and paint peeling, with knackered old sails, but turned out to be a tough wee sea boat. When I pulled into harbours during the journey the harbour masters would look at the state of the boat, ask where I had sailed from and were often so impressed let me stay for free.
“I have now got the sailing bug, and have bought a second, bigger boat which is a bit more secure. I am now fixing her up so I can travel much longer distances,” he added.
Stephen’s book ‘From The Sea: Photographic fine art landscape & seascape images’ (2020) is available to buy on Amazon.